Shooting a scene in the autopsy lab on the NCIS set, Bob Newhart looks a bit absentminded, and an interloper might not know whether to chuckle. The TV legend is playing Dr. Walter Magnus, who preceded Ducky (David McCallum) as the unit's medical examiner. Looking over a corpse with Gibbs (Mark Harmon), Ducky suggests their old colleague add his forensic two cents. "Walter, why don't you jump into some scrubs? ...Walter?"
Newhart's hesitancy in responding isn't far off from the trademark stammer he made into a science on two of TV's most beloved sitcoms, The Bob Newhart Show (1972-78) and Newhart (1982-90). Since NCIS is a drama in touch with its lighter side, you might guess the visiting icon was cast in "Recruited" to capitalize on his levity. Not so. The former doc...
Question: I wasn't going to bore you with the history of this question, but I will anyway. A guy in the office and I got into this stupid contest where we'd take turns whistling TV theme songs and the other one would have to guess it. When I whistled Mannix, we got off on this discussion about the star and what he'd done. Was he on any shows before that? Thanks for answering this, if you do.
Answer: No problem, Chris, but first do you mind telling me what kind of job you have where you can fritter away the hours on the boss' dime? (I'm praying it's not one supported by my tax dollars. Then again, as long as you stick to TV tunes, OK by me.)
Mannix star Mike Connors got his start in TV playing an unnamed undercover cop (he w