Paying Tribute to Jonathan Winters

September 26, 2013

Last Sunday Robin paid tribute to his mentor (or as Jonathan would like to say: "idol") Jonathan Winters.

Jonathan Winters was my mentor. I once told him that and he said, 'Please. I prefer 'Idol.'' But I knew it was true. I knew the moment I saw him on 'The Tonight Show' when Jack Parr handed him a stick. What happened next was a genius at play. John and that stick transformed into a dozen different characters, complete with sound effects -- a fly-fisherman, a matador, Bing Crosby playing a round of golf ... he was comedy at the speed of thought and I was hooked.

20 years later I got to play Jonathan's dad on 'Mork and Mindy.' His riffs on our show were like epic mini-movies. ... sometimes I would join in and jamming with Jonathan was like dancing with Fred Astaire. He always brought out your best.

The beauty of Jonathan was that he was a big, brilliant kid that never grew up and the world was his playground. In April, Johnny turned out the lights, but he sure burned bright while he was here. Thanks for the spark, big guy.

Jonathan back in 1964

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