For all the laughter that Robin Williams has generated on the small and large screen, his fans here in Hawaii at last discovered where his maniacal, stream-of-consciousness comic genius burns brightest--on stage, in front of a crowd ready to laugh.
In his first performance ever in the islands, Williams took his 90-minute "Weapons of Self Destruction" show rapid-fire from politics to global warming, evolution, foreign affairs, drugs, sex, religion and evolution. He kept the crowd at the three-quarters full Blaisdell Arena bellowing so hard that by the end, some people's faces hurt from grinning so hard. Others clutched their stomachs trying to untie the knots he had stitched there.
This was a bawdy, ribald show for mature audiences who enjoyed being immature again. It took Williams about 20 seconds to drop the F-bomb, and they came fast and furious throughout the show. He took special pleasure in having the show interpreted into sign language, asking the interpreter to demonstrate his scatological terms.
The San Francisco native said he was "delighted to be in Obama country," poking fun at "birthers," then segueing into the realm of politics and drugs, saying that the proper way to counter the Tea Party would be to create a "THC Party." "We would be toking our country back," he said.
With Williams swinging roundhouses, Republicans took it hard on the chin. He acted out a discussion between George W. Bush and Tony Blair as a scene from "Rainman," and dared Dubya to read his own book. He called Sarah Palin "a self-opening piñata," but then added that Bill Clinton would see her as "a mother I would like to filibuster."
Environmental and natural disasters weren't spared from Williams' wit. The difference between a divorce and a tornado in Oklahoma? "None. Somebody's going to lose a trailer." The BP disaster spawned "Gutube" and the solution to "put a large condom" on the leak. And environmentally conscientious drivers who buy hybrids will run into problems in the South, who will think they are "inbreds."
Williams' final soliloquy, before his encore, a dirty joke attributed to newsman Walter Cronkite, was about the creation of the procreation process.
In other words, the F-word again. In Williams' mind, it must have been done by committee, since only the group-think process could have come up with a mechanism so convoluted. Williams added his classic mimicry of celebrities like John Wayne, Walter Brennan and Jimmy Stewart acting in porn films.
"They even made porn out of my movies," he said. "Good Will Humping, Snatch Adams--Mrs. Doubtfire, I would watch."
It was a tour-de-force performance by perhaps America's most beloved entertainer. The audience, mostly middle-aged and older, including this writer, laughed as hard as we dared, but it wasn't that we were afraid of a heart attack, which the 59-year-old Willliams also joked about via his own health problems.
There would be far worse things than to die laughing with Robin Williams. We just wouldn't want to miss the next joke.
Thousands packed Blaisdell Arena Monday night to see Robin Williams during his final stop of his "Weapons of Self Destruction" world tour. From the moment he first stepped on stage, Williams had the entire arena laughing with his unique brand of observational humor, irreverent similes and off-the-cuff improvisations.
From Oprah Winfrey to Vice President Joe Biden to Sarah Palin to the Birthers, Quantas Airlines, raccoons, coyotes and platypuses, no one was safe from his witty, yet scathing remarks. Here's a sample of his creative similes (that are decent enough to repeat in this blog): "George W. Bush as a motivational speaker is like having Lindsay Lohan as a guidance counselor," and "Mel Gibson says things on voice mail that makes people with Tourette's say, 'Good one.'"
Showing his talent for unscripted humor, Williams turned his attention on a woman in the audience who had just returned from a trip to the concession stand. She had missed the entire bit about him receiving a new heart valve, so the audience laughed when she offered him some of her garlic fries. Williams then instructed the person in the seat next to her to fill her in on what she had missed. When she then offered him some of her beer, Williams responded with, "I'm an alcoholic, so I can either have a heart attack or fall off the wagon... Thanks."
However, the best part of Williams' show was his interplay with the sign language interpreter. Early in the show, Williams noticed a woman doing sign language for a group of deaf audience members. He started asking her what the sign would be for various dirty words and sayings, which became a running gag throughout the show. Williams frequently stopped in the middle of his jokes to see what the sign would be for whatever crude thing he said and mimicked it to the audience. There were several times during his set when he either apologized or challenged the interpreter by saying, "Let's see you come up with a sign for that."
Last night, Williams proved he's still as funny as ever. At the end of the show, everyone in the audience left buzzing about which punchlines they'd repeat to friends and co-workers. The only negative thing about the show was that it was a single engagement. So, if you weren't one of the fortunate ones at Blaisdell Monday night to see one of the funniest comedians on the planet, you'll just have to hope that he returns to Hawaii for his next tour.
"EVERYBODY GETS PUDDING!!!"