Bob Newhart, legendary actor and comedian, claims ‘Elf’ role ‘outranks’ all other characters


Bob Newhart is a comedy and acting legend, whose career has spanned decades, yet the 94-year-old recently told CNN the greatest role he played was in a modern holiday classic.

The modern-day classic Newhart refers to? Elf.

“Without question, the part of Papa Elf outranks, by far, any role I may have ever played.”

While Newhart is well known for his iconic ’60s and ’80s sitcoms, The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, the actor remains firm that his role as Papa Elf far exceeds any of his other work.

“My agent sent me the script and I fell in love with it,” he told CNN in an email interview.

He even told his wife it was “going to be another Miracle on 34th Street, where people watch it every year.”

And he wasn’t wrong!

Elf just celebrated it’s 20th anniversary and is still one of the most popular Christmas movies.


Newhart, who starred in the movie alongside Will Ferrell and the late James Caan, explained how they shot certain scenes to make him look small and Ferrell’s character, Buddy, look tall.

“For example, in the scene where Will and I were riding the tricycle, Will sat in the front, while I sat 10 feet behind him,” Newhart recalled. “They had an actor directly behind Will who was hidden, but his hands on Will’s shoulders. This made it look like I was Elf sized.”

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He believes Elf succeeded and continues to remain a mainstay in the rotation of holiday movies because at the time of its release there was nothing quite like it.

“People wanted to believe in it. … People need that charming, wonderful thing about the Christmas spirit and its way of powering the sleigh.”

Bob Newhart is an absolute legend and he’s done so much great work throughout his career, but do you agree with him? Was his work in Elf his best?

Let us know your thoughts!


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