There’s no need to list Robin Williams’ lengthy and impressive resumé of television shows, films, and stand-up comedy specials. The living comedy legend, famous for his wild, high energy stream of consciousness stand-up routines did an AMA on Reddit yesterday to promote the series premiere of his triumphant return to network television in The Crazy Ones. The CBS sitcom follows Williams as Simon Roberts, an executive at a prestigious Chicago advertising agency who works with his tightly-wound daughter, Sydney (Gellar). The show marks Williams’ first leading role on television since his days on Mork and Mindy 32 years ago.
The Ask Me Anything forum was a stream of excitement similar to his live stand-up act. Threads had sub-threads which had sub-threads within sub-threads. There were over 9,000 comments from ecstatic fans eager to learn more about the star. I culled together some of the best stories he shared yesterday for you to easily digest. See the (very) full AMA thread here!
Mrs. Doubtfire’s kinky secret
Redditors learned that Robin Williams is one hell of a fun guy to shoot a movie with because he will always have a story for you. One time, while shooting Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams walked into a sex shop in San Francisco and tried to buy a double-headed dildo in full make-up. Why? He goes on to share, “Why not? And the guy was about to sell it to me until he realized it was me – Robin Williams – not an older Scottish woman coming in to look for a very large dildo and a jar of lube. He just laughed and said, ‘What are you doing here?’, and I left.” For any fans hoping for a sequel over 20 years later, there is a ‘maybe’ still out there. “Mrs. Doubtfire 2 will happen if they could ever crack the script, to come up with a really interesting idea for her to come back! So far, it hasn’t worked.”
He pranked Steven Spielberg during Schindler’s List
WDuring the filming of Schindler’s List, he prank-called Steven Spielberg once or twice. “I called him when I was representing People for the Valdheimers Association. A society devoted to helping raise money to help older Germans who had forgotten everything before 1945,” he reminisces. “I remember him laughing and going, ‘Thank you.’”
Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve were the best of friends
Williams and Reeve were roommates at Julliard and became lifelong friends. Williams became a dedicated pal after the tragic horseriding accident that ended the Superman actor’s career. He was always there for him and even paid for medical bills that Reeve’s insurance would not cover. “He was an amazing friend…went through to him being the godfather of my son Zachary and even till the end.” He recalls his best memory of his college chum: “Him being such a great friend to me at Julliard, literally feeding me because I don’t think I literally had money for food…and he would share his food with me. And then later after the accident, just seeing him beaming and just, seeing what he meant to so many people.” For more on their friendship, check out this imgur album.
Jack Nicholson confuses you into fear
Williams informed us that Jack Nicholson is his favorite celebrity impression to do but that the As Good As It Gets actor can be an intense dude. “He once was with me at a benefit and leaned over and said, ‘Even oysters have enemies,’ in a very intense voice. I responded with, ‘Increase your dosage.’ He says things that even Buddha goes, ‘…what did that mean?’”
Each role truly changes his outlook on life
u/CassaSwack asked, “I wept like an emotionally disturbed infant when I watched What Dreams May Come. What was the most valuable thing you learned about your acting from that movie/what criticism stuck with you the most afterwards?” He shared: “That every moment in life is precious? That the gifts of your relationships with others, don’t miss it. That was one of the hardest movies I think I ever did in my whole career.” That a stand-up comic has been able to bring such depth to comedic roles and such levity to serious performances is the reason why Robin Williams will go down as one of the greats, albeit, one of the whackier ones.
The Genie? That was all-Robin
His Oscar award-winning vocal performance as the energetic Genie in Aladdin was written specifically for the comedian. Although a stern script was presented to him, he improvised nearly the entire character. “I was just doing the scripted lines and I asked, ‘Do you mind if I try something?’ and then 18 hours of recording later, they had the Genie. I just started playing, and they said, ‘Just go with it, go with it, go with it.’ So I improvised the character. I think that in the end, there were something like 40 different voices that I did for that role.”
Lots more was shared in his AMA, where he had over 200 questions in the first 5 minutes and ended up receiving thousands by the end of the hour. Comedy nerds will be pleased to hear that his favorite person to work with as a director was none other than friend Bobcat Goldthwait on World’s Greatest Dad. And who would he love to work with one day? “I’d love to do a movie with Patton Oswalt,” he confessed. “Just because I think he’s such a gifted stand-up but also a really, really great actor.” But anyone hoping to see Williams behind the camera himself shouldn’t hold their breath. In a the shortest answer of the entire day, when asked if he wants to direct a feature fim, the comedy legend simply wrote, “No.”
Be sure to check out the series premiere of his new show, The Crazy Ones, tonight on CBS at 9:00pm EST.