A celebration of the life and work of Robin Williams is being planned for the 66th Primetime Emmys, according to a report on Tuesday by TV Guide. Although the awards show is scheduled less than two weeks after Williams’s sudden death, producer Don Mischer says Emmy execs want to properly remember the comedy legend.
"With the tragic loss of Robin, we're trying to deal with that and figure out what to do in the right, appropriate and meaningful way," Mischer said. "It's about what can we do to properly remember Robin and create perhaps an emotional moment about Robin, knowing all that he did for all of us who love entertainment and love comedy."
Mischer, who worked with the Williams on more than 30 TV shows and specials, including 1977’s short-lived revival of “Laugh In,” HBO’s “An Evening With Robin Williams,” and the 1998 ABC special “Christopher Reeve: A Celebration Hope,” said the iconic actor was known for his movies, but he was always an important part of the television community. He said he expects that Williams’s name will be mentioned by his peers throughout the Emmy telecast later this month.
Indeed, Williams had a long TV resume, starting with his 1977 guest starring role on “Happy Days” and ending with his single-season CBS comedy, “The Crazy Ones,” which was canceled in May. In between, he turned up on everything from “Faerie Tale Theatre” to “The Larry Sanders Show” to every late night talk show imaginable. He even made a cameo on “Friends” with “Father’s Day” co-star Billy Crystal. Emmy producers will certainly have plenty of material to work with for the tribute.
For the 2013 Emmy Awards broadcast, producers debuted a supersized In Memoriam segment for five TV legends that had passed away that year. James Gandolfini, Gary David Goldberg, Cory Monteith, and Jean Stapleton were remembered with special tributes delivered by famous friends, but it was a tribute to the late Jonathan Winters – delivered by Williams -- that turned out to be a major highlight.
Williams described his former idol, who eventually became his “Mork and Mindy” co-star, as “a big, brilliant kid that never grew up” and he thanked him for being his mentor. But the two legends may have had more in common than comedy.
In an interview with Parade last year, Williams revealed, “When Jonathan Winters died [in April], it was like, oh, man! I knew he was frail, but I always thought he was going to last longer. I knew him as being really funny, but at the same time he had a dark side.”
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will be telecast on Monday, Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. on NBC.