The world will laugh less...

Friday, April 12, 2013

The world will laugh less...

Jonathan Winters

...with the passing Thurs­day of Jonathan Winters, at his home in Montecito, California.

Not familiar with Winters?

If you're familiar with the characters and voices of Robin Williams, Winters was the original... but without the recreational drugs... which the younger man has never been reluctant to acknowledge.

(Winters and Wiliams on Letterman, 1986.)

What was probably most remarkable about Winters was that he made his bipolarity work for him... watch him in an improvisational sketch with Dean Martin:

While he will be remembered always from his extraordinary im­provisational comedy, I will forever think of his brilliant aphorism: "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it."

Words to live by!

Jonathan Harshman Winters Jr., a Marine during WWII, institutionalized twice during his early career, dead at age 87. We'll not see his kind again!


1. Spencer Fink said...

Jonathan Winters used to make me laugh out loud. I can remember watching him on "The Tonight Show" when Jack Parr was the late night host. We had just gotten our first color TV, Zenith I believe, and somehow I would wangle permission to stay up late and watch. I'm guessing that was mid-to-late '50s, maybe real early '60s, but that's where the cutting edge comedy was for me... there and the Yacht Club.smiley

Parr's tenure was from '57 to '62, and in that period Winters appeared 33 times, sometimes as Guest Host.

There was an urban legend when I was in college about a hilarious but distasteful joke Winters sometimes tried to tell on TV, and whenever he did, they'd take him away for nap time. A variant was that he would be found sitting on a golf course talking about little green men, another signal that he needed an enforced rest. Funny stories, but I considered them apocryphal... I was unaware at the time that he was bipolar.

And yes, WYC was usually good for a laugh... we were kids, what did we know about alcoholism? It was pretty widespread at the time, so it was considered normal... and often humorous.
– Dean

Email address is not published
Remember Me

Write the characters in the image above