On December 22, 1973, CBS aired “I’m Dreaming of a Slight Christmas,” a “Bob Newhart Show” episode that finds Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley (Newhart) dreading his office holiday party.
The shindigs always follow a pattern, as Bob explains:
Around 2 o’clock it usually starts and then Carol says what a great guy I am. And then about 2:05, somebody spikes the watercooler. About 2:30, Carol tells me off. And then sometime between 3 and 4, somebody asks for some free psychological advice. And then around 4 o’clock, all the ear, nose and throat men on the sixth floor come down and challenge us to an ice hockey game on the roof. And then at 5 o’clock, Tupperman starts reciting the Hippocratic oath while Jerry hums “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”
This year, Bob plans to leave the party early to spend Christmas Eve with wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette). Too bad a blizzard strands him at the office!
See for yourself: “I’m Dreaming of a Slight Christmas” is part of “The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Second Season” DVD set and can also be rented and purchased at iTunes and Amazon.com and streamed at Hulu.
Here’s the prime-time lineup for Saturday, December 22, 1973:
8: “Partridge Family” (ABC), “All in the Family” (CBS), “Emergency!” (NBC)
8:30: “Snatched” (ABC), “M*A*S*H” (CBS)
9: “Mary Tyler Moore Show” (CBS), “Fitzwilly” (NBC)
9:30: “Bob Newhart Show” (CBS)
10: “Griff” (ABC), “Carol Burnett Show” (CBS)
For the week of December 16, 1973:
Top novel: “Burr” by Gore Vidal
Top song: “The Most Beautiful Girl” by Charlie Rich
Top movie: “Amacord”
Top TV show: “All in the Family” (CBS)
In the news: First-class stamp prices increased from 8 cents to a dime
Captions: Dr. Bob Hartley, patient Mr. Peterson and receptionist Carol Keester – played by John Fiedler and Marcia Wallace, respectively – learn a blizzard has shut down Chicago during Bob’s holiday office party (top); Emily isn’t thrilled with the tiny tree Bob has brought home for their scaled-down Christmas (middle); Bob braves the blizzard to spend Christmas Eve with Emily, but he’s too tired to celebrate, so they snuggle on the sofa (bottom).