The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978)
How can two shows separated by a span of four years crossover? Brilliantly - that's how. The final episode of Newhart featured a crossover classic. But while the Newhart series finale was the most famous crossover between these shows, it was only one of three times these shows bounced against each other.
To start with, quick summaries. The Bob Newhart Show featured Bob Newhart as a Chicago psychiatrist named Robert Hartley. The sitcom Newhart cast him as a Vermont Inn Keeper named Dick Loudon.
The first crossover occurred on Newhart when Dick Loudon attended a psychiatric group. One of the other people at the group was none other than Elliot Carlin, one of Bob Hartley's patients from The Bob Newhart Show. Mr. Carlin starts to tell Dick how he was part of a group before run by this psychiatrist who did him no good at all. As Dick Loudon is taken aback by this attack on... well another version of himself... Mr. Carlin continues by describing his former doctor as being a guy with a bad stutter. Dick defensively replies, "Ah uh it's a st... st... stammer." Very funny. You had to wonder though why Dick would be defensive about this psychiatrist he never actually met (even though they are both Bob Newhart). Ah ha! The answer was yet to come...
The final episode of Newhart was a knock out comedy classic. A Japanese firm buys up all the land in the town where Newhart is set to build a golf course. Everyone sells out and moves away wealthy... except Dick. Dick will not sell and they build the course around his Inn. Years pass and the old town residents return for a reunion at the Inn. They all regret moving and decide they are all moving back and will live at the Inn. Things are getting very bizarre and Dick, furiously yelling at everyone at how nuts they are steps out onto the Inn's porch where he is knocked out by a stray golf ball.
We cut to a darkened bedroom. Bob Newhart wakes up and turns on a light. Its Bob Hartley's bedroom from The Bob Newhart Show. Bob reaches over and shakes the person sleeping next to him awake. It's Emily, Bob's wife from The Bob Newhart Show. Newhart, now clearly Dr. Bob Hartley, starts to tell Emily about the strange dream he has just had - where he was an Inn Keeper in Vermont. The entire run of Newhart was nothing but Bob Hartley's dream. Emily warns him to watch what he eats before going to bed and Bob tells her she needs to wear more sweaters (his Newhart wife Joanna wore tons of them). This actually does nicely explain Dick Loudon's defensiveness in the earlier episode with Mr. Carlin though - Dick Loudon was/is Bob Hartley.
Oh, but we are not done yet. Newhart managed to then do a crossover onto the Bob Newhart show... a show that had been off the air for about 23 years by this time! Bob Newhart filmed a special Bob Newhart Show 24th Anniversary Show. Where most shows would do a retrospective with cast and crew interviews, Newhart staged an all new episode of the original Bob Newhart Show. It picked up right where the last Episode of Newhart left off. Bob goes to work still preoccupied with his dream from the night before. One by one the old cast of The Bob Newhart Show shows up with the episode largely becoming a "Best Of" clip show.
Howard Borden, played by Bill Daily also of I Dream Of Jeannie fame, commiserate with Bob's dream situation admitting that he once dreamed he was an astronaut for 5 seasons! They then cut to several I Dream Of Jeannie clips.
Now one of the long running bits on the Bob Newhart Show was a series of gags centering on the elevators in Bob's office building. As the anniversary show came to an end, Bob finally convinced himself the dream was just a dream and meant nothing. He rang for the elevator which opened to reveal three repairmen working on it. Only the three workmen looked uncannily like Larry, Darryl and Darryl, three of the most popular characters from Newhart. They were three surreal and slightly troubling mountain men. Larry tells a stunned Bob (Darryl and Darryl never speak) that the elevator is working if he wants to get on. In a mild panic Bob says he'll take the stairs. Very funny. Only Bob Newhart could continually top comic genius with more comic genius. If only he could have tied his NEXT show BOB into this mess...Other The Bob Newhart Show Crossover Links
The Bob Newhart Show and Bob
The Bob Newhart Show and I Dream Of Jeannie
The Bob Newhart Show and Murphy Brown
The Bob Newhart Show and St. Elsewhere
Other Newhart Crossover Links
Newhart and Coach
Click here to return to main Crossover List
Buy these shows on Amazon.com and support this site at the same time! Check out The Bob Newhart Show on DVD!