Jack Riley died this week. His name might not be familiar, but he played the memorable character Carlin — one of Bob’s patients — on The Bob Newhart Show. Riley was famous for his venomous deadpan delivery, which made virtually every line he uttered a funny moment. In the clip above — which is actually from the later show Newhart — Riley riffs on his earlier character.
TV shows normally have obvious stars, but what typically separates the great shows from the less-than-great is the ancillary characters that can develop and blossom — characters like Larry, Darrell, and Darrell on Newhart, or Cliff Clavin on Cheers, or Newman on Seinfeld. Carlin was one of those characters.