"Words and ideas can change the world" ... Happy birthday, Robin Williams
Remember when Robin Williams used to make really great films? Think back. No, no. Keep going.
The '80s, you say? Good guess! (And the early 90s, I'll admit.) Let me throw this out there: Is Robin Williams the funniest AND most talented actor/comedian of the last 30 years?
If there's a curse associated with Williams, it's this: Back in the early 80s, Robin was the headliner at the University of Florida's "Gator Growl," a homecoming celebration hosted in the football stadium and the world's largest student-run pep rally. His "Mr. Happy" comedy routine, however, infuriated the older alumni in attendance, who forced the students to start booking more family-friendly acts. So who headlined Gator Growl when I arrived a few years later for my freshman year?
The Smothers Brothers. Thanks, Robin. Thanks.
Williams turns 59 years old today, and while his film career has been handicapped by a series of strictly "B" flicks, he is still a can't-miss attraction on the stand-up circuit. (Click here to see some of his "Live at the Met" performance, but beware of adult language. Or "Gator Growl" residual language, as I call it.)
TOP 5 ROBIN WILLIAMS MOVIES OF THE 80s:
5. CLUB PARADISE (1986): "I got a little paranoid and thought people were out to get me. Now I know, they are."
4. THE BEST OF TIMES (1986): "Mr. Weasel's here."
3. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP (1982): "Honey, the chances of another plane hitting this house are astronomical. It's been pre-disastered. We're going to be safe here."
2. MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON (1984): "Excuse me, I a... happy to talk to you, but I must now to make toilet."
1. DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989): "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
[Reprinted from Stuck in the '80s in 2008]