'The Bob Newhart Show'

The cast of “The Bob Newhart Show.”

Known for turning improbable situations into comedy gold with his witty stand-up routines and as the star of two popular TV series from the 1970s and 1980s, Bob Newhart turns 90 today (www.bobnewhartofficial.com).

The former Chicago accountant-turned-comedian — whose sister was the late Sister Joan Newhart, BVM, of Dubuque — suspected he lacked the temperament to remain in the accounting profession back in the mid-1950s when his attitude toward taxation arithmetic could be summed up in three words: “That’s close enough.”

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Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns and interviews for more than 750 magazines and newspapers. Visit www.getnickt.org.