'Button-Down Mind' Changed Modern Comedy

Bob Newhart i i

hide captionBob Newhart was an accountant when he summoned the courage to perform what would become The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart.

Courtesty Monarch Entertainment
Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart was an accountant when he summoned the courage to perform what would become The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart.

Courtesty Monarch Entertainment
Conan O'Brien i i

hide captionConan O'Brien called Newhart "the opposite of a sweat act" — an old vaudeville term to describe someone who's running around begging for the audience to laugh. Newhart's timing and material is so good, O'Brien said, "you have to go to him."

Timothy White
Conan O'Brien

Conan O'Brien called Newhart "the opposite of a sweat act" — an old vaudeville term to describe someone who's running around begging for the audience to laugh. Newhart's timing and material is so good, O'Brien said, "you have to go to him."

Timothy White
Cornyn i i

hide captionIn 1960, Stan Cornyn was with Warner Brother Records when the company got a call from a distributor, urging executives to listen to a recording of Bob Newhart, then an unknown, doing stand-up.

Jen Weinberg
Cornyn

In 1960, Stan Cornyn was with Warner Brother Records when the company got a call from a distributor, urging executives to listen to a recording of Bob Newhart, then an unknown, doing stand-up.

Jen Weinberg

Bob Newhart's debut album, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, was the first comedy album ever to hit No. 1. It saved the struggling Warner Brothers Records and changed the face of modern comedy.

Newhart and comedian and late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien offer insight on this landmark recording. They discuss how the recording came to be, memorable moments on the album and why it holds up today.

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