Bob Newhart claims that his role as "Elf"Bob Newhart claims that his role as "Elf"

As far as he's ever played characters, Bob Newhart claims that his role as "Elf" "outranks, by far."

Bob Newhart claims that his role as "Elf"

The legendary television personality Bob Newhart is full of love and nostalgia for his role as Will Ferrell’s dreamy-eyed Buddy’s father in “Elf.”

Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of the 2003 release of the contemporary holiday classic.

“The role of Papa Elf is without a doubt the best role I have ever played,” the 94-year-old Newhart said in an email interview with CNN on the occasion.

From the actor who starred in two now-famous, enduring television sitcoms in the 1960s and 1980s, “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Newhart,” respectively, this declaration is not insignificant.

From the very first reading of the script, Newhart had a virtual premonition that “Elf” would become a timeless and cherished holiday classic.

Bob Newhart, Peter Billingsley, Ed Asner, and Elf (from left) Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, and Peter Billingsley in “Elf.” Moviestore/Shutterstock

He claimed, “I fell in love with the script when my agent sent it to me,” and went on to tell his wife that the film was “going to be another ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ where people watch it every year.”

The analogy is appropriate. “Elf” is one of the few well-known Christmas films that is primarily set in New York City (some examples are “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” and “Scrooged”). Buddy the Elf, played by Will Ferrell, is raised by Newhart’s Papa Elf in the North Pole and visits the Big Apple to meet his real father, a stern businessman who is portrayed by the late James Caan.

Additionally, Newhart revealed that despite the fact that he and Ferrell enjoyed themselves immensely during the shoot and “would always break each other up,” they “very seldom made eye contact” on set because of the camera tricks the directors employed to give the actors different body sizes.

This technique—also referred to as forced perspective or the Darby O’Gill technique—is positioned actors far apart to make one appear smaller or larger, but angled in front of the camera to make them appear closer together. It has also been used in films such as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

For instance, when Will and I rode the tricycle, I sat ten feet behind Will, and he sat in the front, according to Newhart’s account. “There was an actor hiding right behind Will, with his hands on Will’s shoulders. This gave the impression that I was elf-sized.

Like many of us, Newhart thinks “Elf” is in a league of its own.

He stated, “It hasn’t been like anything in the interim, in my opinion.”

“People desired to have faith in it. He continued, “People need that enchanting, wonderful quality of the Christmas spirit and how it drives the sleigh.

More… “Bob Newhart’s Elf: A Role that Outranks, By Far”

Bob Newhart claims that his role as "Elf"
Bob Newhart claims that his role as “Elf”

Bob Newhart, a legendary figure in the world of comedy, has graced audiences with his wit and charm for decades. While he’s portrayed a myriad of characters throughout his illustrious career, there’s one role that stands out in his own estimation: “Elf.” In this blog, we’ll delve into why Bob Newhart considers his role as Elf to outrank all others, exploring the magic and impact of this particular character.

The Elf Phenomenon:
Bob Newhart’s career spans a wide range of comedic roles, from his groundbreaking sitcoms to memorable guest appearances. Yet, when he reflects on his body of work, it’s Elf that takes center stage in his heart. Elf, a beloved Christmas classic, features Newhart as Papa Elf, the adoptive father of Buddy, played by Will Ferrell. The movie, directed by Jon Favreau, became an instant holiday favorite and has maintained its popularity over the years.

The Allure of Papa Elf:
What is it about Papa Elf that resonates so strongly with Bob Newhart? One can argue that the character embodies the spirit of Christmas itself: warm, caring, and filled with joy. Papa Elf’s guidance and love for Buddy reflect the values that define the holiday season. Newhart’s portrayal adds a touch of humor and sincerity to the character, creating a timeless performance that continues to capture the hearts of audiences.

A departure from the norm:
For a comedian known for his deadpan delivery and unique comedic style, playing Papa Elf represented a departure from Bob Newhart’s usual roles. The character allowed him to showcase his versatility as an actor, demonstrating that he could bring humor to a family-friendly setting without sacrificing the essence of what makes his comedic style so distinctive.

The Impact on Audiences:
Elf has become a cultural phenomenon, with families making it a tradition to watch the movie every holiday season. Papa Elf, with his wisdom and love, has become an iconic character in the Christmas movie Pantheon. Bob Newhart’s portrayal has left a lasting impact on audiences, creating a connection that goes beyond laughter and extends to the heartwarming spirit of the season.

In his own words:
Bob Newhart’s claim that his role as Elf “outranks, by far” speaks volumes about the personal and professional significance of the character. As fans, we can only imagine the joy and pride he must feel knowing that, among his many roles, it’s Papa Elf who holds a special place in his heart.

In the tapestry of Bob Newhart’s illustrious career, the role of Papa Elf shines as a beacon of holiday cheer and heartwarming humor. As audiences continue to revisit Elf year after year, they are reminded not only of the magic of Christmas but also of the talented actor who brought Papa Elf to life – a role that, in Bob Newhart’s own words, outranks, by far, any other character he’s ever played.

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