Robin Williams @ Bimbo's | SF



Robin Williams has run the gamut of the entertainment circuit: movie, sitcom, and voice-over roles have defined his nearly 30-year career in the industry. But it's his stand-up shows that initially launched the Chicago native into the spotlight, and his gift of imitating voices, witty commentary, and sharp come-backs made his hour-and-a-half "Recharging the Batteries" show at Bimbo's so memorable. No subject was left untouched: the recent Obama inauguration and the outgoing administration; cars powered by poop; Williams' stint in rehab for alcoholism; porn.

He's both a champion in storytelling and memorable one-liners, talents that also extend to his film career but really helm his show in person in addition to his voice work (drunk Irish people, Bill Clinton, and the Pope plus more all made appearances). All my adoration for the more family-oriented films he's done instantly went up in smoke with his healthy use of "fuck" and unabashed eagerness to poke fun at himself.

His first chance to make an impression on the crowd was when he popped onto stage to greet his sold-out audience, pinching his nipples and rubbing his crotch before proclaiming "White people's guilt is waaaaay low now" with the election of Barack Obama to presidency. Topics of the economy and who we elect into government weren't safe from scrutiny either, with Williams asking the audience "You realize W. comes from a family where the smartest brother is named Jeb?" and "The only reason he stopped doing drugs is because his mom's picture is on the dollar bill." He then nominated Jack Nicholson for president, since he has had his share of drug and sex scandals to the point "Even Mick Jagger would go, 'Uh, Jack, I've got to go home now.'"

After navigating through comments about Hurricane Ike ("What a crack-smoking wife-beating motherfucker"), the new Disneyland to be built in China ("There will be 12 Donald Ducks all hanging upside down on Main Street"), and the side affects drug companies don't tell consumers about ("Should we call it a shart? A shitty fart? No, 'anal leakage' sounds better"), the best bit was kept for last. A sketch that illustrated the potential conversation when humans were designed, included talk of ball-sacks resembling turkey neck skin, the clit being the doorbell to the "curtains" ("Some don't know where it is, and some don't know when to stop ringing it"), finally likening the dreaded condom application process to Golem wearing a Hazmat suit: "Precious don't love us."

My stomach hurt from laughing so hard when I exited the venue. Williams is an intelligent guy who knows what everyone is thinking but has the courage to say so, and quite brilliantly. Every few months he announces these small shows a handful of days in advance, with proceeds benefiting local charities and organizations. Hopefully, I'll be able to attend again and laugh in a time when it's so desperately needed while also giving a helping hand. And because photos were not allowed at the venue, here is a run-down of Williams' best one-liners from the evening.

Best one-liners from the Robin Williams "Recharging the Batteries" show, 1.29.09

"If Ronald Reagan and Vanna White had a kid" -- Sarah Palin

"Shit, you've elected a black man. Damn you're brave" -- the Brits on our November election

"These are women who you don't want to fuck, but you definitely don't want to fuck with them" -- observations on Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth I, and other power women in politics

"Decaf coffee is like masturbating with a mitt on"

"Hyundai makes a car now that parks itself. Where the fuck was that when I was drinking?"

"I can't give them shit, we live on God's Etch-a-Sketch" –- people in hurricane country in Florida versus earthquake territory in San Francisco

"I can give it to you, thumbdick. I do this for a living" –- to the first heckler in the night

"It was a German dude who dreamed of gymnastics: 'Slam your vagina into a pole! Wear tight clothing!'"

"I went to rehab in wine country to keep my options open"

"Don't let the gays go to Canada, or they'll win figure skating for the next 200 years"

"We will do the heckle because I'm done with the fucking act" –- the encore

"'Come on my tits!' said the only guy in San Francisco"

"Even my dick is like, 'Make your way to the door'" -- on upping his standards for sleeping with women

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Robin Williams @ Bimbo's | SF