Robin Williams: 'Oh my God, oh my God'

MICHELE A'COURT
Last updated 13:19 12/08/2014
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MEETING ROBIN WILLIAMS: Michele A'Court, left, with Robin Williams and her husband Jeremy Elwood.

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OPINION: Meeting Robin Williams about a year ago was an "Oh my God" moment for columnist Michele A'Court. Here's what she wrote about the encounter:

Last week I met Robin Williams backstage at a comedy show. He asked after you. I thought you'd like to know.

His "How is Christchurch?" came very shortly after my, "Oh my God, oh my God, it is so amazing to meet you, I can't believe it, oh my God, hello".

It is possible not all of those words came out of my mouth. My internal monologue was such a gush of fan-girl hysteria I'm not entirely sure what ended up on the outside.

Robin Williams' Live at the Met recorded in 1986 was what made me think, "That's the thing I would like to do with my life".

He is, for more than one generation of us, the comedy master.

Thanks to the usual serendipitous connections that weave the entertainment world together (you meet a guy who knows a guy who puts you in touch with the woman who runs things) Jeremy Elwood and I made our second appearance last week at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, forty minutes over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.

The Throckmorton is known for three things: being one of the most beautiful small town theatres you might find anywhere; running a sell-out comedy show every Tuesday night; and for being Dana Carvey's and Robin Williams' neighbourhood gig, the spot where they (and other top comics) drop by to try out new gear.

Which is how we came to be introduced to him backstage.

And also how we get to, "How is Christchurch? Have they rebuilt it yet?" I explain the city is still quite broken, and that it is going to take years. I'm working so hard at appearing calm, my brain forgets to remind me he has his own a special connection with this city.

When Williams was touring "Weapons of Self Destruction" in November 2010 - soon after the devastating September quake and before the more devastating February one - he donated all proceeds from his Christchurch show to the rebuilding programme - half to the Red Cross and the other half to the Mayoral fund.

We saw his Auckland show the following night and he talked about you.

It seems that, almost three years later, you are still very much on his mind.

He couldn't have been kinder. We chatted. We talk about meeting people we admire. He talks about Jonathan Winters. We tell our "Bumping Into Billy Connolly in a Hotel Bar" story. Robindoes an impression of him, and we all agree Billy is a delight. So there we are, chatting with the world's most famous comedian about meeting famous comedians.

It was Robin Williams' birthday a couple of days ago. You should send him a card. He'd love to hear from you. He remembers you.

ROBIN WILLIAMS AND MICHELE A'COURT 

- The Press

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