In the latest episode of “Doug Loves Movies,” Doug Benson and guests Marc Maron, Kumail Nanjiani, Kulap Vilaysack and Howard Kremer took a break from the usual format of bullshitting about movies (in the best way) and playing games to talk about Robin Williams. True to form, it was hilarious, but also sweet and respectful. You should absolutely listen, even if you don’t usually listen to DLM or if you do usually listen to DLM and are hesitant to listen to what could have been a downbeat episode. It really isn’t. Maron calls traffic a cunt and everything.
Here are some of the quotes that got me most. In fairness, it’s pretty easy to get me about this. I’m still kind of weird about it. I’ll talk about that a bit later. For now, here’s some awesome people talking about an awesome person.
Maron: [Referring to his re-posting of the “WTF” episode with Robin Williams] “I started getting these press requests. I’m like, I don’t know the guy, I don’t have a history with him. That conversation was it, and it was amazing, and it changed my life, but that’s it. I’m not gonna say anything. Listen to it. Grieve appropriately. Don’t be a predatory weirdo who’s like, ‘We gotta get comments!’”
Benson: Even in stuff he did that I don’t enjoy, that I think is a bad film, I just think that he was a very committed performer and super talented. I didn’t watch [The Crazy Ones] but every time I saw a scene from it, I was like, “He had to learn those fuckin’ lines.” Those fuckin’ David E. Kelley shows, they fuckin’ talk and talk and talk.
Kumail Nanjiani: That’s the most basic thing to be impressed by. “He didn’t look into the camera once!”
Maron: “I’ve met him many times and I’ve spent time with him, and he was a very generous, very sweet guy, but the weirdest thing about Robin Williams is that he was almost shy. When you would meet him offstage, and he was always interested in what you were doing, he was very humble and very sweet and just a really genuine person…He was very grounded.
Nanjiani: “He seemed very kind. He dropped in at Meltdown once, and I got offstage and went in the green room and he was like, ‘Hey’ and I was like ‘Hey!’ and he was like ‘Hey, I’m Robin’ and I was like ‘Yeah! OK! What’s your last name?’…I was like ‘Do you wanna go up?’ and he was like ‘I’m just here to watch’ and I was like ‘Just do two minutes’ and his hat and coat were off and he was like ‘OK, I’ll do two minutes.
Maron: “And how much did he really do?”
Nanjiani: “He did 15…He fucking crushed. What was great was when his jokes wouldn’t do well how self-effacing he was onstage and make fun of himself, and the crowd, like, so much love. He got offstage and his face was so bright and he was smiling and his eyes were shining and he was like, ‘Thank you. That was wonderful. I really needed that.’”
Vilaysack: “I ran this really tiny show at El Cid like seven years ago and it was a show where we were doing everything but stand-up comedy and he showed up and just hung out, and I took a photo with him. It was such a thrill. He did improv jams here [at UCB] onstage, and it was such a beautiful thing. He would come and jam with students. He just loved comedy, he loved being around comedians.”
Maron: “Yep, because at his core he was a fucking comic. He was a great comic. There was nobody like him. That’s it.”
Nanjiani: “My mom texted me yesterday, and she was so sad about Robin Williams, and she never texts me, and I realized the Venn diagram of my mom’s and my interests, the only intersection is Robin Williams. That’s the only thing we agree on. He’s fucking awesome.”
Benson: “I talked to my mom yesterday a few minutes after I heard and she clearly didn’t know yet, and so I didn’t say anything. I gave her a little bit more time to think that he was alive. Because it’s a bummer to everybody.”
Maron: “‘Cause he has a place in everyone’s mind and heart. He’s Robin Williams.”
Nanjiani: “And everyone has a favorite Robin Williams movie, like everyone has a movie that they love that has Robin Williams in it.”
Benson: “I would imagine that performing, like being in front of people all the time, like if there was comedy 24/7, he could probably get by. That could be his medicine.”
Maron: “He shoulda hired an audience to live with him. [mixed audience reaction] Too dark? I apologize. Too soon?”
Vilaysack: “Maybe too true.”
Note: Please no shit about all the “likes”—these are nice quotes and this is nice time.