Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Does he suck?/Is he lame? Robin Williams

We continue our mission of clearly defining those people, things, ideas, thoughts, actions and other nouns and verbs of questionable suckitude with one of the world’s wackiest cut-ups, Robin Williams.

Robin is a comedic legend. Many consider him one of the funniest people in America, whether he’s on stage doing stand-up or in movies like “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Good Morning, Vietnam.” He also is a respected dramatic actor, winning the best supporting actor Oscar for “Good Will Hunting.”

But Robin also has stunk up the joint in some of the worst movies ever, like “Patch Adams,” “Death to Smoochy,” “Jack,” “Toys” … I can keep going if you want. And, honestly, is he REALLY that funny? Or is Robin Williams simply a master of delivering unfunny lines in a way that trick you into thinking they are funny? (See Dennis Miller.) The guy just tries way too hard to be crrrrazy. Sure, the first time he wouldn’t sit down during a talk show appearance was sort of cute. But by the 100th time, a tranquilizer dart would be much more adorable.

So, is Robin Williams a hilarious comedian who can also go serious? Or an annoying, unfunny dope? In other words, is he lame or not lame? It’s up to you, the voters. POLLS ARE OPEN UNTIL NOON FRIDAY.

57 Comments:

Anonymous lori said...

Yay!

Robin Williams sucks so hard, he's turned himself inside out! Hah! That's my Williamsesque joke for the day! And it's funny! And if you don't believe that, watch me do this little dance and pick up random objects and pretend to shove them up my nose while rambling in my British Madonna accent!

Anyway, I'm glad to see Patch on the block this week.

My vote: Sucks/lame/your mom.


(I give him just one thing: "Awakenings" makes me sob uncontrollably.)

10:58 AM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Steve, it's not your fault.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous mark said...

i liked mork and mindy reruns as a kid growning up. now i like watching him at local events act like a fool. i think he's interesting.

I vote my mom.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The spiders! The spiders!

11:59 AM  
Blogger - C.H. said...

"The guy just tries way too hard to be crrrrazy." I couldn't have said it any better.

I think he COULD be funny and "not suck" if he could tone it down once in awhile. I always figured he would eventually calm down, but he never has. Others may disagree, but I feel Jim Carrey is another guy that used to be like that. The difference is, Carrey seems to have figured out that he needs to recognize when "crazy" is appropriate.

My vote is that Robin sucks.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Flubber took an ad-libbed bit role on "Happy Days" and spun it into "Mork and Mindy," which was highly enjoyable at the time. It might still be ... it's not on Nick at Nite, so I can't verify, but I'm guessing I'd still laugh. "Awakenings" was already mentioned, and I absolutely love that film. "Good Will Hunting" is a damn fine movie, even if Affleck's overexposed mug leaves a sour taste. He even convinced me with his creepy lonely man routine in "One Hour Photo" and even creepier lonely man routine in "Insomnia." Yeah, his five-year-old with ADD act is annoying, especially during his "Inside the Actor's Studio" appearance -- I thought Lipton was going to bludgeon him with his loafer -- but the guy is immensely talented. Jim Carrey does the same schtick on the late night rounds, but I still enjoy his serious work. It's a transition few can make, in my opinion. I really, really, REALLY hate Patch Adams, but I vote not suck. He's delivered too many times.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

i agree with tom.

12:17 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

Robin Williams is a fine actor who is highly creative and probably highly bored most of the time, so does his crazy routine to fill time in interviews, because that's what people want to see.

He has many excellent films and some horrible ones. But, who knows? Maybe he owed people favors...

Not suck.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote that he does NOT suck.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous kbl said...

I have a confession: every now and again, I laugh at/with Robin Williams, and then I feel dirty, and not in a good way.

That said, suck. Watching him makes me tired. And he's made me resent coke because of what it forces me to endure from him. That is unforgiveable.

(He still sucks less/is more talented than Dashboard Confessional, though.)

1:41 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

OK, so he's funny. Sometimes very funny. But I hated him so much in that movie about one hour photo developing that I will never be the same. What a stupid movie. In addition, you can't be Mrs. Doubtfire and a psychopath both. It sends mixed messages. Or you CAN, just not Robin Williams.

My vote: sucks/lame/your mom (indeed)

1:48 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

I'm not counting your vote, Mark, because I don't know what it means.

Come on people, it's lame/suck vs. not lame/not suck. Don't get cute on me.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Hot-Candy said...

Some of the greatest actors ever have done really bad movies. As a comedian Robin Williams is one of the best. As an actor I also think he rocks---just watch The Fisher King.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

not lame.

he's different.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

If he was only in "Mork & Mindy" and then wandered off into obscurity, I'd have to love him, as a tribute to my 5-year-old self.

But he didn't disappear. He just kept talking. And talking.

Sucks. Lame. Whatever. Not good.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Some movies that haven't been mentioned: Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Hook, Aladdin, Birdcage and Deconstructing Harry. He played good parts in all. Maybe I'll even throw in What Dreams May Come -- I'll admit it, it was enjoyable for the most part.

Can you fault a guy for trying to make money? Or for sticking with a routine that has worked?

Are the same people that voted sucked because they don't like the way he acts, the same people that voted 'not sucks' for Kanye West, even though he does the same thing? Kanye has the selfish schtick going for him as much as Robin has the crazy thing for him. Whats the difference? And didn't Chris Farley have a huge, loyal following with his stupid, fat guy routine?

Does Steve Martin's work with the 'Cheaper By the Dozen' series (which do suck) cheapen the standing of 'The Jerk' or his time on SNL?

My Vote: Not Suck!

(Possibilities for next week: Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Will Farrell, SNL, American Idol, Kelly Clarkson.)

11:58 PM  
Anonymous lori said...

um, birdcage?

7:42 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I think he's one of those highly-intelligent people who make themselves crazy with all the thoughts they have constantly running through their heads. His humor is his outlet and I repect him. Anyone who can think on their feet like that is a person I admire. I like some of his work while detesting some, but through it all my respect for him remains.

Not suck, Steve. Not suck.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

If Robin Williams lived in a park and walked around with a plastic bag on his head, would you be as understanding of all the crazy thoughts running through his head?

P.S. Awakenings IS great.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

ok, let me clarify. birdcage isn't a good movie, per se, but the character that robin plays, he does brilliantly.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

Not suck. I find myself with a version of the Jack Black question from "High Fidelity" regarding Stevie Wonder: Do you hold a great performer's low moments against him?

I say you do, but they still don't tarnish the great ones. "Death to Smoochy" sucked, but I don't ever have to watch it again (although I can't erase the memory, unfortunately). However, I can watch Robin in "Good Will Hunting" and admire the performance every time.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Upcoming Robin Williams projects, according to IMDB.com: "Mrs. Doubtfire 2" (!) and "The Krazees," which is described thusly: "Unable to deal with his daughter reaching puberty, a psychologist (Williams) has to get a handle on his emotions, which have come to life as different characters."

Anybody want to reconsider their Not Suck vote based on the inevitable suckiness of these movies?

10:56 AM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Robert DeNiro was in "Rocky and Bullwinkle." I don't look at "Taxi Driver" any different because of that.

OK, I lied. I make fun of DeNiro a lot because of that choice, but regardless, he's a damn fine actor. I'm amazed this is close, Steve ... and that you seem to be leaning towards suck. The Bono principle of rewarding high achievement in spite of continued annoyance should apply here.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Do NOT compare freaking Robin Williams with Robert De Niro. Yeah, I know De Niro makes craphole movies nowadays, but the guy was brilliant once upon a time. Robin Williams is mainly a dope who has made a couple good movies. In other words, Williams is like a photo negative of De Niro, with one guy having a great career marred by bad choices and another guy having a bad career highlighted by a few good choices.

That said, I am unofficially neutral on this issue.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa ... was not comparing DeNiro to Williams. I know who the better actor is. I know whose movies I like more. But every major actor has made a handful of crappy movies, so why penalize Williams for movies that haven't even been released yet? If the guy was a one-trick pony, I'd completely be on board with hammering his recent film choices. But he's been good/great in at least seven films (both serious and straight comedy) ... and that's staying strictly on the low end. Adam Sandler has a bad film career with a few good choices. Not Williams. Dude has some longevity. Give Mork some freakin' credit! Nanoo, nanoo.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another thing.. I'm not the biggest movie buff so when I saw the commercials for jack,patch adams and whatever else I just didn't watch the damn thing.

Seems the more you're into something (movies, music, fast food, slinky's) the more you're apt to say someone sucks.

I think birdcage is funny, I think ms. doubtfire is funny too. I think dead poets is fucking awesome. Good will hunting is good. He was on the richard pryor show.

Williams was reportedly one of the last people to see John Belushi alive, as they snorted cocaine together.

He was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush.

For Andre Agassi's Children's Foundation he helped raise a whopping $12.6 million (GBP7.9 million) for underprivileged kids - the most lucrative non-political fundraiser ever staged in Sin City.

His comic style is a major influence on late night talk show host/comedian Conan O'Brien.

His comic style is a major influence on late night talk show host/comedian Conan O'Brien.

Robin Williams and his wife Marsha Garces Williams founded the Windfall Foundation, a philanthropic organization to raise money for many different charities. Williams devotes much of his energy doing work for charities, including the Comic Relief fund-raising efforts.

He was voted one of the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.

Robin Williams has performed in the USO for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq for 3 years.

He named his daughter Zelda because his son is a devoted fan of the Legend of Zelda video game series.

A large majority of his dialogue in Aladdin is improvised.

what have you done.. you suck.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

steve, weren't you one of the guys who ranted about how people were using Kanye's arrogance against him while they didn't mind Bono's?

so then how can you congratulate Bono for his work, but then turn a blind eye to Robin's? (I'm not putting the two on the same level, but you have to respect what each does. to steal a line from 'Biodome' 'Robin is thinking locally while Bono is thinking globally')

ps. can't he get any points for having the hairiest arms in the world?

1:20 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Was I one of those people? No. Can I ignore the rest of your message now?

Just to clarify, I think Robin sucks. I don't think he is arrogant.

That said, I am unofficially neutral on this issue.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it humorous that arrogance has become such a hot-button topic in a discussion judging whether someone sucks.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

Whoa...did Robin's publicist stumble across this blog?

2:00 PM  
Anonymous rebizzle said...

robin williams was once great. yes, he's made some really really really BAD movies, but the great movies he made have more of an impact. why do we need to dwell on the crappy stuff? dead poets society is a great movie. i'm glad that someone else brought up the fisher king. good will hunting is awesome (again - discounting ben freaking affleck - we ALL know he sucks.) steve -i thought you were supposed to remain impartial.
i vote NOT SUCK.
and i have a suggestion for next weeks suck/not suck- lets put our very own steve hyden on the block.
ha.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous rackow said...

Steve doesn't suck. bah... dude plays a mean whiffle ball. that's big time points.

Ben affleck.. well he sucks I'm sure, then again, in my opinion, he was great in mallrats and dazed and confused. I hated that asteroid one with all the American flags.. and i don't think I've seen any other movies he's done in the last 5 years. I spend much more time seeing shit like the walmart documentary.

in summary:

steve hyden, my mom
ben affleck old, my mom
ben affleck new, your mom

look, i can't even spell his last name.

2:42 PM  
Blogger paul said...

For me, it is an easy choice for doesn't suck. Good arguments have already been made by rebizzle, mark, dave, thomas, hot-candy, jen, and even anonymous. More narrowly, I'd agree that he's made many sucky movies and his talk show persona is no longer fresh. But I don't even think a prima facie case has been presented that *he* sucks.

Maybe I need a better understanding of what the question means? Perhaps jury instructions should be provided.

"Only enormously talented people could have made "Death to Smoochy." Those with lesser gifts would have lacked the nerve..."- Roger Ebert.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Olson said...

I was late getting to this party. First off, the moment we put Steve Hyden in this forum of suck/not suck is the moment this entire blog reaches suck status.

Anyway, Robin Williams can't be classified in the suck realm. Just because he made some bad movies does not give us the rightto judge him solely on those productions. And don't forget that Kevin Spacey had K-Pax and Ed Norton was even in Death to Smoochy with Williams, I don't think any of us think those guys suck.

Williams so does not suck.

Olson

3:20 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Let's keep our eye on the ball here. We keep arguing about the ratio of good movies vs. bad movies in Robin's filmography. Forget all that. Do you guys really think he is funny? I mean, seriously?

Democracy so sucks.

3:23 PM  
Blogger paul said...

However, I should admit that lori's faux-Robin joke and written physical accompaniment made me laugh too.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah i laugh when i see him on local tv. the reporters have no idea how to handle him. he pops up at random public events.. and some rebecca stark type will say... oh and robin williams is here! he'll grab the microphone.. it's good stuff. i think he's actually funny. - mark. ok last post. sorry for all the post pollution.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not suck not suck. I want to see ppl name one actor who hasn't made a few flops in his/her career. One or two non-oscar worthy flicks does not define a person's 'suck factor'. And whether or not he can pull off a psycho photographer or a cartoon genie or an old nanny...at least he's attempted to push his limits which is more than any of us probably have done. Me especially, sitting at my desk job.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

You're right, I have never attempted to be as unfunny or annoying as Robin Williams.

Congratufreakinlations!

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

taking shit personally now eh?

4:21 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Seriously, I'm starting to get annoyed here. One or two bad movies? What is wrong with you people!?! The Robin lovers keep mentioning the same three movies: Good Will Hunting, Fisher King, Awakenings. That's it, that's the list. He has made 20 other movies! His crap FAR outweighs the good. Plus, he is unfunny, he overacts, he always plays the same fre-spirited, noble-hearted character who teaches people how to love.

That sucks!

That said, I am officially neutral on this issue.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous mark... really, last time.. said...

i don't think mr. hyden cares enough about you to take it personally, but i do think he knows how to push his limits..

http://www.geocities.com/twomuchfunn4470/

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sucks

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Are you kidding me? Robin Williams sucks hard. I didn't think I'd have to vote for this one--the answer is so clear.

Vote: Sucks hard!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

That's not me, Mark. We just have the same name. Common mistake.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Like Mark ... my last comment (maybe). All of the Robin Williams movies I hated were not because of Robin Williams' acting. Conversely, all the Robin Williams movies I liked were because of Robin Williams' acting. If that doesn't make sense, screw you. Oh yeah, and picture any other comedian doing Mork and getting laughs. Bottom line: that TV character is memorable.

I changed my mind. Steve, it is your fault. Hahahaha.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To add to your list:
Dead Poet's Society
Good Morning Vietnam
Dead Again
Hook
The World According to Garp

And I'm not even a Robin lover. Just not a Robin hater. Why is there so much anger towards Robin Williams?

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

resentment.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous sarsh...the step niece said...

well well well

i say suck
he is too old
and he doesnt entertain me
so yea
thats the 14 year old's opinion
and and and
i hate it being called "lame"
that is like 5th grade


Sarsh

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Robin Williams said...

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous e4life said...

Sucks.

To me, Robin Williams is funny in the same way that Whoopi Goldberg is funny. Which is to say, not very funny.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Ed Begley Jr. said...

Not sucks

7:40 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

Does he get points for having freakishly long arms?

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

I find Robin Williams to be very talented. And i liked "Birdcage". Does not suck.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous bryan adams fan said...

When my wife left me, I rented and watched Patch Adams a few days later. I laughed and laughed.

I felt better and recognized that my life wasn't defined by that cold, two-bit excuse for a woman.

He was so funny. And inspirational.

From that point on, I made a point to see anything and everything I could related to Robin Williams.

My new wife loves him too. Robin is something we share.

By insinuating that Robin sucks, you're insinuating that I suck, and I don't.

And neither does the man who brought me back from a serious depth of dispair.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous lori said...

holy crap!

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the summer of '69!

1:29 PM  

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