I am standing on the Taxi soundstage, awaiting the start of a runthrough – in my prime, somewhat cocky, as fearless as a person of my nature can be.
A young stranger steps onto the soundstage, comes over to a gathering of writers assembled on the periphery.
No introductions. No names.
The young stranger says something funny.
My ears instantly prick up. A dog who’s “got bird.”
A voice from the gathering speaks out, matching funny with funny.
It is unexpectedly mine.
The young stranger immediately ups the ante, riffing effortlessly along the same comedic lines.
Then me again.
Then him again.
And on it went – Center Court “Comedy Tennis.”
Thwop! Thwop! Thwop! Thwop!
People are watching. Something special is happening in front of them. You could sense their intensifying excitement.
And then suddenly it is over.
We are called to our duties. The runthrough begins. The young stranger slips away.
I remember thinking, “That was fun. That guy could be my friend.”
But I never met him again.
He became Mork and Mindy.
And he belonged to the universe.
That was my single encounter with Robin Williams, a spontaneous soap bubble – incandescent, and then “Pop!”
His loss, for me – an extracted tooth.
The recollection of our meeting – an unforgettable happenstance.