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Williams on Winters


Robin Williams can be annoying, but this is a wonderful reminiscence of the great Jonathan Winters.

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  • firefall

    Robin Williams can be annoying,

    That bids fair to be understatement of the century – I cant think of anyone else who allies such towering talent with such total absence of discipline

    • The problem was not enough cocaine in the 80s.

      • Bill Murray

        somebody else once did a line?

      • “I heard there was this drug that made you paranoid and impotent and I said Gimme some of that.”

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      i always think there’s something forced about robin williams, and winters had this sort of matter of fact vibe that made what he said even weirder and funnier

      (an aside: on the same page, there’s a link to an interesting article about bob wolff, former sports broadcaster, who kept recordings of interviews he did with jackie robinson, ty cobb, tris speaker and other athletes)

    • discipline is overrated, unless you are paying for it.

    • Lego My Eggo

      The greatest improvisational performance in history remains and probably ever will be RW’s appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio.

  • Vance Maverick

    So here’s to Jonny Winters, the cherubic madman with a stick who touched so many.

    I hadn’t quite made this connection before, but now it all begins to make sense….

  • Western Dave

    I saw Williams live around 1981 (with John Sebastian opening because why?). It was the summer before high school. I got quite the education that night. He was completely manic (cocaine fueled, though I didn’t know it at the time) and totally hilarious. Although he’s done some awesome work, his movies have never really captured his talent at improv and stand-up. I wish I were more familiar with Winters’ work. Will be youtubing a lot in the next couple of days. I am particularly interested in comparing Williams to early Bob Newhart. I think there’s a paper in there exploring masculinity and whiteness in the 1950s and early 60s.

    • I think Williams used to have a lot of musicians open for him for whatever reason. I was at a Tom Russell concert once where he talked about opening for him.

  • Annoying, gee, you know I found that Van Gogh thing with his ear a bit undisciplined as well.

  • Kurzleg

    I watched the “Stick” routine from the Paar show last week. I’m not convinced that it was all ad lib, but it sure was funny. I especially liked the dry “Send in the big cats / send in the smaller ones” bit.

    The other Paar clip that’s worth seeking out is when Winters wishes everyone a “great big Spring!”

    Williams is nothing if not over the top in his stand-up, but then drugs will do that to a person. Still, his riff on the origins of golf is pretty funny.

  • Davis

    Williams on doing improv with Winters:

    “I felt like a kazoo player sitting in with Coltrane.”

  • bloviator

    Hmm, any connection between Winters’ “decent martini in Mombasa” line and “found him in Mombasa in a barroom drinking gin”?

  • Gilber Gottfried also did a good remembrance on cnn.com.

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