A Tale of Two Robins: When Robin Gibb Met Robin Williams
On August 11, 2014, the news of the sudden, tragic death of Robin Willams shocked the world. That he hanged himself after a lengthy battle with depression seems to suggest that the gentleness and sensitivity that exuded from his comedic onscreen presence must have been a witness to the depth of his emotions and vulnerability. Like Maurice Gibb, who was the "authorized comic" of the Bee Gees, Williams reportedly suffered from alcoholism, too.
Although it is not widely known, another great, funny Robin, Robin Gibb, was also a great admirer of Robin Williams. Robin Gibb loved comedies, and he appreciated Williams’ body of work very much.
Soon after the news of Robin Williams’ passing hit us, Dwina Gibb tweeted:
Robin loved Robin Williams. I remember them both doing an impromptu sketch of The Goon Show on a plane journey. A terrible loss. Dwina. （August 12, 2014)
I asked her to tell us more about it:
We were flying from L.A. to New Mexico to attend John Travolta’s birthday party, probably the 50th. Anyway, when Robin found out that Robin Williams was also on the same flight, he wanted to go and say "Hi" to him. So he went down the isle, and the two said, "Hello," to each other. They had met on a few occasions before, but had not really talked much to each other. So they started talking, and realized that they were both great fans of "Goon Show." Suddenly, Robin started saying words to one of their sketches. And then Robin Williams started saying the words,too. And there in the airplane, they did the whole sketch from "Goon Show." When they were done, everyone around them clapped. I knew Robin was a fan of "Goon Show," but did not know that he knew all the words! I was surprised. He listened to all their radio shows, you know.
Wow, so they did the whole sketch there in the isle of the airplane?
So they did the same sketch twice?! (Wow!)
No, they did a different sketch at the airport. They did two sketches, really (laughs)!
How cute! The passengers on the plane and the passers-by at the airport were really lucky to be there.
During the Mythology Tour, Barry spoke of Robin as a "dichotomy." He said, "One minute, he is really happy and funny; and the next minute, he is really sad." Robin Gibb sure was funny. He always made me laugh or smile. I loved the exquisite sense of "timing" when he told me some of his little jokes. But more than once, I felt there was an undercurrent of sadness, something like a subterranean lake of pure, clear water, at the core of his personality.
Because they were both called Robin, there is another strange episode regarding the two of them. When Robin Gibb passed on May 20, 2012, the rumors spread that "Robin Williams fell to his death while shooting a film somewhere in Europe." The death hoax story got tweeted and retweeted; however, it was a different Robin as we all know so well. With their sense of humor, the two might have enjoyed the mistake. I can see Robin Gibb laughing and saying, "Fortunately or unfortunately, it was me!"
(Thanks: Dwina Gibb)
(The picture of Robin Gibb was taken on September 3, 2005 during a Tokyo gig)
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