From Time Life, the re-creator for generations who thought their favorite shows and music were gone, is the ultimate heart stealer for me with the DVD Collection ROBIN WILLIAMS: Comic Genius.
Born in Chicago (which should have early on given me some clue for my admiration – Go Cubs!), he would be transplanted in his teens to Marine County, California. Choosing acting over anything else, he received a full scholarship to Juilliard in New York City.
Williams’s career began on the West Coast. Starting in San Francisco to Los Angeles, he hit the club circuit. Taking on twists and turns, in 1977 HBO would came calling to air one of his stand-up performances.
But, it is in 1978 that a character known as Mork would invade an episode of the Garry Marshall television hit Happy Days. From that performance, the series Mork & Mindy starring Robin Williams and Pam Dawber was born. Set in Boulder, Colorado, Mork from Ork lands on our planet in an egg and what follows is a hatching of pure genius. Williams had the chance to be what ever he wanted to be and his face graced the cover of Time Magazine followed by Rolling Stones magazine.
HBO once again came calling which led to five comedy specials starting with 1978’s Off the Wall, in 1983 An Evening with Robin Williams and finally in 1986 Robin Williams: Live at the Met, Live on Broadway in 2002 and finally Weapons of Self Destruction in 2009. All five of these specials are still played in my home because nothing changes a mood quicker than when HBO allowed Williams to just be – well – Robin Williams.
His call to the screen was the next step and in 1982 he absolutely stunned me in the film THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP but it was in 1987 when GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM hit the screen that once again Williams sky rocketed. Using his wit and ability to create the voices of memorable characters, he cemented his career as a comedian.
But there was one character he excelled at with heart and soul and that is dramatic roles. Starting in 1997 with GOOD WILL HUNTING and 1990’s AWAKENINGS, it was the tragic and soul crushing role in the 1998 film WHAT DREAMS MAY COME that tore me apart.
Off the big screen and small, Williams teamed up with friends Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal and brought Comic Relief USA to HBO raising $80 million dollars to help anyone in need. He also worked with the USO to bring laughs to over 100,000 troops and they, to this day, have not forgotten that.
Time Life is making sure that we don’t and in such a stunning and beautiful way! ROBIN WILLIAMS: Comic Genius is a 22-disc collection that brings us all through the years and reasons Williams is a beloved and iconic genius.
In the box set are all five HBO stand up specials, Never-before-seen released concert specials, including Robin’s full MGM Grand Garden stand-up from 2007 and the Montreal stop on his last tour, a conversation on stage between Williams and comedian David Steinberg, Memorable talk show and late night TV appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Graham Norton Show, Saturday Night Live and more.
There are rare, never-before-seen clips including early stand-up, raw footage from HBO’s promo shoots, a hilarious toast to Richard Pryor by Robin as Mrs. Doubtfire, Brand new interviews with close friends and family including Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Eric Idle, David Steinberg, Lewis Black and son Zack Williams.
There are eleven hilarious episodes of Mork & Mindy including the two-part pilot, James Lipton’s Emmy Award-nominated 90-minute interview with Robin on Inside the Actors Studio including deleted scenes which are the best! A comprehensive collection of Robin’s USO shows around the world, original and newly created bonus features including a behind-the-scenes footage, local highlights from tour stops, promos and more.
Featurettes including The Early Years, San Francisco: Where It All Started, Comic Genius and TV’s Best Guest. Critically acclaimed 2018 HBO documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind from Emmy-winning director Marina Zenovich and Oscar-winning producer Alex Gibney.
Finally, Robin Williams: Uncensored which is a collectible 24-page, full-color memory book featuring rare, archival photos from award-winning photographer Arthur Grace, reminiscences from friends and colleagues, Robin’s personal tour notes and so very much more.
Time Life continues to bring never before released anywhere classic collections of television shows for fans to revisit and remember what has made television so special. Time Life has released Mama’s Family, CPO Sharkey and The Tonight Show and they now reminds of us of a time when sex and politics were up for grabs with ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.
This collection brings every emotion possible and that isn’t an exaggeration. Calling this collection Comic Genius is perfection and well deserved by Robin Williams. On stage and screen he had the whole world laughing (and with Mork probably the whole universe!) His unique comedic timing was fueled by the laughter from the audience, the more outrageous the farther he would go.
Twenty-two discs and over fifty hours of Williams will light us all up once again and let us experience the laughs again and again. That is why we have home entertainment libraries, so we can, at any time, pull off the shelf a beloved comedian that continues to be a laughing light. This family happens to be a Williams fan from the very beginning and his comedy specials have never stopped bringing us laughs and even catching ourselves repeating his lines a time or two in our lives.
That is what makes Williams iconic and beloved and those two words seem to be not enough. Passing in 2014, it did not bring his comedy to a stop but instead continues to allow us to remember who he was and all that he gave through stand-up, television, the big screen and all his personal endeavors to make the world a happier place.
Each DVD cover inside the very cool collector’s box shows us all Williams’ silly side as if to tease about what is inside and to join him in the ride. I, personally, would never turn down the request of a Comic Genius!
In the end – it’s all about the na-nu-na-nu!