nutty beloved comedy genius Robin Williams has broken his 12-day silence
to speak out against the war in Iraq. The improvisational juggernaut (star
of the box-office smash Patch Adams) has delighted audiences for
what seems like 40 or 50 years now with his fast-paced, unscripted impressions
of southern preachers and flamboyant hairdressers. Using the same finely
honed comedic instincts exhibited in the box-office smash Bicentennial
Man, rapid Robin recently reeled off the following zany zingers. As
a service for those National Review Online readers who are not in show
business and don’t “get” the jokes, I will offer a helpful explanation
following each gag:
have a president for whom English is a second language. He’s like; ‘We
have to get rid of dictators,’ but he’s pretty much one himself.”
OF JOKE: Here, the high-octane laffmeister (star of the box-office
smash Jakob The Liar) exhibits the same gift for exceeding the
speed limit of Funnytown, U.S.A. (population: Robin!) that has amazed
and amused audiences worldwide — kind of like when he reels off an
impression of a southern televangelist and an effeminate choreographer
seemingly without taking a breath. The star of the box-office smash Jack
manages to sneak in two jokes here: first the observation that President
Bush has been known to make verbal gaffes, secondly that President Bush
is a “dictator.” On the surface, these might not seem to be
as funny as, say, an impression of a southern Christian fundamentalist,
or a squealing florist. But the key here is speed: Just when you’re still
absorbing the “second language” bit, the fast-track funnyman
(star of the box-office smash Father’s Day) doubles up the laughs
with the “dictator” bit.
ROBIN ON THE COST
“America is broke basically, but Bush wants to wage a war that costs
pretty much a billion dollars a month.”
OF JOKE: Here the supersonic king of kookiness (star of the
box-office smash Deconstructing Harry) is employing the comedic
device of irony. He first lays the groundwork for mining comedy gold by
observing that America is “broke” (probably from spending all
that money buying tickets to make One Hour Photo a box-office smash!).
Then, just as you’re grinning giddily with anticipation (“America
— broke? Hey, come to think of it, Robin’s right! But, where’s he
going with this? Some place funny, I’ll bet!”) — BANGO, ZOOMO
— the wily Williams (TV’s Mork of Mork and Mindy) moves in
for the kill. Despite the fact that America is “broke,” the
war will cost “a billion dollars a month.” Which actually comes
as a relief since I thought it was going to cost a lot more. I mean, a
billion bucks a month doesn’t sound too bad. So it’s laughter mixed with
relief. Thanks, Robin!
ON HOMELAND DEFENSE: “Orange alert — What the hell
does that mean? We’re supposed to be afraid of Krishna? Of orange sorbet?”
OF JOKE: Some things are orange.
Thanks to atomic
ad-libber Robin Williams (star of the box-office smash Flubber)
for reminding us that, in these troubled times, it’s important to look
at the funny side of life. Or, if you can’t do that, just say unfunny
things really, really fast in the voice of a southern politician or a
sensitive, high-pitched interior decorator.
Comedian Dave Konig starred on
Broadway in Grease! and won a New York Emmy as the co-host of Subway
He just completed his first novel Good
Luck Mr. Gorsky.
Konig is an NRO contributor.