"You thought I was dead!" Newhart jokingly told Ben Stiller on Sunday's Emmys

By Dave Quinn
September 22, 2019 08:49 PM
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In a surprise appearance at Sunday’s Emmy Awards, Bob Newhart did what he did best: putting the crowd in stitches as he helped Ben Stiller present the evening’s first award.

The beloved entertainer — who recently celebrated his 90th birthday — joined Stiller on stage, wryly reminding him, “I’m still alive.”

Stiller had been discussing other major comedians from TV history, walking past statues of George Burns and Lucille Ball before coming to Newhart.

Though Newhart was standing as still as a statue next to the others, he quickly stopped Stiller. “You put me with George and Lucy and it’s weird,” he said. “Like I was in some weird museum of comedy.”

“It’s more like legends of comedy,” Stiller insisted, riffing. “Alive, dead … all different types of comedy!”

But Newhart wasn’t buying it. “This legend is going to kick your ass, that way you’ll know I’m alive,” he said. “You thought I was dead!”

“I hated you, by the way, in Tropic Thunder,” he later added.

Bob Newhart (left) and Ben Stiller at the 2019 Emmy Awards

Newhart, whose career stretches back decades, won his first Emmy in 2013 for his guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory.

He had been nominated seven times before, beginning with a nod for writing for The Bob Newhart Show in 1962. Emmy acting nominations came later for Newhart, a guest role on ER and the TNT movie The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice.

Earlier this month, Newhart rang in his birthday with a trip to Las Vegas, attending The Beatles-inspired LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage Hotel & Casino alongside wife Ginny, three of their children and his son-in-law.

Before attending the show, Newhart opened up about his milestone birthday during an interview with The New York Times, saying he didn’t actually feel 90 years old.

“My mind doesn’t [feel old]. I can’t turn it off,” he said before discussing his thoughts on the afterlife. “I think I know what’s on the other side, but I’m not sure. Maybe it just ends. Some people think you come back. Maybe I’ll come back as Shelley Berman and be pissed off at myself.”

Bob Newhart in May
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

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“I think if you lived a good life, some people say it is rapture,” Newhart continued. “You spend the rest of your life in a state of rapture. That’d be nice. What I’m actually hoping is there’s the Pearly Gates and God’s there and he says to me, ‘What did you do in life?’ And I say, ‘I was a stand-up comedian.’ And he says: ‘Get in that real short line over there.’ “

The comedian also opened up about his 56-year marriage, saying his career certainly helped their relationship stand the test of time.

“I think laughter is the secret to the longevity of relationships,” he said. “If you can laugh, you can get through it.”

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards are airing live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.