What is there left to say about the passing of Robin Williams that has not been Google searched already?
While the two most mentioned bits of video in the wake of the comedian’s death August 11 were his 2001 Inside the Actor’s Studio appearance (voted by viewers as the series favorite) and a 2010 podcast conversation with Mark Maron (taped at the comedian’s home in San Francisco), we’d like to gift you on this Christmas Eve with the following bit of October 19, 1991 Tonight Show hagiography:
Taped not long before Carson retired, the episode had Williams hanging out on the couch with his muse Jonathan Winters. Winters, in a soldier’s uniform, had earlier that year won his one and only Primetime Emmy Award (for Davis Rules).
Carson passed away in 2005; Winters in 2013; and Williams, this summer. In her recent look at the major celebrity deaths of 2014, Huffington Post blogger Pat Gallagher led off with a Winters memory. The journalist, who has covered the entertainment beat for many years for People, Us Weekly and others, has called Winters one of her favorite interviews:
Jonathan Winters was not afraid to die. I know this because he told me so. His sense of humor was alive and well in 2012 when he decided what he wanted his tombstone to be when his time on this earth was up. “I’d like a marker,” he told me, “maybe back in Dayton – a parking meter that says: ‘Expired.’… And then for a quarter, I’d talk to you.”
And when Gallagher got to Williams in her December 15 piece “Quotes From Post 50 Celebrities We Lost in 2014,” she felt Williams deserved four quotes, not just one, including:
“Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘Your table is ready.'”
Or in this case, a table set with places for Winters, Williams and Carson. In the immediate wake of Williams’ death, CNN’s Michael Martinez posted a nice piece highlighting just how much Winters meant to Williams. Martinez linked to Williams posthumous tribute to Winters published in The New York Times.
The idea that Winters and Williams are back together, improvising up a storm, makes the Williams loss a little bit easier to bear.