Robin Williams appears at a panel for the television series "The Crazy Ones" during the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills.
When Robin Williams was last on television, “wired meant a gram and Jack Daniels.” Times have certainly changed, and now the 62-year-old comic says it's tough to be topical because “I talk about Carlos Danger and everyone is like, ‘That’s so two weeks ago.’ Anything I say gets tweeted within seconds, and it’s consumed and gone."
The Emmy-winning actor, who rose to fame on "Mork & Mindy" in the late '70s and early '80s, is returning to the medium that helped launch his career. His new comedy, "The Crazy Ones," about the kooky owner of an ad agency, launches on Sept. 26 on the CBS, and co-stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Wolk ("Mad Men").
He and the cast of the new sitcom appeared before reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour on Monday to dish on the new show.
Gellar, better known for battling bloodsuckers on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" than doing comedy, said working with Williams has been an interesting journey because the ensemble cast actually has to encourage Williams to "do his thing" because he holds back to let them shine.
“It can be intimidating working with comedy at that level,” Gellar said. “But he cares more about making everyone else comfortable.”
Wolk, who has attracted plenty of attention this season for playing Bob Benson, a recurring character on “Mad Men,” also praised Williams as a colleague.
“When he says, ‘Don’t step on my line kid,' it’s just part of the love,” joked Wolk.
Sporting a blue suit, a fashionable navy T-shirt and a crew cut, Williams looked more like the ad man he plays in the sitcom than the wacky guy who springs to most people's minds at the mention of the frenetic comedian.
But that doesn't mean he left the "wacky" at home. When asked about incorporating his own life experiences into the show, Williams mentioned going through rehab in the wine country “just to keep my options open.” Later, when another journalist mentioned “sad clown” in the course of a ponderous question, Williams went off like an Independence Day sparkler.
“Sad clown? What are those big feet doing in the bed!” he joked. “Wait, I’m getting a text from Carlos (Danger). Even the phone says no more!”
First published July 29 2013, 5:09 PM