Comedians divided over Robin Williams documentary
Bobcat Goldthwait enjoyed a long friendship with Robin Williams since they met at a comedy club kitchen in the 1980s up until Williams’ death in 2014. But Goldthwait has no current plans to watch HBO’s upcoming documentary about Williams’ life and career.
“I probably won’t watch the movie,” Goldthwait told Variety at Wednesday’s premiere of his new “Misfits & Monsters” anthology series. “Not out of protest — I just miss my friend, and I think it would be hard.”
The documentary, “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind,” features interviews with some of Williams’ closest friends and colleagues, including his longtime comedy partner Billy Crystal and his “Mork & Mindy” co-star Pam Dawber. But when the filmmakers asked Goldthwait to participate, he declined.
“I wish them all the luck on the movie,” Goldthwait said. “I kind of stayed away. Our relationship is very personal.”
Other friends of Williams, like Bob Saget, saw the Williams documentary as an avenue for catharsis. Saget, who also made an appearance on the “Misfits & Monsters” carpet to support creator and executive producer Goldthwait, was among the first in line to see the film at HBO’s premiere last month.
“I thought it was quite beautiful, quite touching and quite painful,” Saget said. “I knew him for years, and he was beautiful. I met him when I was 21, and he was a sweetheart and brilliant. God help you if you were onstage with him, but it’s a tragic, tragic loss. Everybody feels his loss. The whole world felt his loss. That’s a big chasm. We need more of him and less of cruelty.”
Seth Green, who starred alongside Williams in 2009’s “Old Dogs,” has yet to see the documentary but remembers his time with the legendary comedian fondly.
“Robin was one of my true heroes — as a comedian, as a performer, as a humanitarian,” Green said. “He just exceeded most humans’ potential of being awesome, and getting to work with him was a thrill for me just because he gave me the goods and let me give him the goods.”
Apart from their friendship, Goldthwait also worked professionally with Williams, directing him in films like his 2009 comedy “World’s Greatest Dad.” Though Goldthwait was initially anxious about making the transition from friends to colleagues, he said Williams soon put his mind at ease.
“The first day on the set, I was like, ‘OK, this guy is my best friend, but he also happens to be one of the biggest stars in the world. Is he going to listen to me?’ ” he said. “I thought, ‘Well, maybe we’re going to do the scene this way, Robin,’ and he would go, ‘Uh, I have an Oscar and you’re the guy who was in the talking horse movie,’ but that’s not at all. The first day on, we were simpatico. He looked at me slyly, and he goes, ‘I’m playing you, aren’t I?’ ”
Goldthwait has spearheaded several projects since “World’s Greatest Dad,” including the new TruTV show “Misfits & Monsters.” The comedy anthology series features odd, and sometimes dark, subject matter, satirizing current events and social norms.
“There’s always some subtext of satire to all of them, which is kind of similar to the movies I make,” Goldthwait said. “Some are less subtle than others. I mean, a werewolf presidential candidate — maybe that’s not obvious to some people. There’s one episode about casual racism, but it happens to be a mermaid, so they’re not all political. Sometimes they’re about us and who we are and where we’re going as a society.”
Bobcat Goldthwait’s “Misfits & Monsters” premiered Wednesday on TruTV. Those at the screening included series guest stars Green, Danny Pudi, Amir Blumenfeld, Karan Soni, Ross Bryant and Tara Lynne Barr, as well as other attendees Kate Flannery, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Conover and Tom Everett Scott.
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