Liberal Arts Blog — Bob Newhart: Abe Lincoln, King Kong, and the Air Traffic Controller

Liberal Arts Blog — Sunday is the Joy of Humor, Food, Travel, Practical Life Tips, and Miscellaneous Day

Today’s Topic: Bob Newhart (1939 — ): Abe Lincoln, King Kong, and the Air Traffic Controller

Newhart is best known for his “deadpan and slightly stammering delivery style.” His “straight man” monologue usually portrays one side of a conversation. Today, I have chosen three samples. The first involves an air traffic controller, a radar screen and a head set, the second Abe Lincoln at Gettysburg with his press agent, and the third King Kong and a security guard’s first night on the job at the Empire State Building. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. “You haven’t seen United 209 up there anywhere have you?”

2. “No, don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

3. “Could you identify yourself?”

NB: “You can’t miss us we’re the first international airport on your right.”

Bob Newhart Stand Up Comedy — “Air Traffic Controller” 60’s TV


1. Newhart plays a press agent who “talks his client into keeping his beard and stove pipe hat and into not changing “Four score and seven years ago” into “eighty-seven years” for his upcoming Gettysburg Address.”

2. “Oh you know those small Pennsylvania towns. You seen one you seen them all.”

3. “Abe you haven’t changed the speech have you?”

NB: “Abe that’s meant to be a grabber….Abe we test marketed that…they went out of their minds…”

Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue


1. Have you ever been through an orientation program before beginning a new job?

2. Did you ever have the experience that the program did not adequately prepare you for it?

3. What would you do if…..?

NB: “I don’t care what you do just get the ape off the building.”

Bob Newhart — King Kong

For the last three years of posts organized by theme:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive


So what is the best cartoon you have seen lately? or in the last 10 years? or the last 50? or your favorite joke? Or what is your famous holiday food? Main course? Dessert? Fondest food memories? Favorite foods to eat or prepare? Anything miscellaneous to share from anywhere? Best trip you ever took in your life? Practical life tips? Random facts? Jokes?

This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or to cement in your mind a memory that might otherwise disappear. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.