HOLLYWOOD--Always on the alert for a silly segue, Robin Williams strikes when the trivial Oscar pursuit of deciding what to wear is mentioned.
"I'm thinking a powder blue thong," says Williams in his best nerd voice at the Four Seasons Hotel.
"No, but really for guys it is not so hard. It's like black or black and maybe white or black, or maybe white. A tuxedo is nice, too."
So is Williams' fourth nomination, for Good Will Hunting. Previously, he's made the red carpet stroll Oscar night for parts in 1987's Good Morning, Vietnam, 1989's Dead Poets Society and 1991's The Fisher King.
"It's cheaper than Prozac," reports Williams of the nominations. "It's like making it to the Olympics, even though I've lost every time."
Fourth time might be an Academy Award for Williams for his role as the ambivalent and repressed shrink from Good Will Hunting.
That certainly was the talk at the Four Seasons birthday party on the weekend for 50-year-old Billy Crystal, who will host the 70th Oscars Monday night.
At the bash, the second most popular question was directed at guest Williams who was asked, "What are you going to say when you win?" The most frequent query went to Crystal. The guests, all industry big shots, wanted to know what was in his opening monologue. They never found out.
The 46-year-old Williams was reportedly as cynical at the party as he was with reporters.
"I'm usually in the category like, 'Oh, and you too.' And the winner is, 'Somebody else.'"
Bitter? "No," says Williams, who looks mischievous. "The nominations always give me a massive chubby."
Then he seizes another silly segue moment.
"But back to clothes that count at the Oscars," he pronounces as a slick game show host. "Oh, that's interesting--just wear socks."
But really, have you had style counselling for this year's Oscars?
"I always try to wear the worst tuxedo, so I can make the worst-dressed list. When they ask, 'Hmmm, and where did you get that?' I can say, 'A jockey had a yard sale so I bought it.'"