June 15, 1987 12:00 PM

Showtime (Fri., June 12, 9 p.m. ET)


Jonathan Winters, that giant imp, does the impossible: He silences Robin Williams. Robin, that manic imp, appears on Winters’ show but doesn’t try to steal it. He just stands there, in awe of his idol. I wish I were so awe-inspired. Don’t get me wrong: Winters is still a master of delight, an all-time favorite. But here he does something that may be braver than it is wise. He improvises an entire show. He and guest stars Williams, Martin Mull, Milton Berle, Mort Sahl, Susan Anton and Phyllis Diller have no script, no rehearsal, no second takes. They’re real but raw. Without prepared material, Winters relies on some old—very old—standards like imitations of Cagney and Bogart. And many—most—of the skits end up looking pointless. But Winters still has his moments, and it is great to see him have them on TV again.

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