Friday, April 12, 2013

Jonathan Winters (1925-2013)

News has just come across the wires on the passing of a comedy legend.

Jonathan Winters passed away on Thursday at 87. Winters is best remembered for his improvisational brand of comedy, and hosted two self-titled television series, the last being in the early 70's. He was also an inspiration to a newer generation of comics, including Robin Williams and Jim Carrey. Williams offered his idol a role on his ABC series, Mork & Mindy, in the series' final season, leading to Winters being cast as Mearth, the offspring of the title characters. A little bizarre, but that was the whole point. Unfortunately, that might have plunged the series into Jump The Shark territory.

RandomPosts offers this vintage clip of Winters on stage. Here, he plays an airline pilot.

Winters also did commercials, mostly for Hefty garbage bags, and appeared in a number of movies. His last role, though, was as the voice of Papa Smurf in 2011's "The Smurfs", and likely also, the pending sequel, but his best known movie role was in the ensemble classic, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".

Rest in peace, Jonathan. You will be missed.


magicdog said...

Even in that 50 yrea old skit, Winters was still funny!

"You never landed that plane! What happened to it?"

"I gave it to my boy!"

As for his time on M&M, you could tell Williams and Winters were having a blast working together! I've heard the set was nothing less than inspired comical chaos with BOTH of them on the soundstage!

Mr. Winters did do voice work for the Smurf, but it was for Grandpa Smurf, not Papa Smurf. Papa was voiced by Don Messick.

hobbyfan said...

Winters voiced Papa Smurf in the movie. I thought I had made that distinction as clear as possible, but I guess not.