Robin Williams won an Oscar and was a movie star for more than three decades. Fans also had a soft spot in their hearts for the role that made him famous, the sweet alien Mork from Ork in the 1978-82 ABC sitcom "Mork & Mindy."
But seeing Williams live on stage doing his stand-up, which was more performance art than routine, was an experience like none other. His jokes were surreal, complex, heady.
Often his manic humor and energy felt harnessed in scripted films and television shows. But he was unleashed and uninhibited on stage and when he would appear as a guest on talk shows, pop up on the Oscars, host "Comic Relief" with Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg or keep interviewers on their toes with his spontaneity. Some of his memorable lines:
1. "If it's the Psychic Network, why do they need a phone number?"
2. "If women ran the world, we wouldn't have war -- just intense negotiations every 28 days."
3. "Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?"
4. "We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture."
5. "What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong."
6. "In England, if you commit a crime, the police don't have a gun and you don't have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say, 'Stop, or I'll say stop again.'"
7. "Cricket is basically baseball on Valium."
8. "Mickey Mouse to a 3-year-old is a 6-foot-tall rat!"
9. "Never pick a fight with an ugly person. They've got nothing to lose."
10. "Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party."
11. "Do you think God gets stoned? I think so ... look at the platypus."
12. "Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party.'"
13. "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
14. "Comedy is acting out optimism."
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times