Robin Williams in 1978

R.I.P. Robin Williams: The Comic

Edmund Keane was a renowned English actor from the early 1800s. His last words were alleged to be “Dying is easy, Comedy is hard”. Although this famous quote may be applicable to many I feel the opposite may have been true for Robin Williams. Williams seemed to be effortless in his comedy, with that rare ability to make everyone in the room laugh, from infant children to doting grandmothers. Meanwhile, he struggled for decades with crippling addictions & depression that would lead to his unfortunate & difficult end. But that’s not what this post is about. With outpourings of grief from a generation of twenty-somethings who grew up knowing Robin Williams as the manic Genie from Aladdin or the cross-dressing nanny from Mrs. Doubtfire, I  figured I’d make an attempt at commemorating Robin Williams: The Comic. So here are the clips that showcase his talent not as an oscar winning actor but as a comedian and one of the funniest men who ever lived. Enjoy.

Below is a set from Robin’s early stand-up career. It’s difficult to describe, it’s manic & bombastic. He bounces around like a pinball, riffing off the audience and then retreats back into his mind only to retrieve another bit more surreal than the last. It’s raw and in some places dark. If I were forced to label his style I’d say it’s Jim Carey meets Richard Pryor.

Speaking of Richard Pryor. Here is Williams roasting him in that same year:

His full show, live at the Roxy. It’s crazy, it’s controversial, it’s experimental: 

His first appearance on The Tonight Show. A crowning moment for any American stand-up. Williams’ first appearance on the show is a thing of legend amongst comedy fans: 

In 2002, one of his amazing Parkinson interviews, where Parky was lucky to get a question in: 

Weapons of self destruction. Some of his best work. Williams tackles society’s issues and his own in his trademark style:

And finally, this is my favourite clip of Robin. It’s from the Critic’s Choice Awards 2003. For the first time ever the best actor award was a tie. It was shared between Daniel Day Lewis for Gangs of New York and Jack Nicholson for About Schmidt. The problem was, there were only three actors nominated. The other actor being Robin for One Hour Photo. Nicholson asks Williams on stage and what ensues is complete hilarity. He brings the house down in some of the funniest improv I’ve ever seen. 

Rest In Peace Robin Williams. You’ll be sadly missed, but happily remembered.

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Thanks for visiting our site! We are a Kerry based comedy troupe founded by Bernard Casey & Anthony Riordan. If you are thinking of booking us for a Stand-Up comedy night in your bar/club/hotel, take a look at Our Videos Page to see some of our work and feel free to Contact Us for a quotation. We provide a great nights entertainment for your venue and a novel alternative to the traditional music or quiz nights. We are also available for MC so shoot us an e-mail or give us a ring!