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Subject: Robin Williams on fellow wargamer Jonathan Winters rss

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Brian Morris
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I've known for years that Robin Williams was a miniatures wargamer and a big civil war buff but didn't know about Winters being one also nor that he was a marine during WWII. Great article which includes the following great line.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/arts/television/robin-will...

"We shared a love of painted military miniatures. He once sent me four tiny Napoleonic hookers in various states of undress with a note that read, “For zee troops!”
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Wendell
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Thanks, I knew that Winters had been a Marine in WW2 but not that he was into miniatures.

This anecdote kind of chilled me:

New York Times wrote:
But the toys were a manifestation of a dark time in his life. Jonathan was a Marine who fought in the Pacific in World War II. When he came home from the war, he went to his old bedroom and discovered that his prized tin trucks were gone.

He asked his mother what she did with his stuff.

“I gave them to the mission,” she said.

“Why did you do that?”

I didn’t think you were coming back,” she replied.


RIP, Jonathan Winters.
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Bill Eldard
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wifwendell wrote:
Thanks, I knew that Winters had been a Marine in WW2 but not that he was into miniatures.

This anecdote kind of chilled me:

New York Times wrote:
But the toys were a manifestation of a dark time in his life. Jonathan was a Marine who fought in the Pacific in World War II. When he came home from the war, he went to his old bedroom and discovered that his prized tin trucks were gone.

He asked his mother what she did with his stuff.

“I gave them to the mission,” she said.

“Why did you do that?”

I didn’t think you were coming back,” she replied.


RIP, Jonathan Winters.


To be fair to his mother, I can see two ways of interpreting that response. Either she thought he'd be killed, or she thought that after leaving home to fight the war, he'd never move back in.

Robin Williams was right about this: "Sometimes I would join in, but I felt like a kazoo player sitting in with Coltrane."

While Williams' is talented, he has never been as good or as convincing as Winters. The genius of Jonathan Winters was that it as though all those characters coexisted in a world inside his head, from where he let one or two out at a time to act out in our world. Where Williams' characters always seem over the top and bursting out, Winters' characters filled an array from the meek to the bold. He was entertaining himself through his charactrers, and we merely had to join in the fun. His kind of humor can't really be rehearsed.

Of all the comedians I saw on TV in my childhood, Winters was always my favorite.
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Eric Schaefer
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My favorite memory of Jonathan Winters was one of the last "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson before he retired--it must have been in the early 90s? Anyway, Robin Williams was one of the guests, along with a female C&W star whose name escapes me at the moment.Johnny and Robin were having fun doing some bits, and after the C&W star perfromed, Jonantan Winters came out from off stage wearing a US Civil War Union General's uniform, complete with sword and pistol. Robin and Jonathan just went on a tear right then and there, and I just remember Carson spending most of the rest of the show with his head on his desk, laughing uncontrollably.

The C&W star asked Jonathan why he was dressed up as a Yankee, and he just responded, "Ma'am I would think that was obvious. I am one." I wish I could find that show on YouTube or something. I just remember sitting in my dorm room with my roommate watching that show and just howling with laughter. RIP Mr. Winters!
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bruinrefugee
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wifwendell wrote:
Thanks, I knew that Winters had been a Marine in WW2 but not that he was into miniatures.

This anecdote kind of chilled me:

New York Times wrote:
But the toys were a manifestation of a dark time in his life. Jonathan was a Marine who fought in the Pacific in World War II. When he came home from the war, he went to his old bedroom and discovered that his prized tin trucks were gone.

He asked his mother what she did with his stuff.

“I gave them to the mission,” she said.

“Why did you do that?”

I didn’t think you were coming back,” she replied.


RIP, Jonathan Winters.


Mr. Winters wrote a foreword to Sinking the Rising Sun: Dog Fighting & Dive Bombing in World War II by William Davis
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Barry Kendall
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I believe in addition to painting and gaming with miniatures JW also collected toy fire trucks. Saw a photo of him holding one in the palm of his handing and grinning his grin one time.

What a talent and what a mind. I can imagine trying to play a game against him and having to give up because my face hurt so much from laughing and my ribs were aching.
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Warren Bruhn
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Thanks for the article link and that video. One of my favorite Jonathan Winters bits was in the movie Moon Over Parador. I thought he made a pretty convincing CIA agent.
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michael connor
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How do we know he wasn't one
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Tom Willcockson
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Quote:
What a talent and what a mind. I can imagine trying to play a game against him and having to give up because my face hurt so much from laughing and my ribs were aching.


Yea, just imagine how hard it would be to get through an ACW miniatures game with him playing the rebs.
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Seth Owen
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TomW731 wrote:
Quote:
What a talent and what a mind. I can imagine trying to play a game against him and having to give up because my face hurt so much from laughing and my ribs were aching.


Yea, just imagine how hard it would be to get through an ACW miniatures game with him playing the rebs.


What I wouldn't give to be a fly on that wall.
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William Ford
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Schaefe wrote:
My favorite memory of Jonathan Winters was one of the last "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson before he retired--it must have been in the early 90s? Anyway, Robin Williams was one of the guests, along with a female C&W star whose name escapes me at the moment.Johnny and Robin were having fun doing some bits, and after the C&W star perfromed, Jonantan Winters came out from off stage wearing a US Civil War Union General's uniform, complete with sword and pistol. Robin and Jonathan just went on a tear right then and there, and I just remember Carson spending most of the rest of the show with his head on his desk, laughing uncontrollably.

The C&W star asked Jonathan why he was dressed up as a Yankee, and he just responded, "Ma'am I would think that was obvious. I am one." I wish I could find that show on YouTube or something. I just remember sitting in my dorm room with my roommate watching that show and just howling with laughter. RIP Mr. Winters!


Is this the episode, maybe before the musical performance (he asks 3+ years after the comment is posted)?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NqEKvk9F4I
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Jim F
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Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
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Jonathan Winters didn't really cross the Atlantic. I saw him via the Johnny Carson roast and laughed myself stupid. Genius comic timing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BJItiG6FRg

"The guys feel different about you..."
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