The copyright owners have come forward and asked us to stop releasing the interviews. We're truly sorry we're no longer able to offer the interviews.
Below you can find information about all the people who have visited him on his show
Robin says he is naked in the studio with actress/director/writer Bonnie Hunt (The Green Mile, Jumanji, Jerry Maguire). A couple of creative minds are given free reign to get down about intimate sound effects, lament the case of puppies born out of wedlock, and regard the crucial role of leopard underwear in any marriage. Hear about the German shepherd babysitter and an unexpected visit with Sammy Davis, Jr. All of this, mind you, is done with both Chicago native bouncing in and out of distinctive Windy City accents. Furthermore they talk about the Born Again Virgins Foundation, how to get kicked out of a Catholic girls' school, and the entertainment value in corrupting children. Hunt reveals a talented singing voice, a penchant for Dean Martin, and her own Sammy Davis, Jr. impersonation. The costars of Jumanji discuss how that movie could have been better, and Hunt describes her upcoming film, Anniversary (you'll laugh, you'll cry, it will change your life). Plus, "beautiful" versus "bootiful," the "rodeo dial" phone as a marker on the technology timeline, and why Hunt seems to see Mickey Rourke everywhere.
This is definitely the most hilarious RW Audible interview out there!
During the "interview" we learn a bit about Bonnie when she was a trauma nurse and we learn about how and where she grew up. We also get to know what Bonnie used as Barbie doll matrasses. Now that really is a topic you must not start when Robin is in the roomReally, this interview had us rolling on the floor from laughter!
It's been 15 years since Robin Williams and Barry Levinson worked together on Good Morning, Vietnam and now the two sit down to talk politics and secrecy. Barry Levinson has won and been nominated for multiple Academy Awards as writer, director and producer of some of the most popular films of the last two decades, including Diner, The Natural, Rain Man, Tin Man, Bugsy, Avalon, and Wag the Dog. He's also a "card-carrying member" of the ACLU. Robin and Barry wonder whether Miss Cleo is really the heart of CIA "intelligence" and why the press is going so easy on the Bush administration's crack down on civil liberties.
Later the conversation shifts to movies and the way the mechanics of Hollywood keep things in place. Barry talks about his earliest film influences - The 10 Commandments and On the Waterfront for starters - and that moment when he wondered how movies are made.
It's politics from the start when actor Peter Coyote gets in the studio with Robin Williams. Coyote is perhaps best known for his roles in ET, Outrageous Fortune, Jagged Edge, and Crooked Hearts. He also played in Patch Adams. But, before beginning his acting career at age 39, Coyote was a Bay Area counter-culture denizen, and his formative experiences protesting Vietnam deeply inform his current political views. Robin has recently returned from visiting the troops in Afghanistan and that gives Peter and Robin a perfect entre to talk about the Bush administration and the problems with politics today.
Robin and Peter talk about why Gore lost, why Lieberman appeals to conservatives, and why campaign finance reform is the only way to bring the government back to the people. They even try to get to the heart of an age-old question: Is George W. Bush smart? You'll laugh, you'll cry and you may end up writing a letter to your congressperson.
Comedian, singer, and painter Martin Mull discusses art school, unfulfilled desires, and the best way to handle a heckler when he sits down with Robin. Mull may be best known for his TV and movie roles, such as Roseanne, My Bodyguard, FM, Rented Lips, or The History of White People in America, but did you know he has an MFA degree, loves pole vaulting and some of the seven dwarves?
Furthermore Martin explains how he was able to pull off the impossible and come back as his dead character's brother in Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, why playing Roseanne's gay boss was a great opportunity, and why, if you are a TV actor, there's a good chance people will confuse you with the plumber. Also, some life advice from two wise comedians who really have tried it all: live in New Zealand, don't get married and don't have children. But, of course, what would be the fun in that?
You've seen Robin riding in the front car of the Tour de France and publicly defending his good friend and four-time Tour de France winner Lance Amstrong against charges of drug use. Their topics range from cycling to parenting to respecting the European sensibilities, and why perseverance cannot be underestimated. Also, Lance surprises Robin with a story about his youngest son.
Robin's in the studio with music producer Peter Asher. As a producer, Asher's worked with Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt, but his fame started at an early age. In 1952, at age 8, Asher appeared as Claudette Colbert's son in The Planter's Wife. Later, he was one half of the musical duo Peter and Gordon, whose biggest hit, "World Without Love," was written for them by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Asher talks about playing the local pub for a free lunch and touring the U.S. with Wilson Pickett during the early '60s. Peter's father, Dr. Richard Asher, was a psychiatrist who identified and named Munchausen's syndrome. His mother, Margaret Augusta Eliot, was a professional oboe player and his sister, Jane Asher, is an actress, ex-fiancee of Sir Paul McCartney, and is now famous as the Martha Stewart of England.
When Asher's group, Peter and Gordon, stopped touring in 1968, Asher started producing albums and became the A&R department at Apple records - along with all the high times that followed. The first album Asher produced was a solo record with Paul Jones, the lead singer with Manfred Mann. Then, he signed James Taylor to Apple Records and learned how to manage artists as well. Linda Ronstadt singed on and Asher reminisces about Ronstadt's Nelson Riddle days (and her George Lucas days too). Asher reflects on how Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Cher, Diana Ross and many others do their work.
It's a mix of giggles and serious talk as Robin's joined in the studio by the charming and unquestionably sexy Academy Award nominee, Sharon Stone. Sharon and Robin reminisce about childhood pets - furry, bouncy bunnies who met untimely ends, show tune singing dogs who also met untimely ends, and growing to love the "lumpy, honey" smells of wet cats. Then the talk turns to Sharon's two-year-old, Roan Joseph, and his obsession with Winnie the Pooh, and why neither politics nor religion are likely to be Sharon's bag anytime soon.
Robin and Sharon also talk about the peculiar appetites of certain Komodo dragons. Then, it's a talk of dancing with James Brown and the manners of Sharon's two colorful cats - Miss Davis and Boxer. And, on a much more serious topic, Sharon talks about the things she remembers of the white light she saw when she nearly died last year from a brain aneurysm, the legacy of a childhood scar.
Robin's in the studio with Mark Romanek, the director of Robin's new movie, One Hour Photo. Mark has an extensive history directing music videos, including working with Madonna, Macy Gray, and REM. Mark and Robin talk about music, state-of-the-art production, and the pleasure of photography. They also share notes on the ways new technology can widen the generation gap by the hour, whether it's instant messaging or video games.
They'll also talk about photographs, movies, life in general, and keeping it real. Robin and Mark talk about the difference between still photography and video, and digital versus film. Robin does his best Yoda-stein and talks about what you learn when you delve into playing bad guys.
Robin and his old friend Jeff Bridges will share some of the funniest Hollywood stories this side of the Santa Monica Pier. Jeff and Robin compare notes on working with Terry Gilliam, Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert DeNiro, as well as the trials of creating realistic fight scenes (even with your own brother) and working with heavy duty tech films, a la Tron. Plus, learn fun facts about Jeff Bridges, such as his interest in ceramics and his cool website, www.jeffbridges.com.
Robin and Jeff Bridges continue talking about how Jeff put together his album, "Be Here Now" and the challenges of independent distribution. Then, Jeff talks about his latest project, a movie called "Masked and Anonymous" with Bob Dylan, Penelope Cruz, John Goodman, and Jessica Lange. Jeff Bridges talks about his work with "The End Hunger Network" (which he founded nearly 20 years ago), how much he enjoyed working on "The Contender", and how his dad's love of acting influenced him.
Robin Williams welcomes Rod Steiger - and they're in Las Vegas, or as Steiger calls it, "The Citadel of Lost Hope." Steiger talks about growing up in Newark and the troubles of adjusting to life on the beach in Malibu. Also, he warns Robin to "not get funny on me" because "I can't keep up" but goes on to regale Robin with his WWII services stories, including building torpedoes and getting the clap. Also, meeting Isaac Stern, trying to remember your lines while suffering from depression, and what it was like inside The Actor's Studio. Steiger got his first breaks in 1950s New York area television productions. His first big splash in Hollywood and the world came with his depiction of Charley Malloy in On the Waterfront in 1954, for which he receive an Oscar nomination. Since then, he has collaborated with such legends as Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, James Mason, Samuel Fuller, Sidney Lumet, Sergio Leone, Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, Norman Jewison, Sidney Lumet and Claire Bloom, to whom he was married for about ten years.
Steiger, 77, started working on both TV and in the movies in his mid-20s. In 1964, Steiger was nominated for Best Actor for what he says was one of his favorite roles, as Sol Nazerman in The Pawnbroker. Steiger tells Robin that The Pawnbroker brought him to some of his greatest moments of inspiration and some of his most embarrassing professional moments. In 1967, Steiger won an Oscar for his role as Sheriff Bill Gillespie in In the Heat of the Night. Steiger shares his acting tips with Robin and discloses his devotion to The Little Prince in this warm and insightful discussion.
Robin welcomes comedian Michael Pritchard, who simultaneously held the titles of San Francisco International Comedy Competition Champion and California Probation Officer of the Year, provides plenty of, uh, unrelated topics, complete with his impersonations, for these two comic masters to riff on. Robin and Mike envision a new interactive gun show site for the NRA, welcome an empty nest as Mike's 17-year-old son (and his friends) get ready to leave the Pritchard home, take a guess at what's first on the hit list when the mafia from another planet makes demands, and offer safety tips they've learned around the house. Then, imagining Jesus's day-to-day domestic squabbles. Tune in and sit back for a very funny improv session between two old friends.
The second installment of the Star Wars prequel, Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, hits theaters on May 16, 2002 and all eyes are on George Lucas. But, while the world is wondering if Episode II will live up to the hype, Lucas is worried that American children aren't getting the education they deserve. He and Robin talk about the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which creates media - films, books, newsletters and a website - to promote success stories in education and the use of technology.
Lucas grew up in the small town of Modesto, California, and attended the University of Southern California film school. As a storyteller, visionary, and innovator, his imagination reached into the galaxy with the phenomenally successful Star Wars saga. He is also the creator of the successful Indiana Jones series and the TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicals. In 1992, George Lucas was the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Award, the highest award a film producer can receive from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In addition to behind-the-scenes stories from one of the top five tennis players in the world, Robin and Andre share stories of changing diapers and sleepless nights. Andre and his wife, former tennis champion Steffi Graf, became the proud parents of a baby boy named Jaden Gil in October 2001.
Robin and Andre wax philosophical about the joys of domesticity. When's he not at home or touring Australia, Agassi's fame and fortune are being put to good use with his philanthropic activities. He's involved with a charter school in Las Vegas which gives Robin pause - charitable transactions in Vegas can be (and usually are) conducted exclusively in casino chips. Agassi's also been playing a bit of doubles recently with Bill Gates against Pete Sampras and Jeff Bezos. What do you say when Bill Gates misses a shot? Agassi quips, "It's not your fault, I blame the government." Recently, Robin acquired one of the much talked-about Segway Human Transporters. Robin says this hyper-modern scooter is a combination of skateboard and old person's walker. Reaching speeds of up to 18 miles/hour, the Segway's inventor, Dean Kamen, has grand plans for the Segway's eventual home on the streets (or would it be sidewalks?) of New York City. Robin's not so sure New Yorkers are ready to really see each other in this new, less protected and non-horn based environment.
Robin Williams talks with Phil Bronstein, senior vice president and executive editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, one-time foreign correspondent, husband of Sharon Stone, and former Komodo dragon appetizer. As a reporter, Bronstein specialized in investigative projects. He won awards for his coverage of the Philippines from the Overseas Press Club, Associated Press, the World Affairs Council and the Media Alliance. He was a 1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work in the Philippines and went on to cover conflicts in other parts of Southeast Asia, El Salvador, Peru, and the Middle East. Bronstein and Robin talk about sending Hunter S. Thompson to cover Gary Condit's re-election; being seduced by Imelda Marcos' shoe collection and being served cat meat in the Philippines; listening to LBJ's taped conversations with Jackie O., and more.
Robin Williams and newspaper man Phil Bronstein cover a lot of ground, which they suggest might be better called Crackpots Corner. In fact, Bronstein wonders if Crackpots Corner is a good name for the new op-ed page in his newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle. For example, a recent letter arrived from a man claiming to be both the creator of the theory of light and the lawyer for Osama bin Laden, with copies sent to President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Tom Brokaw. Then, it's on to lesser-known daytime TV choices, like Moral Court and the yet-to-be-created You're Stupid. Then, while they're on the subject of TV, foreign bureau chiefs, and Radioman, Bronstein wonders what kind of news editor Robin Williams might make. Would Robin be able to say enough is enough? Inquiring minds may never know.
In Inside the Actor's Studio, hosted by James Lipton, Robin talks about his early childhood through his early career in television playing "Mork" (on Mork and Mindy). Robin was born in the Midwest but attended high school in Marin County, California, where his classmates voted him the funniest person in class, but ironically, also the least likely to succeed. Robin talks about his parents' affection, the art of being silly, and why being a mime in New York City just won't get you out of the box (or the wind for that matter).
Then Robin talks about some of his early films - Popeye, Moscow on the Hudson - and his groundbreaking 1986 solo comedy show at the Metropolitan Opera House. James Lipton asks Robin if his comedic timing and overall zaniness is a genetic trait or a learned trait. Robin answers in his usual hilarious, non-linear way. Robin also talks about the experience of watching his children grow up and become funny themselves. Robin also talks about some of his later movies, such as Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Awakenings, and Aladdin.
Robin Williams also talks about some of his best-known roles. He explains why Mrs. Doubtfire had a Scottish accent, why his breasts were like beanbags, and how Robin's personal life informed that role. He talks about starring with Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, a role that he almost turned down. Robin talks about entertaining the troops while shooting Good Will Hunting, and the mixture of horror, surprise, and delight of winning an Academy Award for his role as psychiatrist Sean Maguire. Robin passes with flying colors host James Lipton's rapid-fire questions about his preferences. Then, Robin answers questions from the audience about his creative process.
RWF Review Some of you have seen the show on Bravo...if so, you know how energinic Robin was during the interview. The audio version is almost the same, except they cut out the parts in which they show some movie clips and the scenes in which Robin was doing only mimics. BUT they also added several parts, like the questions about The Fisher King and Aladdin. So if you're unable to watch the show, this is a very, very good alternative!
This interview is for Video game fans! Bing Gordon, Chief Creative Director and co-founder of Electronic Arts, sat down with Robin to talk about the evolution of video games from the view of one of the pioneer companies in the field. Bing Gordon started with Electronic Arts back in 1982 - think back to playing games on the Atari 800, getting hooked on John Madden Football for the Apple II, playing on your old Commodore 64, or even the much-loved but short-lived Amiga. Electronic Arts was behind it all. Robin was a big fan of John Madden Football and wonders what would happen if Stephen Hawking and John Madden met on the field - "A Brief History of Time-Outs," perhaps? Also, Bing Gordon and Robin weigh in on the current game systems from Sony, Microsoft and Ninetendo and the growing concerns about violence in video games.
In addition to his other accomplishments, Robin Williams plays video games. Bing Gordon talks about recent trends in video gaming - from the dollhouse-like environment of The Sims to games like Diablo where players are motivated by assets acquired during play, to the multi-player Ultima Online and the hyper realism of games like Majestic. Bing Gordon says the new games prepare people of all ages for the experience of working, living, and communicating in a virtual world. Robin wonders when Gary Condit will become a Sims character - begging the question: How much more life-like can you get?
Academy Award-winning animator John Lasseter tells Robin Williams that, as an animator, there's just no way to get sympathy when you get home from work - it's just too much fun. Lasseter tells Robin how he and fellow Pixar animators came up with the plot of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 and how each of the characters came to be and how they're doing now. Lasseter has been a lover of traditional hand-drawn animation since adolescence. He made his mark in the field as a pioneering director of computer generated animation, helming both the first computer-animated film to win an Oscar - 1988's Tin Toy, which won for Best Achievement in Animated Short Films - and the first computer-animated feature, Toy Story.
John Lasseter gives you an even closer look at the way Pixar makes their subjects seem so real and so darn funny. Lasseter says the Pixar motto is "Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity" and it's the attention to those complex details that make Pixar's movies such as A Bug's Life, Toy Story, and Monsters, Inc. so visually rich. Robin offers his impressions of your favorite box-office candies come to life (Jack Nicholson as a Pez-gun, anyone?), and Lasseter makes everyone feel jealous when he can buy toys on the company account - you know, for research.
Robin Williams sat down with premier political comedian Will Durst to talk about the state of comedy in these post-September 11 days. Will Durst is a bi-partisan smart ass who has built his comedy career on his political observations. He says he reads six newspapers each morning and says his shtick is basically repeating the news, with a touch of editing. As Durst always says, "you can't make this stuff up."
With Robin's assistance, Durst says he's prepared to testify before the House Committee on comedy. Durst has a report on what's still funny in these post-September 11 days, some concerns about Vice President Dick Cheney's undisclosed location, and a couple of questions about former governor Tom Ridge's role as the Head of Homeland Security, all peppered with some Cajun spices. The impersonations abound as Robin riffs on Durst's political observations.
"Whoop-eeeee!" It's all good when Robin Williams welcomes the one and only Whoopi Goldberg to the show. As an actress, writer, director, producer, and humanitarian, Whoopi is equally at home on stage or screen, and just as compelling in an array of genres - drama (an Academy nomination for The Color Purple), science fiction (five seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation), awards shows (two Emmy nods for Oscar hosting), game shows ("center square, please"), and of course comedy - as in Comic Relief with Billy Crystal and Robin.
Robin and Whoopi go way back, farther than either of them care to remember. In part two, they contemplate the not-so-pretty parts of aging, consider what the men do now when the Girl from Ipanema walks by, ponder what stories the Oval Office rug would tell, if rugs (or their DNA) could talk, and praise one of the holiest of comedic grails - the fart joke.
It's an audible love-fest when Robin Williams sits down with fellow Audible Original host and comedian Greg Proops. Proops is best known for his unpredictable appearances on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the hit improvisational comedy series hosted by Drew Carey. He's also currently taping a soon-to-be-released dating show, Rendez View. Proops shares his Moroccan memories of taxis, Roman ruins and open-air markets. Also, Proops reminisces about his former life in England and Proops and Robin share their love for Scottish slang, British fighting, and Highland mating habits.
And, while Proops' idea of roughing it is an unstocked hotel mini-bar, Proops and Robin ponder the outback and sub-Saharan Africa as seen through the lens of CBS' Survivor.
Robin talks with San Francisco-based rocker Huey Lewis. Huey Lewis and the News was one of the most popular rock bands of the mid-'80s, with catchy, power-pop hits like "I Want a New Drug," "Heart of Rock & Roll," "Hip to Be Square," and "The Power of Love." After a 10-year hiatus, the band has just released a new album, Plan B, which is steadily climbing the charts. As the band prepares for a cross-country tour, Huey Lewis and Robin share hilarious memories of European travel experiences with Robin switching accents faster than you can say "I'm happy to be 'Stuck with You.'"
Robin and Huey Lewis do their impressions of the quietly frenzied fans in Bukodan, ponder the inner life of trout caught by amateur fly fishermen, share memories of growing up in Marin County, and talk about when it's okay to stop worrying about ambition. And, for an extra treat, James Brown impressions!
Robin's guest is the inimitable Bob "Bobcat" Goldthwait, the comedian whose signature screaming-n-screeching delivery won him movie roles and instant fame in the 1980s and 90s. He made his debut on Late Night with David Letterman when he was just 20, then skyrocketed into national celebrity with starring roles in the Police Academy movies. His career since then has been diverse, including several successful gigs in voice work (Beavis and Butthead, Disney's Hercules) and a film directorial debut (Shakes the Clown), with promising cult appeal. Among Bobcat's most outrageous acts was his 1994 Tonight Show appearance - in which he set fire to Jay Leno's guest couch.
You probably know Bobcat for his distinctive vocal qualities, his movie and voiceover roles, and his spectacular appearances on television talk shows - just don't mention his name to Jay Leno if you know what's good for you.
Over an award-winning career of almost 30 years, Grace has worked for The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and UPI. He's also published two critically acclaimed photography books, Comedians and Choose Me: Portraits of a Presidential Race. Perhaps most importantly - nudge nudge, wink wink - Grace has photographed Robin extensively...in fact, Grace took all the audible.com shots of Robin! Grace has described his craft thus: "Most photographers...they're not writers and they're not poets. They pick up the camera to communicate." In addition to shooting all the audible.com shots of Robin Williams, celebrity photographer and photojournalist Arthur Grace has shot (photographically, that is) George Bush, Jimmy Carter, Billy Crystal, Matt Damon, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Whoopie Goldberg, Al Gore, Alexander Hague, Gary Hart, Bob Hope, Jesse Jackson, Alan King, Sam Kinison, Richard Lewis, Steve Martin, Jackie Mason, Dan Quayle, Joan Rivers, Lily Tomlin, and Steven Wright, to name a few. His 30-year career makes fabulous fodder for part two of his conversation with Robin!
The premiere guest for Robin's second season @ audible.com was actor/comedian/writer/director and all-around funny guy Billy Crystal. Crystal's latest project, the HBO critically-acclaimed film 61*, told the surprisingly touching story of the 1961 home run race between Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.
Here are some facts from the Betcha-Didn't-Know file on Billy Crystal: as a child, his sometime-babysitter was jazz legend Billie Holiday...he made his film debut as a pregnant man in a 1978 film written by Joan Rivers...and he and Robin have appeared in three movies together, not just one as is commonly thought: they starred together in Father's Day and both had supporting roles in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry. Find out more in this one-of-a-kind conversation.
Robin is on stage in front of a San Francisco audience with prolific author, humorist, and funny family man Calvin Trillin, who's penned 20 books and writes a weekly column for Time and a weekly poem for The Nation. It can be said that Robin and Calvin are the flip sides of one very wacky coin, and they prove it in this conversation, which includes a multi-language rant on "the tic-tac-toe chicken," a dissection of The New York Times wedding announcements, and a debate of the relative merits of Mickey Mouse in France versus the American counterpart. Plus, The Wizard of Oz starring Paula Jones, the requirements that ought to exist for the presidency, a lighthearted rundown of jokes about Hitler, Stalin, and Trotsky, and a definitive answer to the age-old question: Is anything not funny?
Their converstation include topics like bubble-blowing on Venice Beach, a visit to French and Italian talk shows, Trillin's tribulations trying to tell jokes to a Japanese audience, why Los Angeles is funnier than San Francisco and an explanation of English humor. Plus, they discuss why some occupations should not be combined with others, clothing prejudices, Henry Kissinger and Martha Stewart. Finally, Robin and Calvin go head to head on the subject of mimes, answer audience questions, and Robin reveals a serious side.
Robin and comedian Rick Overton are in the studio for some fun and hijinks - complete with sound effects! There's a visit with a cranky yoga instructor, some walk-the-plank versions of pirate adventure, an interview with a blues legend who's seen too much Slingblade, and a laid back take on dog obedience training. Robin auditions a "little person" for the Harry Potter movie, there's a Crocodile Hunter visit to a really wild kingdom, and the Roman Coliseum gets an up-to-date sound system (complete with stadium-style reverb). Plus, Rick scares Robin to the depths of his soul, and someone sounding just like Elmer Fudd shills for "Psychic Cartoon Friends."
(You thought "Kotter" was gonna be somewhere in that sentence, didn't you?) Robin and Rick are pretty far out in left field, as they answer listener email and improvise as they go. Both comedians exercise various accents and give their voices a real workout, as Mrs. Doubtfire gives cooking and parenting advice, the Italian Men's Club has their annual cookout, and Pope John Paul I enjoys his last supper. Plus, the Iron Chef meets the Donner family, and Robin waxes eloquent about Monica Lewinsky in sonorous Shakespearean prose. Only from Robin Williams, and only at Audible!
Hackett, who gained fame by spouting dirty jokes while managing to look completely innocent, talks with Robin about the old days of comedy, when "damn" qualified as foul - and foul language wasn't allowed. We learn about Hackett's ill-fated career in upholstery, how to pass a lot of time in Budapest, and why a greasy pastrami sandwich is better than healthy food. Plus, lunch with Danny Kaye, Yiddish lessons with James Cagney, and passing gas with Orson Welles.
It's jocularity galore, as Hackett tells some classic jokes about old folks, doctors, sex, parrots, Neil Armstrong, Joe Louis, and Sonny Liston. We learn how to tell a sight joke on an Internet audio show, and that the difference between being a clean or a dirty comedian is the difference between being a millionaire or a billionaire - and you may be surprised at which is which. Hackett also talks about Singita, the unique Los Angeles County shelter he and his wife founded to benefit the homeless - both people and animals!
Putting Robin Williams and Cheech Marin in a studio and turning on the mikes is something akin to walking a pyromaniac into a kerosene plant with a lighted Zippo. Firestorm is an understatement. Robin and Cheech (yes, the same one, of Cheech and Chong fame) ricochet through a rapid-fire series of topics that might be mundane in anyone else's hands - marriage, parenthood, cell phones, living and working in San Francisco - but of course nothing is ever boring in a Robin and Cheech world. And there's some not-so-standard material: tattooing, body piercing, dot-communists, the international sound that means "erection," Bill Gates' decor, and why Cheech is the definitive Sam Shepard Mexican. Plus, learn more about the marriage of technology, Stephen Hawking, and phone sex!
They embark on a no-holds-barred comparison of the subjective merits of New York (the East Side's snootiness, Tribeca's extreme bars), San Francisco ("like New York except clean"), and Vancouver ("the San Francisco of Canada") - from which we can discern that Vancouver is the clean, snooty, extreme New York of Canada...or something. Cheech talks about his former partner in crime, Tommy Chong, and some of the highlights of their early career together, including their four-hour improv stints in a mom-and-pop strip joint. Plus, Lenny Bruce, Peter Sellers, and a rundown of the best and weirdest gigs ever.
Bonnie Raitt, the gifted singer/guitarist who's broken all the rules in her 30-year career. This most intriguing discussion starts with Raitt's career success being written in the stars and ends with talk about rocker Warren Zevon. In between there's a Carol Channing impression; John Lee Hooker talking about arthritis with Raitt's dad, the legendary Broadway star John Raitt; and then on to Tom Waits and Keith Richards. Plus, how to get down without getting high, and Robin conclusively answers Raitt's question: "Can you curse on the Internet?"
These two crazy cats veer from one bizarre topic to the next, including but not limited to Robin's protuberance, how to date a mime, how one rich white guy screwed up Motown, rapping in Timbuktu, the enormous potential of a comedy retirement home, and then on to "It's a Third World After All," "Wheel of Misfortune" and "Tibet Your Life!"
In the season of thanksgiving, Robin sits down with Rev. Cecil Williams of San Francisco's Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, a most distinctive institution that over the past 30-plus years has become a model of compassionate community action and outreach. Glide has opened its doors to hippies, addicts, gays, the poor, the sick, the abused, and the marginalized, and does everything possible to combat hunger, drug abuse, homelessness, and disease in San Francisco. The church serves three free meals a day - every day - and during the holiday season each year they feed more than 75,000 folks. This conversation between Williams the funny man and Williams the man of the cloth is both funny and poignant, touching and filled with hope.
Robin is at the microphone with "the most trusted man in America," legendary newsman Walter Cronkite. This episode holds quite a few surprises, not the least of which is that their first topic of conversation is neither news nor politics; it's sailing - the idiosyncrasies of inexperienced sailors, why boats don't have rearview mirrors, and what exactly constitutes shark hors d'oeuvres. The conversation drifts to the unfortunate nature of computer terminology, today's comedy and some revealing animation in Robin's past. Then they get started on politics. Robin and Cronkite examine the average life of a sound bite, how the media could better serve the electorate, why political conventions have "ceased to be genuine displays of democracy," and what happens when political forces meet in the wrestling arena.
The focus is the world as they discuss the state of America, the European Union, and everywhere else; nuclear and biological weapons; how the press misled the American public about Kosovo; and the way that information might be disseminated in the future. But that's not all. Listen now and you also get the lighter side of Cronkite the legendary newsman, featuring such soon-to-be-classic bits as "Waiter, there's a Cronkite in my soup," personal calls from LBJ, and how Cronkite gets "into voice." And that's the way it is.
Is it a case of multiple personality disorder or simply Robin Williams with an equally creative and multi-faceted guest? With writer Robert Silverberg, you be the judge. Robin and Silverberg - also known as David Osborne, Ivar Jorgenson, Calvin M. Knox, and some two dozen other pseudonyms (that's 24 to you and me!) - discuss the world of science fiction writing and "this debased and perverted era" in which we live. Silverberg goes in-depth on some of his old pals who also happen to number among the world's greatest sci-fi writers. Hear how to "out-Harlan" Harlan Ellison. Learn about "Asimovian taboos." Find out about the real creators of Scientology. Enter Silverberg's world, populated by slimy monsters, talking toasters, and nonexistent verbs.
As part of The New Yorker Festival, "A Literary and Arts Celebration" in honor of the magazine's 75th anniversary, Juilliard alumnus Robin Williams sat down at New York City's Juilliard School for an interview with legendary New Yorker writer Lillian Ross. Ross has been with The New Yorker since 1945, and is one of the few writers who has worked with all of the magazine's editors and written for almost every section of the magazine. She is also the author of several books, including the breakthrough Picture, the first piece of factual reporting ever cast in the form of a novel, and the recent memoir Here But Not Here: A Love Story.
In this episode, Ross' signature dry humor plays off Robin's inimitable talents to provide a truly exceptional listening experience. Among other matters, they talk about one of Robin's earliest roles, as a fairy (or "enchanted person") in A Midsummer Night's Dream, the time Mrs. Doubtfire went shopping for sex toys, and the bizarre world of Japanese television.
Other points of interest include: how Mork never completely goes away, the bizarre factor of director Robert Altman, discovering local idiosyncrasies while shooting Popeye in Malta, which director is "more mellow than Buddha," and what it's like to shoot a film in South Boston. Plus, the unflinching honesty of Robin's 17-year-old son, the Unabomber's favorite Robin character, and real violence versus the filmed kind. Then, Robin answers questions from the audience of 900 - including Juilliard students and a parrot named La Bouche.
Robin is joined by the inimitable, garrulous, and thoroughly entertaining science fiction writer Harlan Ellison for a gabfest, during which the author and the comedian bounce through topics as diverse as Martian gargoyles, computer vampires, little people vs. midgets, soup vs. sex, the genius of Lenny Bruce, and the many, varied attempts on Ellison's life. With more than 1,700 stories to his credit - including novels, essays, television and film scripts - it's obvious that Ellison is a brain to be reckoned with, but it's never been more apparent than in this fascinating give-and-take with Robin, another force to be reckoned with!
Other points of interest include the four things that got the young Ellison kicked out of college, how he sent a woman "out of her Mesopotamian mind," the writers-night-out drinking and schmoozing society known as the Hydra Club, and the time when Lester Del Rey inspired L. Ron Hubbard to "cobble up" a religion. Then there's a discussion of Ellison's parents ("two pandas who gave birth to a wolverine") and a determination of where ideas come from ("Schenectady"). Ellison even previews his current project: Incognita, Inc., the story of a Dickensian cartographer who maps hidden cities of literature and lore.
There's no real way to describe the magic of the moment when two old friends - who happen to be world-class comedians - get together, so you'll have to listen for yourself to this episode featuring Robin and the legendary Jonathan Winters. As Winters himself says, "it's all nonsense." They talk about gasoline as a viable beverage, flatulence, marijuana, a roadkill restaurant, dead cow milk, Orville Wright's sense of humor - and then they get down to business: "Can Mr. Winters be serious?" Plus, learn more about Winters' proposed book on how to deal with obnoxious fans: Know the Enemy.
Further they go off on a multitude of tangents: how the man once known as "DJ Johnny Winters" lost his job, how Mrs. Eileen Winters behaves at football games, and what golf announcers are talking about. Plus, Winters' "Grandpa" character makes an appearance.
Robin and Christopher Reeve go back a long way. Back in the early '70s, they studied together and were roommates at The Juilliard School in New York,
and Reeve is godfather to one of Robin's sons. These two friends have a lot to talk about. And talk they do. In the course of their conversation, we get sage advice from Katherine Hepburn, learn about Robin's fascination with ladies' handbags, examine the line between interacting with an audience and intruding on their privacy, and get a dose of Shakespeare à la the World Wrestling Foundation. We also hear about the difference one testicle can make, and Robin channels Elmer Fudd.
Robin in Christopher also go in-depth about the accident that paralyzed Reeve more than four years ago. Reeve discusses how his experience as an actor has helped him cope, and how, in his dreams, he's never in a wheelchair. They also delve into the current political campaign and talk about secrets of presidents past, school shootings, in utero reading, and federal subsidies for teacher salaries. Plus, Robin takes on Charlton Heston: "Get off the Guns N' Moses tour!"
For information about the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation - which, Reeve stresses, is against paralysis - visit www.paralysis.org.
Robin talked with champion cyclist and three-time Tour de France winner - not to mention gunshot survivor - Greg LeMond just a week before this year's Tour took off. LeMond's history is fascinating: In 1986 he became the first American to win the coveted Tour de France, then he was accidentally shot by his brother-in-law while hunting, and staged an impressive comeback despite overwhelming physical and psychological odds to win the Tour de France twice more, in 1989 and 1990. In their conversation, Robin and LeMond covered interesting background about their shared passion for cycling - how LeMond got on the road, the highlights and down times of his career, American- versus Italian-made cycles - and some other unusual topics: how bike racing is Europe's version of Nascar, what Dutch curses mean, and how much lead LeMond still has in his body. And of course, a discussion of this year's repeat Tour winner, Lance Armstrong.
Once upon a time Robin Williams and Nathan Lane found each other in The Birdcage - and now they're here and together again! Two of the most hysterically combustible and expansive personalities in Hollywood sat down to talk, laugh, and go off on tangents as only they could do. They went Inside the Actors Studio with the "pretentious" James Lipton, discussed a time when Lane wore a gold sweatshirt emblazoned with "Jerz," and went back in time to Robin's Mork and Mindy days, when he was "a vampire on a day pass." They dish on some of entertainment's biggest names - Orson Welles, Jane Fonda, Laurence Olivier, Buddy Hackett, and Bette Davis, to name a few. Plus, a side-splitting proposal for combining figure skating with capital punishment.
They'll also delve deep into the crisscrossing worlds of Broadway, Hollywood, and comedy, talking about the corporate renaming of theaters ("The Viagra Theater presents Hard Day's Journey into Night"), onstage antics, backstage politics, and what to do when a play's cast outnumbers the audience there to see them. Along the way they discuss Neil Simon, Zero Mostel, Mel Brooks, Jerome Robbins, Jackie Gleason, and Art Carney, among others. Plus, Robin does an incredible impression of Redd Foxx, and Lane talks about his role in the upcoming Showtime movie, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, about the behind-the-scenes madness created in the 1950s when the best comedy writers in the exploding medium of television worked together on Your Show of Shows.
Review This one, together with the Bonnie Hunt interview, is the best you can get of Robin @ audible. You'll laugh your *ss off! It starts hilariously, it ends hilariously and they never slow down in between. Of course there's great improvisation by both Robin and Nathan. The part about the American Airlines theater is SO hilarious (from the AA Theater, it doesn't take much to make a step to the Anonymous Alcoholics theater). Another funny bit is when Robin and Nathan both talk about what it's like to live in LA. There's a great detail Robin shares about his time living in LA during his Mork & Mindy days ("God, I have to be back before sunlight!").
It's a conversation that's so spontaneous and comfortable, you may feel like you're eavesdropping on them! The two talk about what they were like in high school (guess which one was on the wrestling team), why no one ever asked Sarandon out (seriously), life before versus after children, and their colorful opinions on various celebs and politicos like Sean Penn, Andy Kaufman, Strom Thurman, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Ralph Nader, and Warren Beatty.
They'll also cover a potpourri of topics this time around, discussing workers' rights, on-set pampering, ducks in a bathtub, teaching kids about homosexuality, and the Oscars - what to do with the statue when you no longer need it, whether bad reviews should get actors ousted from the Motion Picture Academy, the time Sarandon and Tim Robbins were banned from the ceremony, and why an Oscar® statuette is "the ultimate tchotchke." Plus, hear them ruminate about Charlton Heston's rug, the Pope's tag sale and, on to more complicated issues, the death penalty.
Join Robin Williams for a fascinating conversation with Dr. Oliver Sacks, a neurologist who has specialized in the treatment and study of many neurological disorders, including Tourette's syndrome, autism, and Parkinson's disease. Dr. Sacks is also the author of many books, including Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and An Anthropologist on Mars. Robin portrayed Dr. Sacks in the 1990 feature film Awakenings, based on Dr. Sacks' work with Parkinson's patients, which also starred Robert DeNiro and was directed by Penny Marshall.
On a sunny California afternoon, Robin Williams sat down with musician David Crosby and the two friends reminisced about a rock and roll life on the wild side. Listen in as the legendary member of the Byrds and the "C" in Crosby Stills Nash & Young describes the time he witnessed Bing Crosby (no relation) autograph a can of Anderson's Split Pea Soup, what it's like to be the recipient of a stranger's liver, and the times he was guilty of WUI (writing under the influence). We all know Crosby inhaled and watched the Behind the Music episode on VH1 that described how he bottomed out. This is your chance to hear him describe - and laugh about - his high-velocity experiences in the fast lane. Crosby also shares his thoughts on everything from grace under fire to the human genome project.
Robin and David balance precariously on the edge of reality as they discuss the cosmic effects of the Internet, stinking houseguests, the homey-ization of Europe, and the R. Crumb School of Inspiration. The elves take over the workshop and Robin does something completely new - the "Insatiable Monkey" rap - and suddenly, you're definitely not in Kansas anymore. When Crosby's not talking about entropy, Thoreau's domino effect, and mollusks from beyond, he shares some songwriting secrets and then riffs on once-and-again bandmates Neil Young, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills.
The interview starts with Harvey Fierstein saying, "I've got gas" and it's all downhill from there - or uphill, if you've got a sense of humor. Fierstein, the flamboyant, opinionated and openly gay actor with the distinctive gravelly voice, is also familiar from his appearances in Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, and Torch Song Trilogy (which he wrote for the stage and screen; he also wrote the book for the musical version of La Cage Aux Folles). Fierstein talks with Robin about a wide range of subjects: the concept of prejudice being a built-in evolutionary force; Nancy Reagan and Martha Stewart; his HBO animated special, The Sissy Duckling; and the latest Jewish craze: 8-minute dating.
Robin and Harvey worked together in Mrs. Doubtfire, converse on a range of topics: the online treasure trove that is eBay, whether Grimm's Fairy Tales could get published today, why Fierstein is not a fan of Harry Potter, the effects of Bambi on British adults, Frank McCourt's books: Angela's Ashes and 'Tis, New York City audiences, Vaudeville, puberty, Mae West, Milton Berle, Oscar Wilde, and why a drag queen should never be seen in sunlight. It's safe to say you're not going to hear this anywhere else!
Any serious discussion of religion would avoid topics like popes who were CIA dupe spies, the perils of embalming with Visine, and the search for the world's shortest nun. Thankfully, this conversation between Robin Williams and Father Guido Sarducci is anything but serious. Although Sarducci is best known to Americans for his television appearances, he's now employed as a reporter for the Vatican Enquirer, so he and Robin trade hilarious hypotheses about the Easter Fish (holy mackerel!), plus ideas for a proposed Church de Soleil, and evangelical wrestling. Welcome to their wildly surreal vision of the world!
When Robin Williams opens the interview by introducing "the John Irving helium interview," you know you're in for something rather special.
Robin talks with the author and Academy Award-winning screenwriter about The Cider House Rules, Irving's book-turned-movie. They discuss abortion, orphans, medical research, and disaffected Democrats. There's a bizarre comparison of the Oscar ceremony with the Pulitzer Prize presentations and the Audie Awards. And then there's the men's room conversation...
John Irving is also known for The World According to Garp - a film which marked an early success in Robin's career. Robin and John discuss the meaning of "Garp" (or lack thereof), the symmetry of Cider House, and how A Son of the Circus is becoming a screenplay adapted from a book adapted from a screenplay. Also, surprising confessions: Irving doesn't own a computer (he's got very good pencils), and he wrestled well into his 30s.
On this inaugural episode of RobinWilliams @ audible.com, the inimitable comedian and actor sets down the rules for his new program - which is to say, there are no rules. "It's just me having a good time with a bunch of people, very interesting people," he says. First out of the gate is an off-kilter conversation with former Monty Python member Eric Idle. The guest interviews the host, in typical breaking-the-rules fashion, and the result is lots of laughs, numerous non sequiturs, and not a few surprises.
The former Monty Python-ian is the perfect complement to the unedited Williams, as they riff about everything from mobile headset phones to Bill Gates to talking cars to Andy Kaufman to wrestling-as-a-metaphor. No subject is spared the Williams wit.
This interview is different than most of the others. This time, Eric Idle interviews Robin at the US Comedy Festival in Aspen, 2000. This was to honor Robin for the work he's done as a comedian.
Once again, this episode is hilarious because Robin gets and takes the time to say and do whatever he wants.
It's a good thing Robin Williams @ audible.com is unedited. In this raucous conversation with Don Novello - also known as Father Guido Sarducci of Saturday Night Live fame - every other word is - well, listen for yourself. If sound had color, this program would be blue. Their discussion about The Sopranos would make Tony Soprano feel right at home, somewhere in New Jersey. But that leads to talk about the mafia, the Jehovah's Witness Protection Program, severe penal codes, and phone sex for animals. It's a wild ride!
Robin gets deep with former Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo. The two met recently in a Manhattan recording studio to discuss parents and parenting, politics and religion, New York City and the immigrant experience, as well as Mario's new children's book, The Blue Spruce. The actor/comedian brings out the lighter side of the politician and former baseball player. While Mario admits to being a liberal, he also says that he's not "mushy-headed." Robin's both serious and witty, exposing some interesting facets to his personality...
In a candid dialogue that could only take place between these two utterly distinctive men, the topics range from personal altruism and the Judeo-Christian ethic to prostitution and minor league baseball. Somewhere in between there's talk of Mario's epitaph, Robin's yearning to write a book (perhaps an audiobook?), and what strange things might have gone on during the writing of the new Russian constitution.
In January 2000 Robin signed a 3-year contract with Audible, which meant he'd release a new online audio interview every 2 weeks. Every interview is seperated
in 2 parts, so there was 1 new complete interview each month. Most of the people Robin interviewed are friends and/or colleagues, which makes it definitely more interesting.
In the spring of 2001 Robin was busy making movies, so he had to take a break from the audible interviews. One of the things audible released in return is the "Inside the Actors Studio interview", which was recorded earlier that year.
The interviews are no longer available on Audible: "all of the Robin Williams Interviews have been removed from the website due to licensing contracts expiring".
Robin's management re-released them on iTunes but for unknown reasons they removed them shortly after.