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    Posted August 11, 2014 by
    San Francisco, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    In Memoriam

    At the Zoo


    Robin Williams was a contemporary of mine, born just seven months after me. I first met him at the Holy City Zoo comedy club in San Francisco, long ago (early to mid-1980s, I believe). Even after he became famous he would drop by the club (usually after most of the other acts were done) to perform some stand-up, and afterwards he would often linger on the sidewalk outside and talk to people.


    One night a friend and I were sitting next to the stage at one side, with our hats resting on the edge of the stage (we had just returned from a cold, wet, fishing trip). Williams unexpectedly appeared a little after midnight, and did a hilarious routine. Before his set ended he saw our hats and decided to do a little improv with them. My hat was an unusual kind, with floppy "dog ear" flaps down the side. He picked it up, put the goofy-looking thing on, and portrayed a dumb, backwoods "Elmer Fudd" type of character with it, to howls of laughter. By the time he finished there could be no doubt that whoever owned that headgear was probably married to his own sister.


    Finally he took the hat off, looked at me, and asked, "This is your hat? What do you do for a living?"


    "Uh,” I answered. "Actually, I'm a physicist." There was a long moment of silence, and then the house went wild. With perfect comedic timing, Robin gingerly placed the hat down in front of me and slowly backed away. The crowd roared.


    He was unique, and will be sorely missed.

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