Comedian Robin Williams held nothing back as he roasted then vice-president Joe Biden in a resurfaced video from 2009. It left some social media users saying it was like the late actor was speaking from the grave.
Robin Williams didn’t often make political commentary a big part of his stand-up comedy routine. However, he did decide to roast Joe Biden back in 2009. It was part of an HBO program that resurfaced after Biden was elected president.
Williams wasn’t a celebrity who forced his personal politics on his fans. According to the Daily Beast, “So much of [Williams’] comedy, political and otherwise, was done in the service of promoting charitable causes and awareness, not pushing an ideology.” So, it was a rare moment when he took aim at Joe Biden.
In the 30-second clip, Williams, who died in 2014, doesn’t mince words. “We still have comedy,” he said during his stand-up routine. “We still have great comedy out there. There’s always rambling Joe Biden… Joe says sh*t that even people with [Tourette syndrome] go, ‘No’… What is going on?” he continued.
“Joe is like your uncle who’s on a new drug and hasn’t got the dosage right,” Williams joked. He then spoke as if he was Biden, saying, “I’m proud to work with Barack America.” As the audience laughs, Williams acts as a staffer attempting to reign Biden in: “He’s not a superhero, you idiot — come here!'” Williams then says as Biden, “When FDR was on TV…There was no TV back then! Come here, Joe, sit down!”
The resurfaced clip quickly went viral on Twitter, the New York Post reported, noting that Joe Biden has long been known for his verbal blunders. As for Robin Williams, the “late great” comedian wasn’t a “radical” when it came to politics like so many in Hollywood, it was also reported.
Williams did weigh in on crime in New York City in 1989 when the mayor was Democrat Ed Koch. “New York looks like Bombay,” he told the Associated Press. “People are stepping over other people. Two people froze to death last night. You go to Grand Central Station and people are stacked like cordwood…For me, the most horrifying thing is that there are children. You cannot be moved when you see a child in these shelters when they’re living in these big, open dorms.”
In later years, Williams began devoting his time to another cause that transcended political party lines: Making our men and women in the military laugh. He traveled to 13 countries as part of six USO tours. In his 12 years of volunteering, he performed for over 89,400 service men and women. “It’s an understatement to say he’s the Bob Hope of our generation,” retired Adm. Frank Thorp said.
“The entire Department of Defense community mourns the loss of Robin Williams,” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a statement following the comedian’s passing. “Robin was a gifted actor and comedian, but he was also a true friend and supporter of our troops. From entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform.”
The late actor’s work with organizations such as the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Comic Relief is well known. Robin Williams was in huge demand on the benefit-concert circuit, in particular in the areas of AIDS prevention and helping the homeless.
Williams explained decades ago how he came to be more selective and careful of the causes he supported. “The problem is you don’t want to end up being like someone who would go to the opening of an envelope,” he said. “You diminish your power; you also diminish your ability to help the cause if you start doing every cause.” And, that’s the thing about Robin Williams: He cared deeply about people, not politics, and his activism reflected that.