Bob Newhart responds to critics of his opening credits commute from 'The Bob Newhart Show'
"Would you want a therapist who missed his stop every day?"
Any Chicagoan who has watched The Bob Newhart Show knows that Bob Hartley had a crazy daily commute — and not just because of the unreliable CTA. No, TV's funniest psychologist took a rather circuitous route home.
The opening credits sequence of the 1972–78 sitcom shows Hartley heading from his office to his condominium in the evening. This is the journey he takes in the original opening:
First, Bob leaves his River North office building on Michigan Avenue, adjacent to the Wrigley Building. He crosses the river on foot and hops on a El train in the Loop. The train, presumably a Purple Line Express train (though, in 1972, this would have been called the Evanston Express), rumbled northward over the Wells Street bridge. We then see Bob exit the train at the Isabell Street station, a now-defunct stop which sat at ground level on the suburban Evanston-Wilmette border. It was torn down in 1973, soon after the first season of The Bob Newhart Show.
Bob then walks up to his apartment tower — which sits 6.8 miles to the south. No wonder he looks so beat. The Hartley home sat on the lakefront at 5901 North Sheridan Road in the Chicago neighborhood of Edgewater.
For 45 years, Chicagoans have ribbed Newhart in good nature about this continuity problem. Early this week, Bob Newhart appeared on Conan. The host asked the legendary 87-year-old comic to address the critics of his former commute.
"[The station is] about 55 blocks from our apartment," Newhart explains before joking, "I do this every day…. Now, would you want a therapist who missed his stop every day?" Watch the full clip below.