Thursday, February 10, 2011

Opened for Robin Williams

Mark Pitta called me on Monday as I walked home from a class I teach.

"Hey Keith, you wanna do a set tomorrow? Robin's going to be there."

Mark Pitta and Friends, every Tuesday at The Throckmorton in Mill Valley, is one of the best nights I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of and Robin Williams is a regular there so I knew right away that this was the Robin he meant.

"Oh, I don't know Mark, let me think... HELL YEAH!" I would've said hell yeah even without Robin being there, like I said, I love the Throckmorton.

I called him back a few minutes later to see if I could get a friend on the guest list as I need to bribe a ride and get my car in the shop. He must've thought I said guest SPOT and he answered, "Yeah, bring some new who can do a solid five."

I knew a guy with a solid five minutes who had definitely done the work to deserve such a spot. I called Nick Aragon and he called his girlfriend Rachel and off we went in her car, me in the back getting horribly carsick.

Robin Williams was already there hanging out when we arrived. We exchanged hellos, I was stoked when he said "Good to see you again." and then a minute later Mort Sahl walked in. Mark showed Sahl a "Comedy" puzzle he'd bought with every comedian you could think of on it, including Sahl and Williams. They all got a big laugh out of Fozzy Bear being on the puzzle as well, right next to Carlin. I thought that was the best part. Fozzy, Robin Williams, Edgar Bergen and the Unknown Comic were my first comedy heroes.

Robin helped Eddie Izzard get a foothold here in the states, and as the subject came up I asked him who the next big thing would be. He answered "Jamie Kilstein" without skipping a beat. Wow. Congrats Jamie. I was hoping he would've said me but he probably would've labelled me the next Eddie Izzard in that tv series about American gypsies where his accent was awful and nobody watched which would of course still have been amazingly flattering.

This pic with Mort Sahl cracked me up. It looks like I snuck up behind them and had someone snap a pic. Robin offered to take it again but Sahl seemed done with the whole affair so I let him be and got one with just Robin.

I, being one of the most liberal people you'll meet had the following exchange with Mort Sahl who was unaware of my political views:
Mort: The liberals are the worst. They've ruined this country.
Me: You think it's ruined?
Mort: (staring at me incredulously) Absolutely!

Nick did a killer opening set. Then I went up and did 20. My first 5 to 7 really killed, then things quieted to a respectable level and I closed strong with a good hearty round of applause on my last joke. I hurried out the backstage door, grabbed Nick and Rachel and headed up the balcony to watch Robin slay 'em in an improv with Mark Pitta and another comic/actor whose name I probably should know.

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