I Shouldn’t Be Doing This

Doing what? Reviewing a book by a comedian I never really watched on television. Why? I don’t know. When I ran across I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This: and Other Things that Strike Me as Funny, I thought it might be a worthwhile read.

This is a memoir that only Bob Newhart could have written. Not necessarily in chronological order, he talks about his life growing up in Chicago and his experiences in stand-up comedy, television, and movies. He provides a few of his stand-up routines and explains how he put together  his various comedy albums. He shares his opinions on psychology, religion, death, and other topics. I would tell you that Bob Newhart did a great job reading this book, but I downloaded the recording from the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download site, and the narrator here does a pretty good job. I won’t be surprised, though, if Audible has a recording of Newhart reading the book.

According to Wikipedia, Bob Newhart was born on September 5, 1929 in Oak Park, Illinois. He became prominent in the 1960’s when his comedy album, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, became a best-seller and moved to #1 on the Billboard popular music charts. It’s still the twentieth best-selling comedy album in history. His follow-up album, The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back, was also a huge success, and both records held the #1 and #2 positions on the Billboard charts simultaneously.

He later starred in two long-running and prize-winning television situation comedies: first as psychologist Dr. Bob Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970’s, then as innkeeper Dick Loudon on Newhart in the 1980’s. He was also in a third short-lived television situation comedy, Bob, in the 1990’s.

He appeared in such movies as Catch-22 and Elf. He was the voice of Bernard in the Walt Disney films, The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under. One of his most recent roles was in The Librarian. In 2011, he made a cameo in the movie Horrible Bosses.

In the 1970’s, my mother watched Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore back to back on television every week, but for some reason, I never took an interest in him. However, I got several good laughs out of I shouldn’t Even Be Doing This: and Other Things That Strike Me As Funny. It was a great source of comic relief after reading a downer like The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to  Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of two novels,, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com.

5 thoughts on “I Shouldn’t Be Doing This”

  1. Hey Abbie.

    I used to watch the first Newhart show in which Susanne Pleshette was his wife. I thought it was hilarious. I watched the second one also. The one with the guy that had a brother named Darrell, and another brother named Darrell. the Elf movie is one of my Christmas favorites. there are a couple parts where I laugh till I cry.

    Thanks for the memories.


    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

    Vivian Green



    1. Hi Deon, you’re welcome, and thanks to you, I’ve got that song going through my head. “Thanks for the Memories.” Actually, it was Bob Hope who sang that one. Anyway, I’m glad I could bring back such pleasant memories.


  2. Abbie, I have enjoyed Bob Newhart since he began so long ago on TV. Nobody can deliver a line like he does. I want to listen to this book so I am going to try to find it and I hope Bob is the reader. Thanks for letting me know about this book.


    1. Hi Glenda, you might try Audible. If you click on the link I gave in the post, it should take you directly to their site. Unfortunately, if you’re not a member, the books are a bit more expensive, but if you can find a recording of the book with Bob Newhart narrating it, it might just be worth the extra money. Good luck.


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