News: Bob Newhart Wins Emmy
Posted on Sep 17, 2013 10:30am

From It took been 51 years and seven nominations, but comic legend Bob Newhart finally has his Emmy.

The actor, nominated for his guest role in CBS' The Big Bang Theory, collected the statuette Sunday -- marking the former Bob Newhart Show and Newhart star's first win in the category after receiving one nom for the former and three for the latter. The former stand-up comedian resurfaced after Newhart closed up shop with a guest role in ER that earned him his fifth nomination in 2004. That was followed by a supporting actor in a mini for the TNT telepic The Librarian in 2009. His win Sunday came for playing Professor Proton, a hapless former TV scientist on the Chuck Lorre comedy about a group of lovable dorks.

"I'm amazed all the attention this is getting," a humble Newhart told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday of his first career Emmy win -- a feat that came 51 years after his first nomination. Below, Newhart talks with THR about why it took so long for the TV Academy to recognize his work, his return date to Big Bang and just how he celebrated the victory.

The Hollywood Reporter: What was the first thought that went through your head when your name was called?
Bob Newhart: I was right in the front row and my first thought was, "Boy, I hope I can make it up those stairs!" I'm 84 and you worry about things like that. And then I successfully negotiated the stairs, and there was the Emmy. It suddenly dawned on me that I'm going to have one of those. Then I looked and saw the audience, and they were standing up. That really got to me. When you see 6,000 people and they're standing up because they like your work … I kind of lost it then. The standing ovation really was the wild moment.

Where does the Emmy win rank in terms of your career highlights?
The award is from your peers, and it's the old joke about you a charity calling and saying, "We'd like to name you man of the year because of your sensational career in comedy and you've entertained people for over 50 years." You say, "I'm sorry I can't make it." And they ask if you have Jerry Lewis' number. That's one kind of award. This one's from your peers, and it's a very special award, and it's them [the TV Academy] saying that they think I'm pretty good.

What does this Emmy win, 51 years after your first nomination, mean to you?
It's kind of a haze. The whole evening, everybody kept telling me I would win, and I kept asking, "How do you know?" It's a really tough category; Nathan Lane is brilliant at what ever he does, and you've got Louis C.K., who is about as hot as you can possibly get, as well as Justin Timberlake, Will Forte and Bobby Cannavale. It was a very strong group. I was all right with the fact that I wasn't going to win it. It's a very trite thing to say that it's just an honor to be included but it's true; it's trite because it's true.

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