Robin Williams: Larry's personal stories and memories - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Robin Williams: Larry's personal stories and memories

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - You weren't likely to forget the time you met Robin Williams if you were lucky enough to do so. Our own Larry Himmel experienced a Robin Williams performance before he was a movie star, and says it's something he'll never forget.

Long before Robin Williams was a comedic icon, he was an up and coming performer who delivered side splitting shows in San Francisco. Larry first crossed paths with Williams in the early 1970s, when larry signed up for an open mic spot at a comedy club called the Holy City Zoo.

"If you were judged to be the best comic at open mic night, you were given the opening spot the following week to work at this comedy club. I'd never done it before, so as a lark I signed up and I went to this dingy little club.

"I did a 10-minute set of really bad jokes. It went over awful, but I thought it went okay compared to the other rousters around me," Larry said.

But there was one rouster Larry hadn't seen yet. And this wacky, energetic comedian named Robin Williams was like no one he had seen before.

"He literally took every laugh out of there. There wasn't any air left in the place, people were holding their sides, and he just completely did it off the cuff," Larry said.

Williams made off with all the laughs, and Larry didn't need to hear from the judges to know who won.

"I just kind of slinked out of the club that night. I'm sure I didn't win that night, and I'm sure he didn't care if he did," he said.

They'd actually work together several years later at The Comedy Store in La Jolla. Larry was the house emcee and Williams was the headliner for a couple dozen shows.

"He was always personable. A little quieter than the demonstrative guy we saw on stage, but he always took over a room," Larry said.

He would go on to take over the hearts of millions before his untimely death, including those lucky enough to share a room with him.

"As we find out so tragically today, everybody loved him," Larry said.

  • CBS 8 FeaturesMore>>

  • Ink Movement: Shark tattoos raise awareness

    Ink Movement: Shark tattoos raise awareness

    Tuesday, July 18 2017 4:22 PM EDT2017-07-18 20:22:29 GMT

    While most people are glued to their televisions for the popular "Shark Week" others are making a difference off our coast.  Particularly a local tattoo artist, Kyle Walker, who uses his profits to raise money for shark finning prevention and awareness. 

     

    While most people are glued to their televisions for the popular "Shark Week" others are making a difference off our coast.  Particularly a local tattoo artist, Kyle Walker, who uses his profits to raise money for shark finning prevention and awareness. 

     
  • Race day hair, fashion and beauty tips in Del Mar

    Race day hair, fashion and beauty tips in Del Mar

    Monday, July 17 2017 4:56 PM EDT2017-07-17 20:56:24 GMT

    More than 42,000 people showed up to Del Mar's opening day last year.  Just imagine navigating such a huge crowd for hours on end, sounds like you'd be in need of some serious spa time afterward.

     

    More than 42,000 people showed up to Del Mar's opening day last year.  Just imagine navigating such a huge crowd for hours on end, sounds like you'd be in need of some serious spa time afterward.

     
  • Zoo Day: It's a pig, wolf and cheetah-dog team

    Zoo Day: It's a pig, wolf and cheetah-dog team

    Friday, July 14 2017 4:32 PM EDT2017-07-14 20:32:37 GMT

    On Zoo Day the animals usually come to us, but Friday we went to them. News 8's Ashley Jacobs is at the San Diego Zoo with a pig, a wolf, and a cheetah-dog team!

     

    On Zoo Day the animals usually come to us, but Friday we went to them. News 8's Ashley Jacobs is at the San Diego Zoo with a pig, a wolf, and a cheetah-dog team!

     
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.