Robin Williams always seemed like the most eccentric comedian to be around. He was notable not just for his fast-paced stand-up comedy but his over-the-top performances.
Williams appeared in many films and had a string of big pictures in the 1990s. He’d start with dramas like Awakenings (1990) and dabble in children’s movies like Hook (1991). More films would follow, like Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire.
In 1991, Robin Williams stopped by The Tonight Show. Johnny Carson interviewed him and seemed to have a blast. After a hilarious bit, Carson tries to ask some questions.
Carson probes into how Williams feels about being in dramas instead of comedies. After all, Williams is known for his silliness that never seems to stop. Carson asks if Williams ever feels like finding a laugh in serious scenes.
Williams then speaks about working with an actor like Robert DeNiro. The two actors had appeared in last year’s Awakenings together. The film featured Williams playing a doctor and DeNiro playing his patient.
As Williams describes DeNiro, this actor was a whole other style. The audience laughs at the contrast.
Williams plays up this contrast. He remarks by quoting Nostradamus: ‘When they meet, it will be the end.’
Williams reiterates the differences between himself and DeNiro. He plays how Robert would be relatively quiet if Williams couldn’t hear him.
Williams then mentions that he’s afraid he would look at DeNiro incorrectly. He plays up a scenario in which he’d approach Robert.
‘Hey, Bob,’ shouts Williams. He then playfully plays up being punched in the face. The audience laughs along with the bit. Williams then continues with his story of dealing with serious actors.
The film Robin is talking about, Awakenings, turned out to be a big hit. It was nominated for numerous awards. One of those awards was the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Williams and DeNiro would win the National Board of Review award for Best Actor. The two actors would continue onward with many films. Both actors pursued projects both silly and dramatic.
Williams, however, tended to lean more towards comedy. The comedian had a knack for finding the funny in just about anything.