Robin Williams last appearance on Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
Robin Williams last appearance on Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
[21th May 1992]
April 22nd, 2019
Robin Williams appears on the last regular Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. This was the penultimate final Tonight Show with Carson, and the final show with guests.
Robin was a once in a lifetime talent. This genius walks into a space and completely takes control with the most brilliant ad lib unscripted material ever. He totally commands the space with his genius.
CARSON: Okay. Okay, we’re back. You know, in this business, there are comedians,there are comics, and once in a while – rarely – somebody rises above and supersedes that and becomes a comic persona unto themselves. I never cease to be amazed at the versatility and the wonderful work that Robin Williams does. Would you welcome him please? Robin Williams.
WILLIAMS: I brought you a little something.
CARSON: You’ve got to be kidding.
WILLIAMS: A little something from the Elvis estate. A little something here. It’s nice.
CARSON: Just, can I try? Should I try?
WILLIAMS: Please, just sit on down and we’ll give you a piña colonic. There you are.
CARSON: Oh God.
WILLIAMS: There we go.
CARSON: Can I sit in the sun today?
WILLIAMS: We’re going to Spago.
WILLIAMS: Don’t be afraid. I’ve also bought you the new L.A. medic alert. It says, “I’ve fallen and get the hell away from me.” A little gift.
CARSON: Oh, isn’t that nice. A rocking chair.
WILLIAMS: Yeah, it’s the simple things. I got you a bunch of stuff. Yeah, it’s the little stuff to get you in your new life.
CARSON: Oh, come on. Hey thank you for coming on. I really mean it.
WILLIAMS: This is a wild night, especially with the world in such interesting–I was going to bring you a VCR, but the stores had none.
CARSON: A little low, are they?
WILLIAMS: Yeah. Somebody I guess had done a little political shopping.
It’s very difficult. You see people going, “Yeah man!”
“It’s for Rodney King! And the five TVs are for me.”
Yeah, they caught the one guy. They always catch the one whino.
“All right, yeah, man. I’m really pissed off about Don King.”
“The Don King thing has got me down, man.” “Damn.”
And they brought in the National Guard. They didn’t come with bullets, which is always an interesting thing.
CARSON: They couldn’t find them.
WILLIAMS: They couldn’t find them.
So they’re out in the streets going, “Hey everybody. We are the world.”
It’s a difficult thing.
CARSON: Ah, yeah. But you know.
WILLIAMS: They said they saw BMWs pulling up to the Radio Shack. That must be great.
“This is fabulous. This is great.”
“I wonder if we can get store credit if you don’t already have it.”
CARSON: Oh God. I said last night, thank God for Qualye. He kept us alive for two more nights.
WILLIAMS: Oh yeah, Quayle. They sent him down to the hood. That was great. Yeah, he thinks he’s now a homie right now.
Yeah, Dan, hangin’. “Look it’s boys in the hood.”
“Hi there. You have got to chill. Yeah, yeah. This is real def.”
“Hold it right– Woah.
What it is, what it was.”
“Oh man, you dumb.”
The guy, the guy is– He’s one taco short of a combination plate. It’s amazing. I really, I think that they told him about the Murphy Brown thing.
I think George said, “All right.
Here’s the deal.”
“I want you to go out there and talk about Jerry Brown.”
“Jerry Brown. Jerry Brown. Jerry Brown.”
“Buster Brown. Buster Brown. Buster Brown. Buster Brown. Buster Brown.”
“Audie Murphy. Audie Murphy. Audie Murphy. Audie Murph–”
“Murphy Brown! Murphy Brown make me so– Don’t you hear that! That he’s rain man!”
CARSON: 162, 163…
WILLIAMS: “He’s basically– Hey Dan, you want to be president? “Yeah. Five minutes to Murphy Brown. Yeah.”
“Do you want to fly up to the coast?”
“Yeah. Air Force One. Safest plane. Never crashed. Never crashed.”
“Yeah, yeah. That’d be good. Yeah.”
It’s amazing. He’s the greatest insurance in the world. Just when someone’s going, “I’m gonna get that George–”
“Wait a minute.” “I pop him, he becomes– Oh man.”
It’s amazing. And Bush. And Bush is just out there going, “Well, a thousand points of light. They’re not burning anymore. Come on down. Here we go.”
“You gotta weed and seed.” I figured out how you do George Bush. Basically, what you do is, “You take John Wayne.” “And you tighten up his ass.”
“Gonna head the wagon trains on north. Come on with me.”
CARSON: I never thought of that. John Wayne.
WILLIAMS: Oh, it’s frightening.
CARSON: You pilgrim it and you bring it up a thousand points.
WILLIAMS: Right on up there. There you go. Gonna head the wagon train through, gonna cash some checks. Here we are. It’s an amazing thing. And you look, instead of cowboy boots. There’s topsiders. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s all the stuff. Blaming. He goes off to– First they blame– First they start off blaming the welfare programs of the society.
CARSON: Great society, yeah.
WILLIAMS: Yeah. Then they go for Murphy Brown. Next thing he’s going, “Lincoln. Did it all wrong.”
“Freed people before he had the plan in place. Won’t work”
“Wrong thing there. What’s going on?”
CARSON: What do you think of Perot?
WILLIAMS: Perot is amazing.
CARSON: This is a– The guys ahead in the polls. Hasn’t said anything.
WILLIAMS: Hasn’t said anything. Well, you know he’s not going to write a bad check.
“I’ll tell you what I– Hey I own it. Come on down. Hey, hey. How ’bout this. I’ll cover the first 75 days. Drinks on me. Come on now.”
I have a strange feeling if he gets elected he’s going to go in there. “Thank you all very much. It’s just wonderful that you all did this.”
CARSON: “I’m back!”
WILLIAMS: “I fooled ya!”
It looks like he’s wearing a Halloween mask.
CARSON: A lot of people like Perot. They think he’s Frank Purdue of the Purdue chicken.
WILLIAMS: “All these chickens. I raised them myself. I don’t have a foreign policy, but these chickens do.”
CARSON: Oh, God.
WILLIAMS: And Clinton. Everyone, basically– Clinton, the whole thing about who he slept with different women. It doesn’t matter if he’s– I don’t care if he slept with a chicken. If he’s got a foreign policy and an economic plan, great. This is a whole other thing. Imagine if, you know, you do have a president they find out he slept with a sheep.
“How was he?” “Not baaaad.”
CARSON: You draw the line there?
WILLIAMS: That’s it. Thank you. There we go. And you got Jerry Brown. And Tsongas. Who is basically– Tsongas was like, “Hellllo.”
“I have a fiscal budget. Hahahahaha.”
CARSON: I think Clinton made his big mistake when he said, “I didn’t inhale.”
WILLIAMS: Yeah. That’s very– Now that’s a hard one to pull off.
CARSON: And Jerry Brown’s problem was he never exhaled. You like that?
WILLIAMS: I love that!
CARSON: Thank you*.
WILLIAMS: He’s the type of guy– People look at Jerry Brown and go, “Oh my God, the man’s going to have a bake sale for the Army. He’s like the Gestalt president. And I guess that leaves– And Buchanan’s always over there as the anti-Bush.
“Just waiting. Don’t make a bad move.”
And they’ve got all those right to life people. I mean that was the whole Murphy Brown issue. I mean now there’s– Is he right to life? Is he for life? Is he against life? It doesn’t matt–
It’s the whole thing, man. The right to life people, I’d go with you to see these children. They’re right to life. But the moment they’re born they go, “I’m out of here.”
CARSON: Yup, as soon as they get that call.
WILLIAMS: “Bye bye. See ya.”
CARSON: You’re marvelous. I gotta take a break here. We’re coming back.
All right, we are back. Now. What do you do– Do you still have your ranch? You call it a ranchette, or a ranch?
CARSON: A ranchero.
WILLIAMS: A big ranch up there.
Not like Ron. “I don’t go up there a lot.” Hanging out there with Nancy going, “Move it, old man!”
“All right, let’s go. Well, let’s get on the horse.”
Even the horse is going, “Again?”
“The horse is my friend.”
“Meant no harm.”
CARSON: Ah, now, the new baby.
WILLIAMS: Yes, there is a new baby.
CARSON: Yeah. Six months old.
WILLIAMS: Six months. It’s amazing.
CARSON: Is that two now?
WILLIAMS: I have three children. That I know of. It’s an amazing thing because when they’re born, they’re so exquisite. They’re perfectly formed. This is a little boy. Perfectly formed and then these incredibly huge cojones. As we say, big cojones. If that’s bleeped, good luck.
CARSON: Is that a long running family trait?
WILLIAMS: Your grandfather had a great set, too. I hope he grows into these. I hope they don’t just keep getting proportianlly the same. Or it’s like, “Hi, I’m here.”
CARSON: Well, we’re out of here tomorrow night, what do I care? What are they gonna do? Can me?
WILLIAMS: You get those letters. “Dear Mr. Car–. Oh, damn.”
“Can you forward this to him?”
CARSON: I assume, when you came out, for a moment. I said, “My God.”
WILLIAMS: Something’s wrong with him.
CARSON: The blonde hair. I assume it’s for a motion picture role. Or is it bleached from the sun on the ranch?
WILLIAMS: I did this. I’m so happy to be here. I want to have my own little cable show. Hi. Welcome to In Your Ear. My guest tonight is Mother Theresa.
CARSON: Rappin’ with Robin.
WILLIAMS: Rappin’ with Robin. We’ll be right back. Feels like one of those things where you have guests like– And here are my guests Mother Theresa and Ruta Lee.
CARSON: And later Mason Reese will be along.
WILLIAMS: Mother Theresa is here pushing her new perfume. It’s called compassion. The scent of sentiment. I did this for a movie. People look at me and go, “Why did you dye your hair, man?” You know, it’s–
CARSON: Why was it important to be blonde in the picture?
WILLIAMS: It’s just kind of to bother people, I think. It’s for this– It’s a strange movie. It’s called Toys. It’s about a toy factory. I guess they wanted me to be someone so they would go, “What’s wrong? Something’s happened to him.”
CARSON: Is this a comic picture with serious overtones or a serious picture with comic overtones?
WILLIAMS: Yes. And we hope for all of those. And you have to get it done every three weeks. It’s that whole thing of– You’re sitting in a beauty parlor. And this whole thing. You’ve got tin in your hair– You get great reception. It’s very difficult to be sitting under a hair dryer and going, “How about those Bulls, huh?”
“Hey, great game, yeah?”
“Want some more coffee?”
“No, I’m fine.”
“I’m doin’ real good.”
WILLIAMS: But it’s, ahh–
CARSON: I understand Comic Relief raised– How much money did you raise this year?
WILLIAMS: We raised about six million dollars. It’s an amazing thing.
CARSON: Oh, that’s good. That’s marvelous.
WILLIAMS: It’s incredible. It’s an amazing thing. You think about all of the money in the world. It’s basically about a tire for one airplane.
WILLIAMS: It’s money that goes for medical aid. Just to keep people going.
CARSON: You’d think they can go without another B-1 or stealth bomber. It costs 900 million dollars or something.
WILLIAMS: A million, ooh, that’s just spare parts. It’s those things. “Gotta do it. Trying to make them happy.”
CARSON: “Points of light.” “Dan, what do you think about Roe versus Wade?” “Ahhh, I prefer to float.” “OK.”** Trying to make it happen.
CARSON: What are you doing when you get any spare time? When you’re not doing concerts and Comic Relief and working your material out in clubs and so forth?
WILLIAMS: Well, I try and– I run a lot. I run cross country and stuff. Cause it’s so much cheaper than the old ways. When you’re out running, nobody goes, “Yo man, need another pair of shoes?” It’s very difficult to run just because you get that endorphin. Which is like your body’s way of saying this really hurts. I’m going to medicate you. That’s why you see marathon runners who are just like, “How are you doing?” “Huhhh.” But, I run–
CARSON: Do you get that low heartbeat now that marathon runners get?
WILLIAMS: Oh, that real low heartbeat.
CARSON: Something down like 36 or 40 beats a minute?
WILLIAMS: Basically down around a squirrel. You get that really really really low heartbeat. It’s like. Booop. Booop. Beeep. Beeep. Ehhhh. Got it. I’m trying to do a lot of different things. I mean it’s– And I play with my children a lot. That’s important.
CARSON: It’s great having you here. I think–
WILLIAMS: This is an amazing night. What are you going to do after this? Why don’t you run for pol– Go, run for office, man. Go! Yes! How ’bout it? You and Gorbachev.
CARSON: No, no. They’ll go back to when I was in high school and find out what Francine Corbin and I did in the back of a ’39 Chrysler and that’ll come out to haunt me. No. They look into your background too much.
WILLIAMS: They go beyond that. It’s the type of scrutiny that even Washington would go, thank you. I’m outta here. No one can survive the scrutiny of that. But, I mean, you can do it. You can either run with Gorbachev. It’d be great. He doesn’t have a green card, but what the hell. The man’s truly an independent.
CARSON: We’ll take a break. We’re coming back.
* Johnny was surprised Robin laughed at his Jerry Brown joke. And Robin looked surprised Johnny be could funny. They are talking about the Democratic primary for the US presidential election, which had just concluded. After a month of hard campaigning, Bill Clinton had defeated Jerry Brown. When asked if he had ever smoked marijuana when younger (as pretty much all his friends remembered him doing), Clinton famously responded that he did but had “never inhaled”. Brown that year ran with somewhat-extreme proposals and unconventional campaigning, so entrenched media saw him as a bit of a lunatic – hence the “he never exhaled” joke. TBH I think Williams cracks up because he cannot believe that Carson just dropped a cannabis joke.
** Rowe vs Wade. Historical case law.
Row – row your boat
Wade- wade into the water
He’d prefer to float
The joke means that Quayle is so dumb, he wouldn’t realize that the question is about legalized abortion (Roe Vs Wade) and instead would think its about crossing a body of water: row, wade, or float.