Q&A with actor Bob Newhart -- The star of ''The Bob Newhart Show'' tells EW about jumping from comedy to play a psychologist

By Nancy Sidewater
Updated April 11, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

The beloved TV psychologist makes us want to head for the couch, with the DVD release of The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete First Season.

Was going from stand-up comic to shrink a real jump for you?
Comedians are observers. I’m really a listener and a reactor to people. That’s what I do. So it was the perfect role for me to play.

Did viewers ask you for advice?
A lady wrote to me about her son. She was going to approach him about going into family counseling. And he asked, ”Is the therapist like that man on TV?” And she said, ”Yes.” And he agreed.

But your patients never got any better.
I should’ve had my license pulled in the third year. Mr. Carlin [Jack Riley] was as screwed up six years later as he was when he first came to me. The people in Chicago know that I missed my El train stop by 55 blocks. Is that someone you’d like to have as your psychologist?