Picks and Pans Review: Robin Williams Live: An Evening at the Met

updated 04/13/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/13/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Williams, seemingly sincerely awed at appearing in New York's Metropolitan Opera House, started very slowly in this 60-minute concert last summer. He also did what was—for him—some surprisingly ordinary material, such as a bit on the size of football player William "the Refrigerator" Perry. When he got rolling, though, he was spectacularly inventive, a powerhouse. He muses, for instance, that Colonel Gaddafi sounds as if his name would make a good chain of terrorist chicken stores. He imagines Sylvester Stallone doing Hamlet: "To be, or what?" At a summit meeting Soviet leader Gorbachev tells President Reagan what he really wants: "Just a little bit of Western Europe and a nude 3-D picture of Brooke Shields—her eyebrows remind me of Brezhnev." Williams points out that, Lamaze classes notwithstanding, men can never understand what having a baby is like "unless you're passing a bowling ball." There's an occasional lapse of taste on this tape—notably when Williams imitates a victim of the Chernobyl disaster. But Williams is so funny (and to the point) that he can be obscene or blasphemous and yet not be offensive. It's hard to imagine God being miffed, for instance, at having been portrayed as high on grass when he sat down to create the duckbilled platypus. (Vestron, $59.95)

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