The Improvisors

These are the newest and most exciting characterizations to hit comedy in hundreds of years. They still have one character but they have dozens of voices.

This group includes the most imaginative comedians in show business: Lily Tomlin, Jonathan Winters, and his disciple, Robin Williams— all of whom are breathtaking in their versatility.

Robin Williams has been called the poet laureate of the eighties. His rock-and-roll comedy has spawned a new generation of fast-talking, inexhaustible comics whose wild antics both dazzle and fatigue the audience. Williams is an uninhibited child, uncensored, unedited, and always testing the limits of audience tolerance. His comedy is based on speed; that's his pace, not the drug. But heavy drugs are a generous portion of the material he spews out in short takes. One of his characters is a black outfielder who stares longingly at the long white line going from the outfield to home plate. "Wait," he yells, "don't steal home. Share it!" There are not many great one liners, although "Cocaine is God's way of telling you you've got too much money," became a national slogan.

A comic doesn't fail—he dies. And improvisation ups the ante.

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