Newspaper article The Canadian Press

30 Years after 'Mork,' Robin Williams Brings 'The Crazy Ones' to TV

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

30 Years after 'Mork,' Robin Williams Brings 'The Crazy Ones' to TV

Article excerpt

30 years after 'Mork,' Williams returns to TV


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Want to make Robin Williams laugh? Call him a Sad Clown.

That's what one critic did Monday on CBS's Television Critics Association press tour presentation for "The Crazy Ones." The fall comedy stars Williams as the head of an ad agency with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Sarah Michelle Gellar playing his daughter and business partner. James Wolk ("Mad Men") is also part of the ensemble.

Responding to a comment from a critic that there are sweet, poignant moments on the show -- setting up the "Sad Clown" remark -- Williams did a whole wacky bit on being a sad clown, jumping out of his seat, causing his lapel mike to become un-tethered. He wondered what it would be like waking up next to a sad clown: "Oh, my God, what are those big feet doing in my bed?!"

It was the kind of funny business reporters and fans have come to expect from Williams. There are flashes of the same free spirited antics in the pilot, although David E. Kelley -- an unlikely showrunner -- says Williams can stick to a script, too.

"He says my words perfectly -- then he uses his," says Kelley.

The former "Ally McBeal" and "Boston Legal" showrunner says writing for an old pro like Williams was intimidating: "I feel like I've been handed the keys to a car that I am ill-equipped to drive."

Kelley says an actual ad executive approached him with the idea for the show several years ago. He says it's basically about "this iconic, crazy advertising genius and his relationship with his daughter."

The pilot episode shows Williams' and Gellar's father-daughter characters trying to pitch a new ad for McDonald's. The fast food giant gets plenty of plugs throughout the half hour, but the producers insist there was no payment for embedding the Mc-references.

"But if you look under your chair there's a Happy Meal," cracked Williams.

The 62-year-old funnyman burst to fame in 1978 after being cast as a comedic alien in the ABC series "Mork & Mindy." He praised his co-star from those days, Pam Dawber, for her ability to play straight woman to his insanity.

"Pam held the line for me. She was incredible, which allowed me to be as outrageous as I was. …

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