Bob Newhart on the origins of tobacco

“Bob” Newhart, born George Robert Newhart in Austin, Chicago in 1929, is an American actor and comedian with a fascinating and varied career. I first came across him guesting on Desperate Housewives.

In awarding him a Peabody Award for the Bob Newhart Show in 1961, the board said:

… a person whose gentle satire and wry and irreverent wit waft a breath of fresh and bracing air through the stale and stuffy electronic corridors. A merry marauder, who looks less like St. George than a choirboy, Newhart has wounded, if not slain, many of the dragons that stalk our society. In a troubled and apprehensive world, Newhart has proved once again that laughter is the best medicine.

His routines are characterised by a deadpan delivery and one of his classics is entitled “Introducing Tobacco To Civilisation”, performing a very funny riff on how we started smoking.

Sometimes humour stays fresh across the decades.

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