The Genius of Robin Williams


3 years ago



Sebastian Junger

4 appearances

Sebastian Junger is a bestselling author, journalist, and an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker. His latest book, "In My Time of Dying", is available now.


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You guys, you comedians, there must be every once in a while a real tragedy to process. That must be very hard. Yeah, I mean, it's not that common that comedians take their own lives. I mean, it does happen with Robin. Robin was a big one for a lot of people because he was not just a comedian. He was like a cultural icon in terms of his films, you think of all the different movies that guy was in. And he had such a range, too. To me, when you know how brilliant a person really is, do you remember that film that he did about the crazy film processing guy? It was like 24-hour film. Do you remember those little film booths, photo booths that people would go to? Back in the old days, you youngsters, we would have a camera and the camera would have film in it and you'd have to bring the film to a place for processing. And Robin Williams did a film about a guy who was a psychopath who was obsessed with someone from processing their picture. One hour photo, that's what it was. It was fucking great. From that film, you realize the range this man had. I mean, from Good Will Hunting, from so many different... He was a genius. Yeah, and the human race is so lucky to have geniuses in it. You know what I mean? We all feed off them. Yeah, we do. They elevate us. And it costs them sometimes. We all need those people. Yeah, to be a guy like that, to be dealing with the kind of RPMs he was dealing with, it's just... Yeah. Yeah, he would spit out these amazing works, but just the cost on himself. You know, in Good Morning Vietnam, in the initial few minutes, it's pretty clear that it wasn't scripted because there's this kid in the control booth. I mean, the conceit is that it's a military DJ and a radio announcer during Vietnam, right? And the military command didn't really like him because he was saying things that were sort of like not sufficiently sort of respectful of the war or whatever. But of course, the troops loved him. He was a real guy, right? And so Robin Williams, it was pretty clear if you watch the beginning, it's worth watching. It wasn't scripted because the kid in the sound booth behind him, you could watch him react to this three-minute outpouring from Robin Williams where he's channeling different people and it's all coming out. It's totally insane. Yeah. And this kid can't even stand up. He's laughing so hard. I'm like, that's not acting. Right. That's a guy who actually had no idea this was coming. Right, right, right. It's amazing. Yeah. I met him only once and I met him after one of my shows. I didn't know I was talking to him until a couple of minutes into the conversation. He had a crazy big white beard and he waited in line with everybody else to meet me. And I was talking to him when he was telling him, I was just saying, oh, I love this bit. I love that. And I love how you put that together. I was like, oh, thanks, man. Thanks. I'm like, holy shit. This is Robin Williams. That's great. I didn't know. I literally had no idea until like several minutes into our conversation. He must have loved that. That was pretty cool, man. That's very cool. It was cool that, first of all, it was cool that he just went to the show by himself. Right. He decided he wanted to come see me. Maybe somebody told him I was funny and then he waited in line to meet me and then wanted to talk about individual bits and how he loved how I put this one together and that one. It was crazy. It was like I realized in the middle and I'm like, oh my God. That's awesome. It was pretty wild. But that just shows you what kind of thoughtful person he was. He wasn't into being seen. In fact, he had a baseball hat on and glasses and his crazy big white bushy beard. Couldn't even recognize him. He snuck around. Catch new episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience for free only on Spotify. Watch back catalog JRE videos on Spotify, including clips easily, seamlessly switch between video and audio experience. On Spotify, you can listen to the JRE in the background while using other apps and can download episodes to save on data costs all for free. Spotify is absolutely free. You don't have to have a premium account to watch new JRE episodes. You just need to search for the JRE on your Spotify app. Go to Spotify now to get this full episode of The Joe Rogan Experience.