Monday, January 28, 2013

Robin Williams Review (and more)

When I got the e-mail a couple weeks back asking if I wanted to do the stage intro for Robin Williams at DPAC, that was an easy "yes".  What happened this past Saturday night turned out to be so much more.

At 7:35pm, I was escorted to the backstage area where I waited for instructions.  As I was talking to Emily Dahl from DPAC marketing about the previous night's Whoopi Goldberg show, we hear "Whoopi was here last night??" and the next thing we know Robin Williams is there talking with us about Whoopi and telling stories (already completely surreal).

Then, David Steinberg pops out of his dressing room, introduces himself to me, and invites me into the room where we review a stage intro script for me.  Steinberg was one of the biggest comedians of his generation, appearing on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" more than any other guest.  He recognized that most of the audience wouldn't know who he was, so my job was to let them know some of his accolades and then introduce a short film about Robin's career. While we're in the dressing room, Steinberg and I discussed his extensive writing and directing work on "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm", two of my all-time favorite shows.  I found out he was the one who introduced Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld.

When it came time to do the stage intro, I was comfortable enough with the script to ad-lib a bit and the audience seemed genuinely impressed by Steinberg's career.  As I walked off stage, there is Steinberg to shake my hand and Robin Williams is jumping up and down, cheering my intro.  "Great job, bossman!", he says.  Is this really happening?

The show itself was amazing.  Although it was a "sit down" format, it was like stand-up comedy in a storytelling format.  Robin told tales of high school, "Mork and Mindy", how he had a hard time getting work after "Popeye", breaking Robert DeNiro's nose during the filming of "Awakenings", and on and on - all the while with the comedic timing and ad-libbing that is his genius.  Steinberg was also tremendous, as he told tales of Johnny Carson, Groucho Marx (he looks pretty darn good for a guy who knew Groucho Marx!!!), and how he got the Smothers Brothers fired from TV.

All in all, an extraordinary evening for all and personally one of the most rewarding (and surreal) nights of my life.

Radio 96.1

No comments: