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Comedy/Other - Released March 29, 2010 | Columbia

Weapons of Self Destruction was originally planned as Robin Williams' last great jab at the Bush Jr. administration, but the comedian’s health issues -- including open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve -- delayed the 2008 show until late 2009. As such, Williams’ first standup effort in six years is missing that little bit of purpose that helps tie his everywhere-at-once sets together, but it’s still hilarious and delivered at a breakneck speed. After Bush, the comedian’s own health (“Who knew the way to a man’s heart was through his groin”) plus his strong dislike of Sarah Palin (“How did they find her? Did Ronald Reagan have a kid with Vanna White and drop it off in Alaska?”) are the hot topics, with technology, the economy, and the no-hitter baseball game Doc Ellis pitched on LSD filling up most of the rest of the set. That’s “most” because, as usual, Williams' hyperkinetic nature means that a hundred or so unfinished ideas pop up and vanish just as quickly, just so he can drop gems like “A Tibetan terrorist? That’s like an Amish hacker.” This fast, scatterbrained way is the dividing line between his detractors and his fans, but the former should know that there’s humility here -- including an apology for the movie Bicentennial Man -- that makes the man more charming than ever. The latter will be pleased that after 35 years in the standup business he literally shows no signs of slowing down. ~ David Jeffries

Pop/Rock - Released April 11, 2006 | Columbia - Legacy

With Robin Williams at the cusp of what would become a very successful film career, A Night at the Met served as a kind of standup swan song for him. He had already made a considerable impression on the public, both as the lovable alien Mork and through his frenetically paced standup routines, but cocaine addiction threatened to derail his skyrocketing career -- the fuel for his fire was serving to burn him out as well. Cleansed of that addiction, A Night at the Met found Williams full of the same energy and maniacal pace that endeared him to his audience in the first place -- only, this time, the fuel was strictly internal. Overcoming addiction left Williams with a smorgasbord of hilarious and poignant material at his disposal and his wry and intelligent musings on the dangers of overindulgence held extra weight, because he had been there. Ruminations on drugs, relationships, and the Reagan administration were observationally dead-on and served up with a side of Williams' trademark, telling sentimentality. The sentimental and the hilarious reached a crescendo when the subject matter turned to the birth of his son. Among the pregnancy and pee jokes, Williams injected serious concerns for the future with a glimmer of hope that all might not be as dismal as it seemed. Hilarious, poignant, outrageous, and heartwarming, A Night at the Met came at a unique time -- capturing Robin Williams at both his career and personal best. ~ J. Scott McClintock

Humour - Released January 1, 1983 | Hip-O Select (PG)


Humour - Released January 1, 1979 | Hip-O Select (PG)

Comic genius Robin Williams was riding high with his starring role on the hit television sitcom Mork & Mindy when he recorded 1979's Reality...What a Concept, his debut comedy album. It was recorded live at the Copacabana in New York City and the Boarding House in San Francisco. Reality...What a Concept reached the Top Ten and went gold, which is more a testament to Williams' soaring popularity than the actual quality of the album, despite the fact it won the Grammy award for best comedy recording. Quite simply, Williams' maniacal, improvisational style at the time did not lend itself to cohesiveness. Williams had difficulty harnessing his own explosive brilliance, and as a result Reality...What a Concept is disjointed. The funniest tracks are "Kindergarten of the Stars," "Reverend Earnest Angry," "Shakespeare (A Meltdowner's Nightmare)," and "Tank You, Boyce." Williams' youthful exuberance and zaniness are evident, but he didn't make a focused, outstanding comedy album until several years later with A Night at the Met, which also benefited from the fact that he'd kicked alcohol and drugs. ~ Bret Adams

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