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Bob Newhart reflects on the 30th anniversary of Newhart's all-time great finale

  • Newhart's “It was all a dream!” reveal with Suzanne Pleshette calling back to The Bob Newhart Show on the May 21, 1990 “The Last Newhart" series finale is considered one of the best endings to a TV series of all time. The 90-year-old Newhart says the surprise ending called for a fake alternate ending to throw off the tabloids and keeping the crew in the dark. "I told the cast maybe a couple days before, but the crew (didn’t know)," he tells Yahoo Entertainment. "They were going to go for dinner and then we were going to shoot the show. We told them, 'Oh, when you come back we've added a scene. Camera A, you're here, B, you're here, C, you're there. And whatever happens, just keep shooting.' We put Suzie on a set two blocks away from our set, and when the time came we sent a golf cart to pick her up. We built a set that recreated the bedroom from The Bob Newhart Show, and when we revealed it — not Suzie and myself, but just the set — the audience started applauding, because they remembered it! And then, they saw Suzie and I, and they immediately started cheering. That's one of the advantages of doing this show in front of a live audience: So many shows today are one-camera shows and they're done without an audience, and it feels sterile. Having an audience drives you: They get a better performance out of you, the writers and everybody concerned."

    TOPICS: Newhart, The Bob Newhart Show, Bob Newhart, Retro TV