This is a post for fans of the old “Bob Newhart” TV show. I found a fun subplot that I like to call the “Bob Newhart Nexus”.
To be clear, I think the creators of the “Bob Newhart” TV show added a subplot that secretly connected it to other fictional TV shows in a fictional multiverse. Bob Newhart is the Nexus point that connects all the characters from the multiple universes.
The First Reality “Pocket Universe“
The show centers on Robert Hartley (Bob Newhart), a Chicago psychologist. It divides most of its action between the character’s work and his home life, with Hartley’s wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette), and their neighbor, airline navigator Howard Borden (Bill Daily).
In the final episode of “The Bob Newhart Show”, we find the characters are panicked because they know it will be the end of their lives since the “Pocket Universe” will cease to exist. We find the wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) crying because she knows the world is coming to an end. The landlord actually hints out loud that “Life Is Short”, he then goes on to over exaggerate the power of the renter Robert Hartley (Bob Newhart) by referencing every tiny flaw in the apartment by a power of x100. He is trying to expose the fact that Robert Hartley (Bob Newhart), is not a normal human and everything he does has a huge impact on their reality. Howard Borden (Bill Daily) falls down dead on the spot when told by Robert Hartley (Bob Newhart) that he is moving away, leaving wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) sadly looking up to Robert Hartley (Bob Newhart) knowing she is next.
The Second Reality “Core Universe“
At the core is a medical office where Robert Hartley (Bob Newhart) has his psychology practice. His patient Elliot Carlin (Jack Riley) is a key figure across the multiple universes. Robert Hartley (Bob Newhart) has a number of patients but he doesn’t seem to have the skill to cure any of them. This is because in real life he’s not a doctor. He just controls a universe where he made himself one.
The Third Reality “Unstable Universe“
We now move to the new TV show “Newhart”. Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart), is now an author of do-it-yourself and travel books (As in self-governing traveler between universes). He and his wife Joanna Loudon (Mary Frann) move from New York City to a small town in rural Vermont to operate the 200-year-old Stratford Inn. This is the same move that Robert Hartley (Bob Newhart) was making in his other reality when he moved from the big city to the countryside. This shows we are dealing with the same person who wants to achieve one single goal of leaving the city for a simpler life in the country. But he did it by collapsing the “Pocket Universe” and starting over with a new much more “Unstable Universe” where he doesn’t really know what he wants.
Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) now lives in a town that exists in an illogical world governed by rules that elude him. The producers are stating openly that this universe is unstable.
In this reality, three strange men named Larry, Darryl and Darryl seem overly eager to do anything that Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) requests without asking questions (his minions).
The Fourth Reality “Real Universe“
Near the end of the second season, Dick began hosting a low-rated talk show on the town’s local television station. This is the tie into our “Real Universe” where the producers are hinting at multiverses.
His wife Joanna Loudon (Mary Frann) catches him using his true power to watch his own TV show in our “Real Universe” that show being the “Bob Newhart” TV show.
The Big Tell
The “Newhart” show final episode reveals the multiverse openly when Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) leaves reality three “Unstable Universe” and reactivates the first reality “Pocket Universe” due to his unhappiness with his life there. He then talks to his wife as Robert Hartley, Ph.D. (Bob Newhart) about his life in the other universe and warns her to be more like his other wife Joanna Loudon (Mary Frann).
Reality Merging “Bob Newhart Nexus”
Bob openly merges multiple universes at his point of existence or what I call the “Bob Newhart Nexus”.
Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) while in the third reality “Unstable Universe” runs into Elliot Carlin (Jack Riley) from the second reality “Core Universe“, where they talk about him being damaged by Robert Hartley, Ph.D. (Bob Newhart) in therapy. Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart) toys with the fact that he knows who he is but pretends not to remember why Elliot Carlin (Jack Riley) looks familiar.
Robert Hartley, Ph.D. (Bob Newhart) while in the first reality “Pocket Universe” runs into his minions Larry, Darryl and Darryl from the third reality “Unstable Universe”. He is not happy to see them and states this out loud as he attempts to avoid them. They are completely unaware of who Robert Hartley, Ph.D. (Bob Newhart) is.
The Last Reality “Retirement Universe”
George Stoody (Bob Newhart) forms a new universe where all his characters can live out their lives free from him being in control but only after he tries one more time to put them on track. He also adds people from other TV shows he watched in the “Real Universe“
He even talks openly to himself across time from the “Real Universe” into the second reality “Core Universe“. Hinting, via in coming calls, that he can talk to anyone he wants in other realities at anytime.
ALF Can See You
The Alien Alf sees people from multiple universes who are connected to Bob Newhart’s Nexus. In the episode “Going Out of My Head Over You”, he talks to a psychologist, Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Dykstra (Bill Daily).
In this episode, ALF mentions learning about psychology by watching episodes of the “Bob Newhart Show”.
Psychologist, Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Dykstra (Bill Daily) may be why Bob pretended to be a psychologist in the second reality “Core Universe” and why Bob created a copy of his mentor as his neighbor Howard Borden (Bill Daily) in the “Pocket Universe”.
One of Psychologist, Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Dykstra (Bill Daily) patients in his waiting back at his office is Elliot Carlin (Jack Riley) from the second reality “Core Universe“.
So there you have it, a multiverse that Bob Newhart travels through. This is a fan fiction conspiracy theory. I welcome any other views on what they were trying to do with the Bob Newhart name. Have fun!