Stand-up comedian Bob Newhart will be the featured speaker Friday, Dec. 2, at Freed-Hardeman University’s 47th Annual Benefit Dinner. The event is typically Tennessee’s largest one-night fundraiser, raising in excess of $1million for student scholarships at FHU.
Newhart’s half-century career has included two successful television shows, 14 feature films, eight top albums, and many movies. He still performs to sell-out crowds all over the country. He became a favorite of television viewers in the 1970’s with his role as Dr. Bob Hartley in “The Bob Newhart Show.” He followed that success with a stint as innkeeper Dick Louden in the 80’s.
Bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent will open for Newhart. Jamie Daily and Darrin Vincent became the most heralded new act in bluegrass in 2008 with their self-titled debut album, which went to #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart. The group also took home seven awards that year at the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, including Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year. They have been IBM’s Entertainer of the Year for three consecutive years.
“The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart” became the first comedy album to go to #1 on the charts. Seven multi-platinum albums followed in a recording career that earned him three Grammys.
Despite his illustrious career in recording, television, and movies, Newhart’s first love remains performing stand-up comedy. Audiences still flock to hear his dead-pan delivery of such standards as “The Driving Instructor,” “Sir Walter Raleigh,” and “The Submarine Commander.”
Sponsorships for the Benefit Dinner beginning at $600 for the silver level are available from the FHU advancement office. General admission tickets to the event are $150. All tickets include the dinner and the address by Newhart. Sponsorships come with additional perks.
Former dinner speakers have included presidents and other politicians, star athletes, and entertainers. This year’s speaker offers a change of pace from the most recent speakers, former President George W. Bush and presidential candidate and Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee.
All profits from the dinner help fund student scholarships at FHU.