There are car shows, and then there are car shows.
Now in its seventh year, Boca Raton’s Concours d’Elegance is an automobile show par excellance. French for “concourse of elegance,” events like it have long showcased the best and brightest modes of transportation on the market, dating back to the horse-drawn carriages of the French aristocracy. Popular modern concourses have spring up in Pebble Beach, Amelia Island and midtown Manhattan, and for the past seven years, Boca’s Concours, hosted at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, has built up a glittering reputation to match its domestic and international peers.
The annual affair will take place Friday through Sunday (Feb. 22-24) at the Resort, with proceeds benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County; last year’s even raised more than $1 million for the organization. The event will highlight such time-tested brands as Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. There will be an Automobile and Automobilia Auction, hosted by Bonhams, on Saturday, and an exhibition of cars and motorcycles on Sunday that spans all eras. New to the Concours this year is an Automobile Art Show, on display for all three days and providing the opportunity to meet the car-centric artists in person. More than 30 top South Florida restaurants will provide nosh at the Concours d’Gourmet Pavilion.
But the main attraction is often the headlining comedy entertainer, who performs a stand-up set at Saturday night’s Gala Dinner and Auction. This year, it will be none other than Bob Newhart, the 83-year-old workhorse who remains as funny and inspirational as ever: Last August, after a certain film director’s unforgettable address at the Republican National Convention, he tweeted, “Heard that Clint Eastwood was channeling me at the RNC. My lawyers and I are drafting our lawsuit...”
Newhart has been incredibly gifted at creating highly visual sketches with his mind and words only, through a number of folksy, original characters, spoken in the comedian’s trademark stutter. To help you prepare for this weekend’s performance, here is a compilation of some of Newhart’s greatest hits, starting with a commentary on typical bus driver techniques, from 1995:
Here is one of his oldest clips, from 1965, on “The Jack Paar Show:”
Here is Newhart roasting colleague Don Rickles in 1973, with whom he will tour later this year:
Here is his classic cameo on a 2001 episode of the sketch series “madTV:”
Here’s a classic clip from “Newhart,” in which Bob interviews the owner of “the world’s smallest horse.”
Tickets to the Concours d’Elegance are $100 for the Friday night Hangar Party, $500 for Saturday night’s Gala Dinner and Auction with Bob Newhart, and $50 general admission or $100 VIP admission for Sunday’s events. Call 954/537-1010 or visit www.bocacde.com.