Beverly Hills-- Robin Williams returns to network TV this fall in his first live-action comedy in 31 years, and took to the stage here a bit earlier today to explain why: "It's great to have a steady gig after so long," he said, "It's wonderful." Not that steady work had been exactly hard to come by after "Mork & Mindy" ended in 1982. Williams has worked continuously - and with reasonably spectacular success - ever since. But so far, 2013 has been very good to classic TV stars, with Michael J. Fox at NBC, and Sarah Michelle Gellar joining Williams on his new CBS comedy, "The Crazy Ones" - produced by David E. Kelley, who's been one of TV's leading drama producers since "Hill Street Blues." Kelley said he had approached Williams about joining the show about a Chicago adman whose creative impulses are occasionally of the lunatic variety "and I think [Williams] connected over who the character was, not just with his comedic sensibilities but his personal flaws." Said Williams, "David set me up with the idea of getting an [advertising] idea and pushing the envelope." (Robin Williams as envelope pusher? You heard it here first...)
Meanwhile, did you ever wonder what it must be like to interview Robin Williams? Imagine stuffing a a cloud into a box - that might be easier.
Here's his response to what would seem like a fairly easily routine question:
QUESTION: Robin, I was just wondering, there’s a lot of pressure. You come into a room, and people are going, “He’s going to be funny. He’s going to do something.” What kind of pressure is that like all the time?
ROBIN WILLIAMS: Well, I think, now that I have a moral GPS on my phone, it’s been lovely because the girl you are texting is the same age as your daughter. Reroute. But I think the pressure to be funny all the time, it’s like dance, you know, dance funny, man. I think sometimes there’s that pressure. Other times it’s like, with this room, good luck. (Laughter.) Do I have ideas for new shows? Yes. I have an idea for a vampire rehab called “Dark Meadows,” Type AAAA. I mean, the idea of just playing, for me, that’s what David set me up with, the idea of, in this thing with an ad agency, the idea of getting an idea, pursuing it, seeing what you can come up with, pushing the envelope, but also talking about, with the real ads, talking to the guys about when, really, we are dealing with sponsors where one time they were telling me a story where they were talking to this sponsor, and they said, “In this ad, we are going to have a unicorn.” And the sponsor on the end of the line said, “Will it be a real unicorn?” And, then, at that point, he said, “No. I think it will be a pony with a prosthesis,” which, for me, I went, “I just want to see that.” There you go. But the idea of being funny, yeah, I love it, and this is for me, it’s great to have a steady gig after so long. It’s wonderful.