Today there are 64 years since the birth of actor Robin Williams, whose movies I grew up with and whose characters I remain deeply attached to through my life. According to Wikipedia, at least 106 acting credits were attributed to Robin Williams between 1977 and 2014. He won an Academy Award for best support actor for the role of Sean Maguire in the movie Good Will Hunting (1997). He won 4 Grammys for best comedy albums: Reality…What a concept! in 1980, A night at the Met in 1988, Good morning, Vietnam! in 1989 and Robin Williams Live 2002 in 2003.
It was a great delight to do the transcript of the 2013 interview Robin Williams had with David Letterman. His jokes made me burst into laughter each time and at the end a felt a slight sadness of him not being here anymore. I think we should treasure his legacy and let all his wonderful work to be a part of our lives and we should happily share it with the ones around us.
David Letterman: You performed at the Met.
Robin Williams: Yes, I actually performed there and it was wonderful because I was on the stage and there were these wonderful Irish osho and my act was a little bit blue and all these Irish were going: Oh, dear, he’s doing pornography on the same stage as Pavarotti. But it is an amazing place and I just looked at them and went: My God, it’s incredible! It’s so beautiful!
David Letterman: You’re so beautiful!
Robin Williams:Thank you for finally coming out now. God bless you, David! Tippy, Kippy, I don’t care.
David Letterman: Speaking of things generally, what is this the 25th year of Mrs. Doubtfire?
Robin Williams:I think it’s twenty years. It was a great thing to do. Just finding the voice was kind of fun. There she is!A lovely full figure girl kind of like a Scottish pinata. Finding the voice was the hardest part, because initially I made her sound like Margaret Thatcher, that would probably scare the hell out of children.
David Letterman: I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are here on CBS. When was the last time that you were on regular television network?
Robin Williams:It was 32 years ago, Dave. There were only three networks back then. I have a little fun fact for the folks at home: David was actually on Mork and Mindy a long time ago. Google him!
David Letterman: Yeah, get ready for solid entertainment!
Robin Williams: Here is the memory you don’t want to have right now.
David Letterman: What were your days in television back then comparing to what you are experiencing now?
Robin Williams: I don’t remember a lot, because I was on everything but skates back then.
David Letterman: Is that true?
Robin Williams:Very much so. I’m so glad that TMZ didn’t exist back then, ‘cause I would have been 24 hours. It was so rough, One time I was so hang-over, the director gave me a note to go like: Robin, wake up, we want you on that side of the stage. The first couple of years were amazing. The last year was the best because I got to work with Jonathan Wilson.
David Letterman: I was reading about you and your father watching him.
Robin Williams: It was kind of sweet. My dad was a sweet man, but not the easiest laugh. Jonathan came on the old Tonight Show. I am allowed to say Tonight show? Ok, cool. And John came wearing a Pif hat and Jack said: What are you John? And John said: I am great white hunter. And I was who is this man? He made my father laugh.
David Letterman: You became friends with the man.
Robin Williams: Hanging out with him was amazing. I would see him do kind of amazing things. He had a handicap parking sticker and he parked in a handicap parking space and a woman came up and said: You don’t look handicapped to me. And Jonathan went: Madam, can you see inside my mind? My favourite one liner about Johnny is: Have you ever undressed in front of a dog? There was no audience too small for him. I was saw him doing a cat for a dog.
David Letterman: You are tremenduos! You are always hard-working, you are always performing around the country or doing films. And what is that, is it good?
Robin Williams: It’s a regular job, Dave. Day to day you go to the plant you put your lunch card in and you get out. It’s really lovely. It’s been kind of great to have that.
David Letterman: How did this happen?
Robin Williams: I won the lottery! David Kelly called me and said I’d like to meet with you. He is a sweet man but not the biggest laugher in the world. This is David laughing: Yeah. And that’s it. He basically sat me down and said: This is my idea for a show, father and daughter advertising firm. The father is kind of an ideal man, but he had an interesting life, multiple marriages and rehab. I went: I’ve done the research. And the daughter is there to kind of back him up but at the same time the father is trying to get her be more creative. It’s interesting stuff.
David Letterman: Do you still go out on the road and do stand-up comedy?
Robin Williams: I haven’t done stand-up comedy for a couple of years.
David Letterman: I remember watching those HBO specials with you.
Robin Williams: For me HBO was this wonderful thing of having the outlet, that kind of comedy. There is so much freedom you have on that thing, not just the content, the words you can say. There is no one to tell you: No, don’t do that. Good news, bad news on that level.
David Letterman: You are directing your compliment to HBO, which has nothing to do with your ability of being a comedian.
Robin Williams: But they gave me a gig. It would be very hard to do it on the street. People would be like: Ok, that’s enough, please go home.
David Letterman: When I was doing stand-up comedy, they would come up and say we need 20 minutes and I said, can we just make it 15? And you get out there for 90 minutes and it’s riveting.
Robin Williams: It’s cheaper than therapy a lot of times. For me it is a chance to talk about things that were kind of my life. I’m not as personal as a lot of people do, but the last HBO special kind of got into interesting aspects about the relapse. I went to rehab in Wine Country just to keep my options open. For me the first time when I actually started to talk about my life was the HBO special that I filmed at the Met, where I talked about having kids and having responsibilities. When Zachary got his degree in Linguistics I said what are you going to do, open a Syntax repair shop? But I was so proud of him, cause I never graduated from college. Then he got an MBA in business and I said: Ok, that’s enough. But now he is working, he is actually making money on his own. Daddy, loves you. Where are we going today to take daddy over by the sidewalk?
My all time favourite movies of Robin Williams is August Rush. Here is the trailer: