Long before it was the norm for comedians to redefine themselves with dramatic rolls, Robin Williams was getting crap for it. Some people just couldn't get over that the guy moving them to tears in films like Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, and The Fisher King was the very same guy who, until then, was most famous for playing a catch-phrase spouting extra-terrestrial. Despite a laundry list of stellar turns, for a long time Williams just wasn't taken seriously.
Of course if you ever did watch Williams' stand-up routine (or Bicentennial Man, for that matter), you'd begin to relate. He's literally a madman when he's got a mic in his hand - all non-sequitur and free-association, flying across the stage like a Jack Russell with a bladder problem. It's been six years since he last stepped into the stand-up spotlight, the role for which he was once so well known. Now, the talented comedian-turned-actor is turning comedian again thanks to his latest full-scale assault, the Weapons of Self Destruction Tour. Watch as Williams hits his old stride again, this time mining his past addictions to blow and booze, his equally wild personal life, and his obsessions with computer games including World of Warcraft. He's even got plenty to say about the economy, the state of the nation, and former President George W. as well, subjects which you can probably credit his dramatic side with.
Williams will hole up for two nights, Wednesday and Thursday, at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Paradise (5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood). The marathon, two-hour stand-up sessions, both starting at 8 p.m., will run you $75 to $150 a head. Visit robinwilliams.com.
Wed., March 4, 8 p.m.; Thu., March 5, 8 p.m., 2009