In addition to the aforementioned inaugural programming lineup on the soon-to-launch StrikeTV, the site that’s fast turning into a new media mecca for Hollywood professionals might also have the first online show my parents will be as excited to watch as they are about whatever current presidential joke and/or urban legend e-mail is being passed around to early baby boomers with AOL accounts.
Bob Newhart tackling a variety of challenges conceived by longtime coworkers/friends Lloyd Garver and Stephen C Grossman might be just the kinda entree older generations need to give online video more than an intimidated glance. Or they could just watch this one series and not care about anything else (unless John Cleese gets his Headcast up and running).
Either way, I’ll be watching with them.
Newhart got on board the project when he heard the profits of the first three months of StrikeTV will be donated to The Actor’s Fund. Those who enjoy quality entertainment should glad he’s sympathetic to performing arts professionals in need.
Failed 90’s Newhart revivals deprived my generation of full exposure to the funny straight-man’s comedic talents. A clip on Mad TV gave us a taste of why he was the star of two different, primetime, self-titled sitcoms that together lasted 14 years, but The Challenge will hopefully offer a better sampling than a cameo on a sketch comedy show.
If Bob’s game, I’m thinking he could turn this into a full-blown Newhart comeback on the web. He wouldn’t even have to create new material. Just get Doug Bressler or Chris Ware to provide animation to old routines like the one below, and then you got a a guaranteed hit that both Boomers and Gen Yers can enjoy.