Legendary comedian and actor Bob Newhart once said:
“Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event,
deal with it and then move on.”
Bob didn’t know it at the time, but those words would prove to be both prescient and deeply personal. In April of 2017, the laughter died when Don Rickles passed at the age of 90.
Bob Newhart lost his closest and dearest friend of 60 years. America lost the man who peeled back the layers of the human condition, held a mirror to it, then taught us to laugh at ourselves. In so doing, Don Rickles revealed the humanity in all of us; those native sensibilities that bring us together, not tear us apart.
Which is why this film is so relevant today. Bob Newhart and Don Rickles were funny at the start of their careers, and remain so today. You see, “funny” is a universal language. It cuts through the clutter of a chaotic world and gives us that one critical gift when we need it the most; laughter.
But comedy has changed over the decades and sadly, not for the better. Much of today’s comedy has become an airing of grievances. Of course, social commentary has always been a part of the comedy scene. Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl and George Carlin are prime examples. Yes, they took their shots, but they did so with a combination of intelligence, wit and introspection, thus enabling audiences on both sides of the argument to share in the humor.
Many of today’s stand-ups however, reach for the low-hanging fruit of comedy. Sure, they want you to laugh, but more importantly, they want you to take sides. Their humor is crude, not clever. It doesn’t bring us together, it tears us apart. The laughs are cheap and often come at the expense of someone whose only crime is having an opinion different from their own.
“Rickles & Newhart: A Love Story” is a tribute to these true kings of comedy, a celebration of a time in which an entire nation was united through laughter. Most importantly, this documentary examines of one of the most enduring show business friendships .
Most people alive today cannot remember a time in America before Bob Newhart and Don Rickles. They dominated the entire second half of the 20th Century and stayed in high demand well into the 21st. Bob Newhart to this day, is one of the most beloved and sought-after comic actors in the business.
Telling our story:
To tell this story properly and comprehensively, it will be told chronolgically. Bob Newhart will narrate the film, along with interviews of friends and celebrities who were part of their lives; both personally and professionally.
As we span the decades we’ll see how their careers evolved and changed, how their friendship grew even deeper and how they maintained their dominance in show business as the country and the world changed around them.
We’ll dig even deeper into their personal relationship through the hours of films and tapes which Bob took during their many family vacation trips overseas.
The film is funny, sometimes sad, but always revealing. It’s a trip across seven decades of show business, comedy and American history.
Who benefits From the Project?
The film's historical look at the lives and careers of these two great men will preserve their legacy of generosity. All of the proceeds will benefit children's health and young artists through charitable organizations such as Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Big City Broadway.