Though we all have our personal favorite performances of the late, great Robin Williams — from his serious work in “Dead Poets Society” to run-by fruitings in “Mrs. Doubtfire — his loss might not be felt more poignantly than it is on late night TV, where he held the unofficial title of Best Guest Ever.
Williams was wildly unpredictable but reliably hilarious during his nighttime talk show appearances, where he would shift rapidly from one subject to another, try out a range of accents, and rattle the composure of hosts who could never keep themselves from laughing once he’d gotten going. Below, a roundup of seven great interviews that showcase Williams’ wonderful talents as a guest.
1. A nervous Robin Williams is a manically funny Robin Williams, as his first ever appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson demonstrates.
2. In an appearance to promote the family film “Mrs. Doubtfire,” it took Williams less than a minute break into a series of amazing severed penis jokes.
3. Host Conan O’Brien could barely keep it together as Williams described what it was like to have his body hair waxed for a film.
4. Williams was still in top form when he appeared on Letterman in 2012.
5. A 2013 appearance during Thanksgiving week on “The Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson showed Williams at his free-associating best.
6. When Matt Damon needed some help delivering a top-notch monologue during his “Jimmy Kimmel Live” takeover, Robin Williams was all about it.
7. And in happier times, Williams riffed on his struggles with addiction and compared cocaine personas with a delighted Craig Ferguson.