By GENE STOUT
After years of watching actor-comedian Robin Williams’ manic genius on TV and in the movies, it was a special treat to see him in action in September 2004 at Showbox at the Market.
The semi-secret performance was billed as a “night of working on new material,” with proceeds quietly going to the West Seattle Food Bank (Williams performed several other benefits for the food bank over the next few years).
Fewer than 500 people scored tickets to the exclusive performance by the beloved comedian, who committed suicide this week at his home in Marin County, Calif., triggering an outpouring of national grief over the loss of the one-time star of TV’s “Mork & Mindy” and countless movies, from “Popeye” to “Good Morning, Vietnam” to “Mrs. Doubtfire.”
Working at manic speed, Williams delivered nearly two hours of fresh material to an audience that struggled to breathe. It was the first of three performances that week.
Williams took on a blinding array of topics, from Seattle’s weather to the Olympic Games.
Turning his attention to President George W. Bush and the ongoing Iraq War, Williams offered a memorable barb: “The Iraqis are trying to create a constitution … Take ours, we’re not using it.”
Williams closed with a history of golf that began with a drunken Scotsman chasing a ball through the rough with a broken stick.
Those who attended the impromptu set 10 years ago will never forget it.
The Oscar-winning actor will star in a number of movies posthumously. Here’s a trailer from the movie “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”: