Comedian celebrates Robin Williams’ legacy with tribute show

COMEDY

Fans missing comedian and actor Robin Williams will now have the chance to relive some of his spirit at “Robin: The Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute Experience” at the Savannah Comedy Revue on Sat., Feb 12.

Tribute artist and comedian Roger Kabler says he created his show as a way for him and his audiences to celebrate Williams’ life and to honor his comedic legacy. 

Kabler has been in showbiz for decades and has appeared on a variety of late night shows during the 80s and 90s. He was a regular on the last Carol Burnett series in 1991 and starred in a short-lived NBC sitcom, “Rhythm and Blues.” 

According to Kabler, he retired from comedy in 2003 but has been impersonating celebrities on stage since he was a teen. He said his Williams impersonation started when he was 17 while watching “Mork & Mindy,” and he’s been refining his impersonation of his idol ever since.

“Robin Williams died in 2014 and he was one of the main staples of my act,” Kabler said. “People kept asking me if I was going to do a tribute and I said ‘no I’m retired I don’t want to do a tribute.’ I went through a lot around it and I resisted it in the beginning.”

Considering himself an empath, Kabler says he felt a terrible sense of loss after deeply reflecting and channeling Williams in his worst and final hour. 

“I felt this terrible rush of empathy,” he said. “And I felt him tugging at me telling me to get back to work. Finally it occurred to me that I couldn’t say no to Robin Williams so, I created the tribute.”

Broken into two acts, the show focuses on Williams’ stand-up career, something that Kabler says the average person may not be familiar with or expect.

“The average person that goes to my show expects Mrs. Doubtfire and they want to see the genie and I do all of that….but they may not be as familiar with his stand-up and that’s what the show is all about, Robin’s take on things.”

“For the first act of the show, I look at the whole spectrum of his career from Mork & Mindy to his first HBO special. From his freestyling to his goofing around…just when he thought he was losing the audience he would hammer something incredible, and I love that. For the second act, I come out as myself and do some other impressions.”

Kabler says that although Williams’ material may get raunchy, there is a deeper message in his humor and the goal is to capture some true moments where people can feel the love in the room.

“Robin could get away with being naughty but what he was really doing was loosening everyone up. At the end he always delivered some heartfelt stuff and they needed to be open to it and that’s really the structure of my show.”

Kabler added that he feels that the show is extremely spiritual.

“The show is like a séance,” he said. “There’s crying, there’s laughing, and there is a lot of hugging at the end and people telling me that they felt Robin. That’s what this stage show is all about, to leave a message and to bring joy and of course, a lot of laughter. With Robin, I think, this is and was his mission. This is his way of coming back to life.”

In addition to touring with his stand-up show, Kabler just finished filming his independent film “Being Robin” that is set to release after post-production.

The show will take place at 8 p.m. To purchase tickets or for more information visit savannahcomedyrevue.com


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