In 2010, I stood in an alley outside of the Throckmorton Theater, with Robin Williams and two other comedians. An old beat up car pulled into the alley and Robin Williams started making funny little comments about what the driver was doing. The man got out of his car, dug around in a bank dumpster, hopped back in the car and drove past us. He rolled down his window, gave us the finger, and screamed – ‘STAND UP COMEDY IS CRAP! ANYTHING AFTER LENNY BRUCE IS BULLSH&T!!!’ We were all kinda stunned and speechless, and after a few awkwardly silent moments, RW said…’four professional comedians, and not one of us had a comeback.’ We all laughed, and THAT was the day Robin Williams called ME a professional comedian.
The next time that I met him at the Throckmorton, three years later, he actually started telling that very story. I was able to interject and correct him on a few things and fill in some details, assuring him, that I had it covered, as I had told the story a thousand times!
In my two brief interactions with him, he was so kind and so gracious. He didn’t hold court in the green room, even though we all wanted him to. He listened and asked questions and talked about non-famous comics from the area that he knew and performed with 20+ years ago. Meeting him for the first time was genuinely one of the greatest nights of my life, meeting him for the second time was one of life’s amazing added bonuses. A million thank you’s to Mark Pitta and the 142 Throckmorton Theatre for giving so many comedians the opportunity to perform in such a special space with such a magical man. My heart goes out to all of us that are mourning, but I can’t begin to comprehend the sadness of those who really knew him.