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Gilbert Gottfried on Robin Williams: “It Was Such a Workout Playing Off Someone Like That”

Robin Williams Death
Dave Kotinsky—Getty Images; Vera Anderson—WireImage/Getty Images

Williams was "the same onstage and off," Gottfried says

It wasn’t easy keeping up with Robin Williams, who died Monday at age 63. Comedian and friend Gilbert Gottfried described joking around with the late actor as dizzying. Here, Gottfried remembers the first time he met Williams:

“We would run into each other at comedy clubs when he’d be on stage, and we’d riff off each other. That was always very invigorating, because with someone like him you had to keep on your toes every second. I don’t really remember much about the times we were on stage because it was so strenuous. It was such a workout playing off someone like that, that when I got offstage, I was pretty much dizzy afterwards.

He worshipped Jonathan Winters, and you definitely could see the similarities. One big one is that they were the same onstage and off. Every now and then he would talk seriously, but more often than not, he was that guy. Every now and then, another part of him would pop up that was quiet.

The first time I met him, he showed up at the Improv. I was supposed to go on next, and they told him he would go on next, and he said, ‘Let Gilbert go on, because there are some people in the audience and I want them to see him.’ Then, when I got off stage, I was very pleased that he was laughing and rubbing his eyes. He went, ‘Oh, you really baked my cookies.’ I wasn’t quite sure whether to take it as a compliment.”

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