July 17, 2002


STANDING UP FOR ROBIN: I watched Robin Williams' "Live On Broadway" special on HBO on Sunday, and while it wasn't the best of what I've heard of the man, it still beat watching most of his recent movies. Williams practically invented the HBO comedy special with his classic 1986 show "Robin Williams at the Met," though the form was later refined by George Carlin and perfected by Chris Rock. Sunday's show can't be talked about in the same breath as the '86 routine or even Rock and Carlin's recent specials on the network, but it was still a laugh-a-minute affair and for that Williams deserves credit.
The return of Williams' 5-jokes-per-second style was welcome, as was the material he covered, bouncing back and forth among Bush jokes, Osama jokes, drinking jokes, and sex jokes- the best of which was his closing bit in which he simulated cunnilingus on his legendarily hairy arm. Williams maintained his fixation on making fun of Southern people (making at least four separate "Deliverance" references throughout), and made at least two jokes about Michael Jackson that I myself made last week (though since they're so obvious, I'll let him slide). And finally, Robin drank about 25 water bottles over the course of the evening, recalling his great line from the '86 special: "Little sip of Perrier here- I had to stop drinking alcohol 'cause I used to wake up nude under the hood of my car with my keys in my ass."
So I rate the show a B. Not his best work, but not "Death to Smoochy" either.

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 17, 2002 12:30 AM
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