I took my second Newhart episode directly from my husband’s experience, too. Suzanne plans a trip, but Bob is not excited. Sound familiar? He doesn’t show excitement. Hmm. It was called “Backlash.” Arthur once had a bad back, so this episode really was very much true of our lives and personalities. I put Bob in this position by injuring his back when a patient whacks him as they are working on “showing emotion.” Are you sensing I have a theme here? And they have to cancel the trip. When Arthur had to take pain pills, he drove me crazy talking so slowly. I had Suzanne say, “You talk so slowly I want to jump into your mouth and pull the words out!” I didn’t say it in real life, or maybe I did.
The director, George “Buddy” Tyne, worked with Newhart to develop a hysterical bad back walk, which was, as he says, “a bad Boris Karloff imitation,” and Bob does more physical comedy in this episode than usual. I had him watching soap operas while bedridden, one of my favorite things to do—and as one does, he gets totally swept up in the amnesia attacks, illegitimate babies, all overacted to dramatic music chords called “stingers.” I loved the way this show turned out. I just watched it on YouTube. No rerun payment. This ended in 1973 as the Writers Guild had a strike about the issue of being paid for reruns in perpetuity rather than just ten as it used to be. I’d stopped doing episodes by then, unfortunately.