BIFF 2: Bob Newhart and IBM

Bob Newhart is one of the all-time great stand up comedians. He’s perfect at capturing the powerlessness of the little guy in a ludicrous world of hucksters. Newhart was huge in the early 60s but, despite the fact that most comedy dates really quickly, many of his routines hold up very well. His best routines are, maybe, Retirement Party, African Movie and Abe Lincoln vs Madison Avenue. And, since this is a maths blog, we have to make mention of Infinite Monkeys.

Below is a very obscure clip of Bob Newhart. It’s a skit of him supposedly talking on the phone with Herman Hollerith, the inventor of the tabulating machine, part of the prehistory of IBM. The skit is from 1970 but it was only rediscovered about 20 years ago, in the Netherlands (hence the subtitles). Bob Newhart talks briefly about the clip, here.

The skit was not a regular Newhart bit, is not hysterically funny and is basically a long promo for IBM. Still, it’s pretty funny and we only learned of it recently. So, we thought to share it.

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