David Letterman has seen countless comedians take the stage over the years, but in a new teaser for the HBO documentary “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” the late-night legend reveals he was initially dubious of the late, great comedy icon.
“When we first saw Robin on stage we were skeptical,” the 2017 Stern Show guest reveals in the clip (above), which cuts between an interview with Letterman and decades-old performance footage from Robin’s stand-up sets.
But it apparently didn’t take long until he realized he was witnessing something special. “In my head, my first sight of him was that he could fly because of the energy. It was like observing an experiment,” David continued. “We knew that whatever it was Robin was doing, we weren’t gonna get close to that.”
Since Robin passed away tragically in 2014, several of his comedy contemporaries have visited the Stern Show and reminisced about the entertainer's unique talents. During a September 2017 sit down with Howard, Rob Schneider credited Robin with essentially creating a stand-up scene in the Bay Area. “He just had another level of energy,” Rob added. “The audience was so psyched to see him that he would really have to work to under-deliver.”
Dana Carvey, meanwhile, told Howard he had enjoyed a years-long friendship with Robin. Hear him describe his relationship with the comedy legend while occasionally slipping into an impression of him here.
In addition to an interview with Letterman, the Marina Zenovich-directed HBO doc features conversations with Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal as well as Robin's son, Zak Williams.
“Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” debuts Monday, July 16 at 7 p.m. on HBO.