It was 20 years ago today that sitcom “Newhart” called it a day with a shocking ending
It was one of the most surprising series finales ever.
No, not "Lost": "The Last Newhart," the final episode of CBS’ long-running sitcom "Newhart," which aired on May 21, 1990.
The comedy premiered on CBS in October 1982, and set up TV favorite Bob Newhart as Dick Loudon, an author of do-it-yourself books who moves with his wife, Joanna (Mary Frann), from Manhattan to rural Vermont to run an inn. Dick was the island of sanity in a sea of oddballs: Larry, his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl; spoiled rich girl and lackadaisical hotel employee Stephanie (Julia Duffy); terminally dim handyman George (Tom Poston).
The series finale began with a visiting Japanese tycoon having purchased the entire town, which he plans to turn into a huge golf course and resort. The lone holdouts are Dick and Joanna.
The episode ends — spoiler alert — with Dick being struck in the head by a golf ball. After a blackout, a light goes on, and we see Newhart in bed saying, "Honey, you won’t believe the dream I just had." The woman next to him turns on the light and rolls over — and it’s Suzanne Pleshette, Newhart’s wife from the classic sitcom "The Bob Newhart Show."
That’s right, folks — it was all a dream!
The fine folks at the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television sent over a clip of Newhart discussing the genesis of one of the most surprising — and funniest — series finales ever. For more of Bob Newhart’s interview, as well as other interviews with TV legends, click here
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