Robin Williams wishes Jack Nicholson would be our next vice presidential candidate.
As Williams visited Purdue's Elliott Hall of Music Thursday night, he joked about global warming, human anatomy and the economy. He also made sure to include many jokes about politicians in this election year.
Since Thursday was the night of the vice presidential debate, several of Williams' early jokes made fun of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
"Where did they find her?" he said. "It was like a political reality show: Project Running Mate.'"
Williams would prefer to see actor Nicholson as the next vice president.
"Jack can finish a sentence," he said. "There would be no drug scandal because he's already done every drug known to man. There'd be no sex scandal because he's already done everybody."
Tasha Hocking, a resident of Crawfordsville, Ind., said she enjoyed the show and would be willing to see Williams perform again.
"I liked it when he did the different politicians on the telephone," she said, referring to when Williams did impressions of various politicians, such as Obama, McCain, Clinton and Cheney, talking on the phone with Satan.
Williams did not concentrate only on politics for the night. He also decided to make a few jokes at the expense of Boilermakers. He joked about the Purdue Boilermakers being a school named after a drink and made fun of Harry's Chocolate Shop's slogan, "Go Ugly Early."
"I was born this way," he said, impersonating a Harry's customer. "I want a free drink."
When Williams opened the show, he asked that no one take pictures or video him. As audience members' disobeyed him by taking out their cameras and cell phones, he made fun of technology.
"I don't want to be seen on anybody's MySpace," he said.
He also discussed Bluetooth and how he thought they make people look crazy.
"Take out your Bluetooths," he said. "Join us on earth."
Only the red eye correction lights on cameras could stop Robin Williams.
The Oscar-winning actor and comedian was a juggernaut of raw jokes, impressions and physical humor Thursday night at a sold-out Elliott Hall of Music on the Purdue University campus.
Early in his two-hour, one encore set, Williams admonished audience members for taking pictures and video of him.
"Try remembering this night the old-fashioned way: telling people about it," the manic man said. "I don't want to end up on your MySpace."
But overall, the setbacks were just an afterthought as Williams barreled through the election, the debates, the economy and most comics' favorite whipping boy, President George W. Bush.
As Bush: "Why do we have to save Bernie Mac?"
"That's Freddie Mac, Mr. President."
Williams even went old-school and threw President Bill Clinton in the mix. With a great, sleazy Clinton voice: "Where was Sarah Palin when I was in office?"
Like most in the audience, Williams had the state of the White House and the nation as a whole on the brain. One bit saw Williams holding a $750 billion telethon to save the country. Another had Williams aping Palin's accent and "prom" hair.
Surprisingly, Williams went local often. He expressed his love for the Harry's slogan, "Go ugly early," as well as the hilarious concept of building a road over Celery Bog: "Even people in tar pits say, 'Stay away from the bog.'"
Williams did, however, underestimate the number of Chicago Cubs and White Sox fans in the house during a bit about the absurdity of people wanting to ban alcohol from baseball games.
Still, one latecomer brave enough to wear a Los Angeles Dodgers jersey caught Williams' attention: "You're like a Klan representative in Harlem. 'My GPS is broken.'"
Williams was controlled chaos as he went through topics lightning quick, and his punchlines were delivered like a right uppercut.
At 57, Williams still has his stand-up chops. He was on. He killed and left everyone with sore cheeks. So you can't blame the crowd for wanting to take a bit of Williams home with them on their cameras.
Tonight I was in West Lafayette to see one of my idols as a kid. Not many children would want to be Robin Williams when they grew up, but I was one of those kids. I loved him on Mork and Mindy. I watched his 'A Night at the Met' special way too many times. Especially for someone as young as I was. Six years ago I saw him in Lafayette, but waited too long to get tickets and ended up in the back. This time I had tickets right up front thanks to early ordering. I was in row EE which as you would guess is five rows back of the stage. Actually where I was at because of the stage configuration I was three rows back. Great seats for a great show.
The show itself started off as usual for Robin, but with one hitch. He really got on anyone who was filming him. With the Michael Richards incident (which he alluded to) I guess you have to be careful. He kept at the people that would not stop recording, and although he tried to be funny about it you could tell he was not happy. I can't say that I blame him. His normal opening with local flavor was not bad. He went with a reference to Harry's a local college bar. He also talked about how the name Boilermaker is also a drink. The rest of his routine was typical Robin. Jumping around topics with impressions and his normal theatrical presentation. His closing routine about the making of the human reproductive organs was an instant classic that I will feel tomorrow. I was laughing way too hard, and I am sure that I will hurt in the morning. Apparently I was having too much fun at the show because they kept putting me up on the screen. I must have been the easy crowd reaction shot. I went into the show with high expectations which usually leads to letdown. Not in this case. You really get what you pay for with his shows. Hopefully he will stop by again in the future.
I nearly did not get to see him this time. I missed the ticket sale for the Chicago shows that were this past weekend. If it was not for a site called The Robin Williams Fan Site I would not have known about this new tour. I check the site fairly often, but apparently not often enough. It is a good site if you like Robin. Thanks to them I was able to get great tickets for this show.
Thursday night, right when the bailout and VP debate were hot topics, Robin Williams came on stage at Purdue University. His show touched on the presidential candidates, the bailout, the VP candidates and their debate, Bush, Cheney, going green, San Francisco, and also involved several bits about sex, drugs, and alcohol. The blend never veered away from Robin's supreme ability to illuminate the insanities of life.
It's tough to quantify or qualify what the people think, feel, support, etc., but what is easy to tell is that the populace has been indoctrinated by some form of the "Shock and Awe" doctrine, the one Naomi Klein so greatly expounds upon in her book The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
A good metaphor right now for America is Robin Williams.
I saw Robin Williams on Thursday night when he did a show at Purdue University. The timing could not have been better. Right before the House bailed out Wall Street's mob of casino capitalists or derivatives junkies, right before the vice presidential debate that would make or break Sarah Palin, Robin Williams came on stage to do one of his many shows he has scheduled for his "Weapons of Self Destruction" tour.
Robin Williams is an idol of mine. Right up there next to Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, and Mike Gravel, George Carlin and Robin Williams are included as people whose great service to this country has been their ability to point out the absurdities of life and use them to make great comedy.
At a glance, Robin Williams is an absurdity. He is not normal or representative of anything and definitely appears to be the polar opposite of George Carlin. But, if you think about it (and this is what happens when you cannot handle thinking about how Wall Street always gets its way in Washington), you realize what he is doing is what all Americans should be doing.
First, his tour, which is called "Weapons of Self Destruction", is not just a play on the infamous weapons of mass destruction euphemism now paraded around in the media and in government to describe weaponry we do not think countries should have but is also a description of the addictions Robin Williams has dealt with.
Robin Williams has dealt with cocaine and alcohol (and possibly other drugs). He recently checked back into rehab for alcohol, and this tour could be characterized as his way of rebounding from his relapse.
Like Robin, we Americans are addicted to a few drugs of our own. To name a few, they are: oil, guns, religion, nationalism, exceptionalism, consumerism, and capitalism. (Not to mention the fact that Americans are actually addicted to a lot of real drugs.)
One of those in particular, consumerism, is what we think can remedy our problems. Our solutions for world hunger, AIDS, and global warming involve shopping and buying items so a percentage of profits will go to the cause.
We need these tangible and intangible drugs to live our every day lifestyle. We need to get hopped up on these or else something doesn't seem right. We become irritable and close-minded.
Second, outside of the pure artistic aspect of Robin Williams' improvisation on stage, his act of pointing out absurdities is basically a result of love for humanity and/or the country that he lives in.
It would behoove us all to follow the lead of Robin and get up on stage literally or figuratively and magnify all of the wretched insanities and inanities in life that we become hung up upon so often.
An army of Robins, whether they can masterfully move from impression to impression, joke to joke or not, would surely get Washington and Wall Street up on their toes and fearful of the power of the people.