A buddhist walks up to a hot dog vendor…
“A buddhist walks up to a hot dog vendor and says, ‘make me one with everything.’”
I like that joke. it’s not mine, but I say it anytime someone says something to me that sounds like “You do stand-up? Tell me a joke." I heard Robin Williams say it in Bicentennial Man.
Robin Williams has been the almost-exclusive topic of my social media for the past 24 hours. I assume that this is because I’m mainly internet friends with comedians, who are especially traumatized by the news. The one or two people I’m following on twitter who are posting advertisements for their books and kickstarters in the middle of it all seem unusually tone deaf, but it’s probably not their fault.
I mentioned a little while ago about how living in Los Angeles, trying to insinuate myself into the worlds of comedy and film has lead to meeting and working with a surprising number of high school Rob’s heroes. This means that when a family member sees me at Christmas and asks if I’ve ever met anyone famous, I do a quick flip through a mental rolodex of people I’m proud to have met and/or worked with, and then say “nah, not really no.’"
But, I was at UCB in one of the periods when Robin Williams was dropping in at the theater. A bunch of improvisers have been sharing their memories of it on facebook.com. This is what I wrote on such a thread:
I was in that jam too. The scene was between two hairdressers, and he and I were the people getting their hair done, and we read our magazines and didn’t say anything. The hairdressers had some kind of fight or meltdown or killed each other or something, and we were left sitting there. I think maybe I asked him about his kids, and then someone wiped it. There was a later scene where I was trying to point someone in and he didn’t know what I was doing so he shook my hand and I was a little embarrassed that he thought I wanted a handshake in the middle of the set, or maybe at all.
But try explaining UCB’s Long Hard Improv Jam to your aunt in Ohio. “I did a scene on stage with Robin Williams once. We didn’t really meet, but we performed together.”
“No, not really, no.”
What I really want to do in these moments is murmur “it’s not like thaaaat.” but if the person I’m talking to was going to pick up on a Maria Bamford reference, they wouldn’t’ve been asking in the first place. ↩
”You know that lady in those target commercials from a couple years back? We had dinner once. She’s the best.” ↩