Robin Williams works it out in Sacramento

Recharging the Batteries

Originally published on October 18, 2010 | Sacramento Press | written by Steven Bloom

Most famous comedians, when they want to work out their new material before a big tour, will make a clandestine appearance at a local comedy club or do an unannounced 'guest set' at a comedy showcase. Not if you are Robin Williams.

Williams took over Sacramento's Crest Theater last night and shared his workout with 950 loyal fans, who paid $50 each to watch the comedy great perfect his "Weapons of Self-Destruction" material before debuting his tour in Australia and New Zealand on November 4. William's proceeds were donated to the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Service.

Greeted with the first of three standing ovations as he walked onto the stage, Williams quipped, "Getting a standing ovation before I start is like having an orgasm before sex." Thus opened an hour and 45-minute, nonstop set of political, sexual and drug-related humor that was short on vulgarity and extra long on Williams' own brand of manic, rapid-fire delivery, enhanced by the fact that wearing a wireless lapel mic allowed him to use his entire body to create his stories and characters.

Pacing the large stage and downing multiple bottles of water, Williams created an intimate setting with the audience. Throughout the show, one was aware that this was a unique and almost surreal setting. This was a show performed on HBO, in stadiums and auditoriums throughout the country to sold-out crowds, and we were sitting not 100 feet away, watching this master craftsman work his magic. The laughter was continual and genuine throughout the night.

The only indications that this was a workout were some new jokes about Sacramento, some Aussie references and occasionally commenting on a joke as "too soon" or "not yet." Until Williams focused attention on them, you hardly noticed the four writers sitting next to the stage, gauging audience reactions.

Thank you Robin for bringing your act here. It was obvious that you got to spend your Sunday night with 950 of your most loyal fans. Come back soon!!

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