Live From New York, It's Robin Williams: 6 of His 'SNL' Highlights

Dave Nemetz
Yahoo TVAugust 12, 2014

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 12 -- Pictured: Robin Williams as bobsledder during the 'Winter Olympics' skit on February 11, 1984 -- Photo by: Al Levine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 12 -- Pictured: Robin Williams as bobsledder during the 'Winter Olympics' skit on February 11, 1984 -- Photo by: Al Levine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

As we continue to reel from the news of Robin Williams's death, we try to remember all the times he made us laugh, from Mork & Mindy to Mrs. Doubtfire. Amid all those riches, you might not even remember that Williams brought his madcap comic genius to Saturday Night Live for three hosting stints in the 1980s. But he did — and luckily for us, there's video to prove it.

[Related: Remembering Robin Williams's Best TV Moments]

Here, we look back on six SNL highlights Williams gave us over the years, from impersonating Ronald Reagan to bantering with Eddie Murphy. 

"Monologue: Stand-Up" (1984)

Being the immensely talented stand-up comedian he was, Williams was right at home doing the traditional "SNL" monologue. Here, he turns his rapid-fire wit on the 1984 Winter Olympics and the perils of fatherhood. (His son Zachary was born the previous year.) It's hilarious stuff... that is, if you can look away from his enormous pleated pants long enough to hear it.

"Ronald Reagan News Conference" (1988)

His Reagan impression was a staple of his stand-up act, and Williams brought it to "SNL" in this sketch, with a dizzy Ronnie getting answers fed to him through an earpiece during a news conference. He does stumble a bit, though, when radio interference causes him to announce a crime in process, call out highlights from a Lakers game... and even (gasp) rap.

[Related: Robin Williams's 19 Most Memorable Movie Roles]

"Firing Line" (1984)

This is a pretty classic comedy connection right here: Williams paired up with Eddie Murphy on the "SNL" stage. Williams plays conservative host William F. Buckley, who's interviewing Dr. Philip Holder (Murphy) about the "sudden flammability" of black entertainers following the Michael Jackson hair-on-fire incident. A silly premise, yes, but the sheer star wattage from these two makes it a must-watch.

"Monologue: Safe Sex" (1988)

Another classic monologue riff from Williams, as he tackles topics from Gary Hart's political scandals to sex in the AIDS era. (Yep, this set of jokes had an expiration date of December 31, 1989.) But he does hit upon the most apt description of Mike Tyson ever crafted: "a combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Jackson." 

[Photos: Robin Williams's Backstage Instagram Photos With Friends and Fans]

"Living With a Mime" (1984)

We remember Williams for his motor-mouth style of delivering jokes on top of jokes, but here, he keeps his mouth shut... and still cracks us up. He plays a mime named Rene, who proves that a mime is the most terrible roommate imaginable. (You can pretty much forget about getting any phone messages.)

"Discover: Ralph Kebins" (1988)

One more dynamic comedy duo: This time, it's Williams and Phil Hartman (another great gone too soon) in a delightfully strange talk show parody. Hartman plays dim host Peter Graves, who's interviewing a weirdo medium (Williams) who conveys messages from the dead. He can't get in touch with Abraham Lincoln... but he can get you Abe Linkman, from Pittsburgh!