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The Heart Of Comedy

One man with a thousand voices brought joy to millions - but could not sustain it in himself

Oct. 14, 1981: Robin Williams' first time with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. He begins by denying he's nervous and proves it by slouching as if he were a deflated balloon. "I suffer from severe dyslexia too," he tells Carson. "I was the only child on my block on Halloween to go, 'Trick or trout.'" Instantly he transforms into his adult neighbours: "Here comes that young Williams boy again. Better get some fish." Trying to unearth some backstory, Carson asks, "Where is home for you?" Then, thinking better, "Or did you come from a home?"

That cues Robin as a visitor to an asylum talking to a patient: "If you haven't taken your medication yet, it's gonna be fun... 

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