Today would have been Robin Williams’ 65th birthday. Instead of harping on the tragic circumstances of his death and mourning over a comedic legend gone too soon, let’s focus on the times Williams’ shined his light on the world, making it a much more hilarious place.
Like the time he pranked Steven Spielberg during the production of Schindler’s List by calling him and telling him he was raising money for ‘People for the Valdheimers Association,’ A society devoted to helping raise money to help older Germans who had forgotten everything before 1945. Spielberg laughed and hung up.
Or the time he pranked Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard, aka Professor Lambeau, on the set of Good Will Hunting. Williams got the entire crew to get on board with him going off script during a serious scene with Skarsgard, where he impersonated Jack Nicholson and 15 other celebrities while Skarsgard stood there confused and terrified. Skarsgard, completely lost in the scene, then started to do impersonations in Swedish, which the crew then lost it and everyone had a good chuckle.
Maybe the most memorable prank of all occurred while Williams was filming Mrs. Doubtfire back in 1992. He revealed in a Reddit AMA a few years back:
One time in makeup as Mrs. Doubtfire, I walked into a sex shop in San Francisco and tried to buy a double-headed dildo. Just because. Why not? And the guy was about to sell it to me until he realized it was me – Robin Williams – not an older Scottish woman coming in to look for a very large dildo and a jar of lube. He just laughed and said “what are you doing here” and I left. Did I make the purchase? No. * Did I walk away with a really good story? *Yes.
He then went on Sirius XM radio and relived the story with Whoopi Goldberg.
Doubtfire. A true innovator she was.