Now, the most requested episode of Inside the Actors Studio ever, the featuring Robin Williams, makes its DVD debut, its running time doubled with deleted scenes showing Williams at his most outrageous and insightful.
* All-new intro by James Lipton.
* 10 never-before-seen scenes.
"Are you thinking faster than the rest of us?" host James Lipton asks Robin Williams, who proceeds to improvise for four breakneck minutes with a pink shawl donated by an audience member. Williams brings it "on" throughout this exhilarating and exhausting 2001 interview (it's about five minutes before Lipton can even get in a question), the first two-hour episode in Inside the Actor's Studio
's august history. In the "thrilling pandemonium" of this master class, the Oscar and Golden Globe award-winning actor and comedian not only crosses the line, but also hurtles himself off the cliff, and he takes his wildly appreciative audience with him. Lipton makes no attempts to reign in Williams, sticking to his signature blue cards that take Williams through his life and phenomenal career, while Williams heads into the ether with digressionary riffs, embodying a dizzying array of characters. Along the way, there are fun biographical bits (Williams was voted least most likely to succeed in high school) and nuggets of comedy wisdom (stand up comedy, he says, makes one fearless and tough as an actor). One wishes Williams dug a little deeper, especially in discussing his addiction battle (Lipton elicits no dramatic revelations or breakdown moments), but this essential episode is a tour de force that is a marvel to behold for any Williams fan or aspiring actor or comedian. A highlight of the disc are deleted interview segments from the five-hour taping, which reveal a more thoughtful side of Williams as he discusses lifting a paralyzed Christopher Reeve's spirits with a hospital room visit, the classic play Waiting for Godot
, in which he costarred on Broadway opposite Steve Martin, and calling Steven Spielberg to give him much-needed comic relief during the filming of Schindler's List
. As Lipton notes in his introduction, Williams here is unleashed, uncut, and uncensored. He is also, in accordance with broadcast standards, very heavily bleeped, especially when discussing his favorite profanity. --Donald Liebenson