Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Robin Williams - comedian, writer and Academy Award-winning actor - returned to HBO for his first solo TV concert since 2002. The show was filmed at Washington D.C.'s DAR Constitution Hall on his sold-out "Weapons Of Self Destruction" national tour. Robin covers such topics as global warning, health care in America (suggesting a "cash for clunkers" for elderly relatives), and more personal topics such as his recent open heart surgery. Bonus features include clips from Robin's previous concerts - some dating back to 1978 - as well as tour highlights filmed all along the 2009 tour.
Robin McLaurim Williams (born July 21, 1951) is an American actor and comedian. Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork and Mindy, and later stand-up comedy work, Williams has performed in many feature films since 1980. He won theAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting. He has also won two Emmy Awards, fourGolden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.
"They say things get better with age and having had the pleasure to attend the Ottawa, Canada portion of Robin Williams current tour - Weapons of Self Destruction I know that statement is true.
I have been a long time Robin Williams fan and have CD's (and DVD's) of every major tour he has done, some of them are upgrades from VHS tapes and albums, you probably get the picture. While the topics, look, environment, and age has changed, there is one constant: Robin Williams is one of the funniest men alive.
One of the best things about Robin is his old school nature, he actually researched Canada and Ottawa specifically and the first 20 minutes of his show was local flavored. In light of the recent Canadian election, he was sure to mention that, unlike the United States, when we have elections nothing in the government changes. He proceeded to discuss our close proximity to Quebec and their separatist nature and how incredibly boring our Prime Minister is.
This opening segment really pulled the audience in and for the rest of the nearly two hours none of us stopped laughing. Nothing is safe from Robin's sharp wit, he of course focused on Obama winning the recent election and wondered if he would surprise us all and get all gangster at the inauguration. Hillary and Bill Clinton, George W Bush, John McCain, Dick Cheney and especially Sarah Palin were speared, roasted and eaten on stage in Robin Williams's classic style.
Moving with the times and his age Robin also focuses on technology, Viagra, prescribed drugs, and his experiences in the past. A few of his jokes were from previous sets, but he always added a new twist, a new dimension that made it even funnier then the past versions.
I was constantly amazed by his sheer energy and animation, many comics are very static on stage but Robin puts his entire body and mind into his act and it is apparent. I don't think I have ever seen (except for his previous shows) water used as such an effective prop when performing jokes.
I cannot recommend this current tour enough, Robin Williams is as funny as he has ever been; his comedy is fresh, timely and full of belly laughs. I will definitely pick up the DVD when it is eventually released and relive this great night. If you have the opportunity, do yourself a favor and catch one of his shows, you will not regret it.
The Robin Williams - Weapons of Self Destruction Tour is continuing across Canada and the United States for the next 4 months, details can be found at his official site." -BlogCritics
"Weapons of Self Destruction is the first stand up DVD since Williams' Live on Broadway special several years ago. Since then, censorships have been reduced yet again, Michael Jackson has died, "Dubya" has left the White House, the economy has fallen, the Banks have fallen with it and we've had the invention of Twitter. These are only a few of the topics that get the treatment - the first thing you'll hear is Sarah Palin's book being hard to find. "I found it somewhere between Fiction and Non-Fiction in the Fantasy isle."
I bought the case from Sanity for the bottom price of $25, complete with the DVD of the DAR Constitution Hall DC performance, a printed insert and an additional CD as well, so I was able to listen and have a laugh while I was driving home with it. An hour and a half later I had made it back home, having to stop halfway to grab lunch and eating it in the car so I didn't have to take a break from hearing about Robin's recent open heart surgery.
An angiogram is where they go through your groin to your heart, and who knew that the way to a man's heart was through his groin, and many women are going "We've known that forever!"
The slip I mentioned earlier is something like a program you might've been able to buy by going to the performance, with a quick note about the cast and staff involved, as well as a letter written by the man himself, stating that he had performed the tour with 90 shows, in front of about 300,000 people, and how my entire purchase will soon be obsolete, to be replaced with direct cranial data downloads. (Listen to his performance - something I agree with is people who have Bluetooth phones should make the effort to reach up and yank them out of their ears when they leave the car).
The DVD also has a few very nice bonuses with it! The first is "Local Highlights" where it shows a few deviations from the main show that applied to the different cities he toured in. Albany, New York's Mayor is tanned enough to be either an Obama impersonator or George Hamilton. Lo and behold! He was in one of the front rows himself! A few moments of saluting, laughing, swearing and "All I can see is teeth!" round it out nicely. This is ONE of the locations we get a preview of - thirteen to go.
My second and most favourite bonus was "Past Highlights", taking star quality bits from 4 of his previous shows and slipping them on to fill up the disc. The previously mentioned Live on Broadway and An Evening At The Met are on there, as well as An Evening with Robin Williams and Off The Wall from 1978. Think about that - that, faithful readers, is 32 years of funny voices and lightning quick punch lines. Take a deep breath and enjoy, I mean it. You wont have much time to breath with your sides hurting from laughter.
"This would be a place for Stallone to do Hamlet! 'To be, or what?'" - Williams on the Metropolitan Opera House, New York. An Evening at The Met. 1986
Let's quickly review the main performance itself then, shall we? It's an hour and a half long, with every current topic and feature in the news over the last few months fair game. He's an older guy - he's got a few gray hairs, some extra chins (or neck folds) and a new bovine heart valve. He still uses his hands like Stan from Monkey Island. I personally want to know how he breathes, because sometimes I just don't see him take a pause to inhale! I want to shake hands with his lawyer, a very busy man indeed. Whenever I'm sore, I want his Doctor, who at the age of 58 is Williams' dealer (and much harder to get a hold of). I just plain want to see this guy live so I can laugh myself silly with a group of strangers doing the same thing.
Weapons of Self Destruction comes with a sticker that, as I've grown older, I've grown to admire - MA15+. Strong sexual references and coarse language. It's a bit of an understatement. He swears. A lot. Sometimes you get a comic who puts the 'f' word into every sentence, making it a pain to listen too. He may use it a bit much here, but it's not too harsh on the hearing. I'm not too sure how to describe it - it's playing in the background while I've been writing this article - as I've started this paragraph, he's said it six times. Four of them have just been on the one joke about a Scottish GPS, but hell, the accent just balances it out. I've also heard a ton of other technology jokes in there too - I can't stress enough how much of a mystery it is with regards to how this guy breathes.
I have a GPS in my car - I was driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, I was halfway across, and all of a sudden the car went 'Take a right turn.' 'What? No can do HAL! Not that depressed, really.' And the car went 'Really Robin? I saw Bicentennial Man.' 'SHUT THE F*** UP!'
If you're easily offended or very sensitive, turn away. In writing that one sentence, I've just heard a joke on Twittering during sex. (Is it rude to type OMG, OMG WTF?) If you're open minded and can take it all (and I mean ALL) come on in. Nothing and no one is spared - the Clintons, the Obama's, Cheney, Palin, Chinese Disneyland, Healthcare, technology and the design of the human body are just part of the performance. If you can stand all that and more without being too offended, stop reading this and go and get your copy... " -AlternativeMagazineOnline
Weapons of Self Destruction was originally planned as Robin Williams' last great jab at the Bush Jr. administration, but the comedian's health issues -- including open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve -- delayed the 2008 show until late 2009. As such, Williams' first standup effort in six years is missing that little bit of purpose that helps tie his everywhere-at-once sets together, but it's still hilarious and delivered at a breakneck speed. After Bush, the comedian's own health ("Who knew the way to a man's heart was through his groin") plus his strong dislike of Sarah Palin ("How did they find her? Did Ronald Reagan have a kid with Vanna White and drop it off in Alaska?") are the hot topics, with technology, the economy, and the no-hitter baseball game Doc Ellis pitched on LSD filling up most of the rest of the set. That's "most" because, as usual, Williams' hyperkinetic nature means that a hundred or so unfinished ideas pop up and vanish just as quickly, just so he can drop gems like "A Tibetan terrorist? That's like an Amish hacker." This fast, scatterbrained way is the dividing line between his detractors and his fans, but the former should know that there's humility here -- including an apology for the movie Bicentennial Man -- that makes the man more charming than ever. The latter will be pleased that after 35 years in the standup business he literally shows no signs of slowing down. ~ David Jeffries