Robin Williams on the importance of playing small comedy clubs

Earlier this year, Robin Williams received the Comedy Icon Award from the second annual reboot of The Comedy Awards.

Afterward, Williams met the press assembled backstage (actually, beneath stage level) to answer all sorts of questions. What’s his favorite movie he has done? Blah, blah, blah. You should hear some of the questions people who have obtained “press” credentials will ask in these rooms. Just to know my pain.

Williams also spoke a little bit about other comedians at the awards ceremony — including Patton Oswalt, who introduced Williams at the ceremony; and Louis CK, who won several awards himself — and the importance of performing in small comedy clubs. “It’s like playing Lenny Bruce, the home game,” Williams said of doing stand-up and riffing at clubs such as The Comedy Cellar in New York City or The Comedy Store in Hollywood. Twitter and iPhones and the instant uploading of stand-up sets has changed the dynamic somewhat. It does nothing to replace the inherent value in witnessing stand-up, live, as it happens, in an intimate venue.

“It’s like seeing jazz,” Williams said.

Roll the clip.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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