Robin Williams Leaves Entertainment Reporter In Stitches

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Issue 3909

Abusive Husband Was Himself Abuser As Child

JACKSON, MS—Psychiatric evaluations of wifebeater Jimmy Pellett, 33, indicate that he himself was abusive as a child, doctors reported Tuesday. "Since the age of 3, Mr. Pellett has been the perpetrator of countless acts of violence against his parents, siblings, and other neighborhood children," Dr. William Traschel said. "Sadly, the beatings and emotional terror he inflicted as a child led him to more beatings as an adult. Just another textbook case of the abuser growing up to be the abuser."

'Watermelon Capital Of World' Claim Goes Unchallenged

CORDELE, GA—For the 15th year in a row, Cordele has retained the title of "Watermelon Capital of the World"—despite a clear lack of evidence that its melons are the biggest, best, or most abundant. "We really expected Knox City, TX, to step up to the plate this year and give us a run for our money," said Mona Simmons, president of the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce. "Thankfully, they seem content just being the Seedless Watermelon Capital of the World."

White House Pretty Sure Uzbekistan Diplomat Stole A Bunch Of Soap

WASHINGTON, DC—Following a weekend visit by Otkir Halilov, Uzbekistan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, White House officials are "90 percent sure" that the visitor made off with a bunch of soap and other assorted sundries. "I don't want to start an international incident, but I'm pretty sure Otkir swiped four or five bars from one of the upstairs bathrooms," said White House chief of staff Andrew Card at a press conference Monday. "Either he wanted a souvenir or they just can't get that kind of stuff back home." Also missing were an embroidered towel, a box of Kleenex, and two miniature cans of Edge shaving gel.

Oscar Gift Bags

Each year, Academy Awards attendees take home a coveted gift bag. Among the items to be included this year:

Life After Saddam

With war imminent, President Bush and others are already discussing plans for a post-Saddam, U.S.-occupied Iraq. What do you think?

Man Offered Cocaine By Guy He Met At Urinal 90 Seconds Ago

NEW YORK—A minute and a half after using a urinal at the Manhattan hotspot Bungalow 8 Monday, Gerard Bouchard, 25, was offered cocaine by the stranger voiding his bladder next to him. "As I'm leaving the restroom, the sweat-soaked guy I was pissing next to says, 'Sure is crowded, but, hey, lots of hot chicks and you can't go wrong with that, right? Want a bump?'" Bouchard said. "I guess I didn't realize that taking your penis out near someone makes them your good friend." Bouchard declined the man's generous offer, bypassing a chance to strengthen their urinating-in-close-proximity bond.
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    ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Robin Williams Leaves Entertainment Reporter In Stitches

LOS ANGELES—Comic wildman Robin Williams left Entertainment Tonight reporter Maria Menounos in stitches Monday, cracking her up with a manic, off-the-cuff comedic riff covering everything from Survivor to Botox.

Robin Williams Leaves Entertainment Reporter In Stitches

"How does he come up with this stuff?" asked a still-laughing Menounos, who interviewed Williams as he arrived at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel for a gala charity benefit for pediatric AIDS. "When Robin's around, you never know what he's going to say. But one thing's for sure: It's guaranteed to be funny."

Williams, 50, is renowned for his surreal, free-associative detours, which have delighted countless entertainment reporters on both coasts.

Williams went on the unexpected, wholly improvised comic tear when Menounos asked him about his outfit, a tuxedo accentuated by a pair of flashy, neon-purple cowboy boots. The query prompted Williams to launch into impersonations of a jive-talking black man and John Wayne before segueing into references to Joan Rivers, the reality-TV program Survivor, and the popular wrinkle remover Botox, leaving Menounos in what witnesses described as "hysterics."

"Yo, what is up, homeslice? Dis sucka be lookin' baaad tonight!" said Williams, showing off his outfit to Menounos. "Now listen, pilgrim, Monty Clift is down in Red River still lookin' for his boots. He's a little light in those loafers he's been wearin' lately, catch my drift? It's like Survivor: San Francisco... 'The tribe has spoken, and you look faaabulous!' Is Joan [Rivers] here tonight? Don't let her see me—her facelift stitches might pop out from the shock! Nurse, one million CCs of Botox, stat! No, we don't have time for the needle! Just back the truck up, fasten the hose, and pump it right into her skull! Boooop! Boooop! Boooop!"

Menounos responded to Williams with hearty laughter, eventually raising her hand in exhaustion and casting a "How does he come up with this stuff?" glance at the camera.

"It was classic Robin tonight," said fundraiser attendee Byron Allen, host of the recently cancelled junketainment program Kickin' It With Byron Allen. "He pulled it off so effortlessly, and fresh from his recent Grammy appearance, no less, when he held his award for Best Comedy Album against his crotch. Just another day at the office for this comic genius."

Access Hollywood anchor Pat O'Brien said that Williams, whom he has frequently interviewed over the past two decades, is remarkable for his outrageous unpredictability.

"When I interviewed him for Mrs. Doubtfire, I asked him if playing a woman came naturally," O'Brien said. "Although the question was posed seriously, I was kind of hoping it would set him up for a doozy of a spiel. And, boy, did it ever: Who knew he'd lisp in an effeminate voice, 'Why? What did you hear, Sweetcheeks?' and then, without warning, slip into a flawless impression of a televangelist exorcising a demon out of the lisping persona?"

"I love how, when he's conducting an imaginary exchange between two radically different personas—say, a flamboyantly gay hairdresser and a creepily placid children's-show host—he whips his head around, left and right," Access Hollywood reporter Billy Bush said. "It provides a helpful visual cue so you know when he's switching characters."

During a May 1992 press junket for the film Toys, Variety columnist Army Archerd had to be administered oxygen by paramedics after Williams overcame him with rapid-fire impressions of Jack Nicholson, a human beat box, and Ross Perot, squeezing in references to the savings-and-loan scandal and The Crying Game along the way.

"It was breathtaking to watch him weave all these seemingly unrelated pieces of pop culture into one side-splitting, completely ad-libbed routine," Extra host Leeza Gibbons said. "Robin's a national treasure."

Jules Asner, co-host of E! News Live, explained why Williams enjoys such a devoted following among entertainment journalists.

"It's true that Nathan Lane, Jim Carrey, and Carrot Top possess a certain hyperactive, spontaneous quality," Asner said. "Those guys are all incredibly zany and off-the-wall. But nobody goes off on a wild tangent quite like Robin. We just turn on the camera, ask a question, and let him rip. Do you know how much easier that makes our jobs?"

Asner said she "can't wait" for an upcoming interview with Williams for her Revealed series.

"What do you think he'll riff on instead of answering my questions?" Asner said. "Mike Tyson? Duct tape? Michael Jackson? Viagra? Monica Lewinsky? Enron? John Wayne Bobbitt? All seven? Lord, let it be all seven."

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