The other day I was bemoaning the fact that I had no good video of Robin Williams really doing Shakespeare. Sure, he would inevitably through some random references into his rambling on just about every talk show appearance, but knowing he went to Juilliard, it did little but whet the appetite for more.
Well I have to say, I’ve been doing this blog for 15 years now and I still come across resources that are new to me. How about Robin Williams Dick Cavett improvising a Shakespeare play for about 5 minutes? Hmmm, how to explain Dick Cavett to the younger crowd. Before Jimmy Fallon was Jay Leno, right? And before Jay Leno was Johnny Carson? Well before Johnny Carson was Jack Parr. Dick Cavett was a writer for the Tonight Show right in that Parr->Carson time period. He did a lot more than that, including having his own talk show (featured here), I just wanted to put this in some sort of historical perspective. The date is 1979, and the current event they mention, Three-Mile Island, was a nuclear disaster.
True it’s not “real” Shakespeare, but you can play count the references – you can see Dick Cavett trying to keep up by hurling bits and pieces of memorized monologues at Robin. For a period at the beginning I wondered if Cavett was going to get to talk at all, every time he opens his mouth Robin just takes off again.