Monday, August 18, 2014

RR Robin Williams - Live 2002

These last few days I've been going through a lot of Robin Williams material and being all nostalgic and stuff. The man will sadly be missed...

I already reviewed Robin Williams' Weapons of Self-Destruction, let's have a look at his previous 2002 stand-up comedy special.

More Stand-up Comedy reviewed below:

Title: Robin Williams: Live on Broadway or also known as Robin Williams: Live 2002 
Comedian Robin Williams 
Release date 2002
Genre Stand-up Comedy album

After he became a big TV and movie star, Robin Williams did several stand-up comedy shows such as An Evening With Robin Williams (1982) and Robin Williams: At The Met (1986). But these comedy specials and occasional stand-up appearances on TV kinda took a backseat for his acting career.

Finally, after a really long break from stand-up comedy, Robin Williams returned to the field with a very special show. Robin Williams Live on Broadway! Renamed Live 2002 as he launched his 26-city tour.

Williams tried keeping his stand-up constant alongside his film career, but after his success got bigger and bigger with all of his 1990s classic it somehow got harder for him to have enough time for it.

"Live 2002" was his first time headlining his own new one-man show after such long time, the main show being played at The Broadway Theatre in July 2002. It was followed by tour through the country. The Broadway part filmed in New York was the one that aired live on HBO.

This was his fourth overall stand-up show in his career.

Live on Broadway/Live 2002 was released first as a DVD/VHS home release, which was quickly followed by a couple of CD releases. The DVD version is fun alone just to see how many bottles of water Robin Williams goes through in one single show! It's also the only complete uncut version of the show, and includes bonus material. The audio comedy album of the show was released as both a standard single normal CD release and a 2 CD release. Some was cut from the show (not the mature language, mind you, just little bits of improvisation here and there). On the double CD, the second disc contains bonus extracts. And since he never did the same show twice, that bonus discs contains several unique bits and twists from his different routines across 20 US cities.

Live 2002 is a 2-hour epic, in which Robin goes over as many of his own favorite and personal subjects as possible.

Zig-zagging from one subject to another, out of control and totally unpredictable!

A lot of it being pure and simple improv on the spot, as he goes along.

Live 2002 was his first stand-up post-9/11. So of course he had to do some hilarious jab at the Bush administration.

He begins his show with sports, the World Cub and the Olympics. Then he talks about Utah, our current troubled times (back then), the Bush administration, what's it like going on a plane nowadays, homeland security, some more Blair, Bush and Cheney and the Iraq situation. After that he does some more topical bits, golf, boxing, drugs, going to the Zoo and finally he talks about his children and parents.

The second CD on the release I have pictured above they included some of his performance from the cities of Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington DC, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Toronto, Memphis and more! In which you can listen to some of his specifically tailored material for each location. Great stuff all around. (For example, using some of his first locations to test material)

Overall, Robin Williams' Live 2002 is definitively well worth a look for most comedy and Williams fans.

He was a great funny comedian and a great story teller. This show contains some of his best performances, great delivery, jokes and punchlines all around. You gotta love Robin Williams fast-paced storytelling!  

Maybe this show didn't feel as focused as his earlier older material. And it's true that he didn't concentrate on each bit or character for much long. But it feels like a fun experiment in brainstormed comedy.

Granted, most of this 2002 stand-up comedy show feels already dated. He covered so many "current" affairs and topics from that time, it might not last the test of time as easily as most other Robin Williams comedy specials.

Also, since this was his big return at the time, he really surprised many people here cursing a lot much than his past older shows. There's a lot profanity! Maybe not something for the whole family to enjoy (this is no material for kids!).

Anyhow, Robin Williams truly showed he hadn't lost any of his touch at the time.

This special was voted one of the "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time" by Comedy Central in 2004! It broke most records for a comedy show at the time and was even sold out within the first thirty minutes of going on sale back then!

He would take a six-year break before coming back with a huge follow-up tour with "Weapons of Self-Destruction".

I give it:

2.5 / 3 Urkels!

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