Craig Glazer Remembers Robin Williams
TKC NOTE: Here's our pal and media impresario Craig Glazer remembering the passing of an American comedy icon who spent some time in Kansas City as well . . .
Robin Williams Helped Make Stanford's A National Attraction
Arguably the biggest name in modern comedy history took his life yesterday, Robin Williams. He ranks up there with Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Tom Hanks as the biggest and best of our time. Williams has the bigger career with an Academy Award and tons of stand up awards. Hanks was never really a stand up. Pryor did some great film work but not at the level Williams did and George was more a great stand up with few film credits. So Williams is the 'Bob Hope' of our time I suppose. I knew him, liked him and he helped make our club in Westport a household name in KC and a comedy club nationwide with names that counted.
My partner, Don Woodbeck and I were in LA in 1981 to sell our movie Outlaws. Woodbeck would later be killed in 1982. We met Robin in the lunchroom of Universal Studios. He invited us to see his stand up that night at the Improv on Melrose. We went. It was an open mic night, few people there. Robin had just left Mork and Mindy his hit TV show. Robin had just done the film Popeye, which did not do so well, so he was hurting inside at the time.
These were THE days of white powder, Hollywood and party time. So almost all the big name stars were using the white powder. Robin was no exception and he had issues with it and booze his entire adult life. But hey he was a good guy and the most talented comic of our time in so many ways. I liked the man.
Robin wanted to work at a club in KC before he did his big theater show. He asked me to to Stanfords. He worked for free on a weeknight. At that time in 81 he was the biggest comedy star to take a stage in our city in that small a venue. He called my brother Jeff and said he was going to be there and work for free. Jeff hung up on him thinking it was one of my pals impersonating Williams on the phone. Robin came in, worked an hour for free on a weekday night. The line was out the door down the street when word got out. Hey we raised the tix from 2 bucks to 4 bucks, boy were we smart.
The trades in LA ran a story about Williams doing Stanfords and after that night every big star called and wanted to work our club. JJ Walker, Gabe Kaplan all the big names from that time. Robin Williams put us on the map.
His best pal was and is Bobcat Goldthwait. Bobcat was best man at Williams last wedding. We talk often of Robin. Bobcat loves him to death. So sad for Bobcat. Sad for us all we lost a great one. We will all miss this massive talent and nice, nice man.