BOB - THE COMPLETE SERIES (CBS 1992-93) Bob Newhart, Carlene Watkins, Betty White, Cynthia Stevenson, Lisa Kudrow, John Cygan
Bob Newhart portrayed Bob McKay, the creator of the 1950s comic book superhero Mad-Dog. Mad-Dog was a casualty of the Comics Code Authority (CCA), a real-life self-regulation authority formed to assuage concerns over violence and gore in comics in the 1950s. In the wake of the CCA, Bob became a greeting card artist. In the pilot, Mad-Dog is revived when the American-Canadian Trans-Continental Communications Company buys the rights to the series. Complications ensue when Ace Comics head Harlan Stone (John Cygan) insists Mad-Dog should be a bloodthirsty vigilante rather than the hero Bob originally created. Bob initially turns down Harlan's offer to revive the series with the publisher, but after his wife Kaye (Carlene Watkins) reminds Bob that Mad-Dog would never give up dreams in the face of defeat, he decides to compromise with Harlan on creative direction, and go back to do the revival. In the final episode of the first season, AmCanTranConComCo is sold to a millionaire who hates comic books, and the entire Mad-Dog staff, including Bob, is fired.
During the first season, Bob balances his work life with his personal life. Bob's wife Kaye is loyal and sensible, and a busy career woman herself. Their grown daughter, Trisha (Cynthia Stevenson), frequently bemoans her perpetually single state. At work, Bob has to deal with the more eccentric staff members: klutzy gofer Albie Lutz (Andrew Bilgore); spaced-out cartoon inker Chad Pfefferle (Timothy Fall); and curmudgeonly artist Iris Frankel (Ruth Kobart). Eventually, Bob also hires Trisha onto the Mad-Dog staff, where Chad develops a crush on her; she also moves into an apartment with her best friend, Kathy Fletcher (Lisa Kudrow), where Albie also joins them temporarily.
When Bob returned in late October 1993, the show was changed completely. All of Bob's co-workers from the previous season disappeared and the show's premise had changed. Sylvia Schmitt (Betty White), the wife of his former boss (who had run off with his dental hygienist), hires Bob as President of Schmitt Greetings. Her son Pete (Jere Burns), the vice-president of Sales who had expected to take over the company and now has to work for Bob, is not happy. Others working at the company are the bookkeeper Chris Szelinski (Megan Cavanagh) and Whitey van der Bunt (Eric Allan Kramer), a member of the production team who adores Bob. Trisha and Kathy remain friends and housemates on a quest for true love.
One character was heard but not seen – Mr. Terhorst (voice of Michael Cumpsty), the president of AmCanTranConComCo who communicates with all his employees anywhere that fiber optics can be installed. Harlan even provides Bob with a cellular phone, which Mr. Terhorst would randomly tap into and begin talking to Bob in his most private, intimate hours. Cryptic yet resourceful, Terhorst is a master mediator in all creative differences in the office and is determined to make Mad-Dog a cultural phenomenon.
Notable guest stars included Tom Poston, Dorothy Lyman, Dick Martin, Steve Lawrence, Mara Wilson, George Wendt and Bill Daily as Vic Victor, one of Bob's poker friends. Daily previously played Howard on The Bob Newhart Show, and said "Hi, Bob" whenever he showed up.
Number of DVDs: 3
Number of Episodes: 33
Running Time: ? (approx)
Aspect Ratio: Full Screen 1.33:1
NOTES: This is a fan-made DVD set. Not a studio release.