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L E’s Stories – “The Comedic Genius Of The Master Of Spontaneity And King Of Ad Libs” – Salute To Jonathan Winters

If you were to tie Bone Daddy down and strap him to a chair….while refusing to let him go until he states whom his favorite comedian of all time is…..and this is coming from a man who just loves comedy….who put together this incredible collection of comedic works here at ImaSportsphile….and my bet would be the man I am writing about today in this story….and that would be none other than Jonathan Winters.  The truth be known, if you were to line up all the greatest comedians to ever live….and go down the line one by one….while pulling out of a sack any innate object….be it a key, a piece of women’s lingerie, a cigarette lighter, a lightning rod, a horseshoe or whatever….while asking each comedian to make an unbiased audience laugh while using that object as a prop….and Jonathan Winters would win the competition hands down….for he was truly the master of comedic spontaneity and ad lib.  Bone Daddy recalls watching The Jonathan Winters Show in 1956 and 1957….which Winters would go into the audience and ask anyone attending his show live to hand him any object that they want….and he would do a comedy routine around that object….and to hear BD’s comment….“It was hillarious….and it didn’t matter what the object was that someone handed his….he could hold it up and make you laugh”….so, it is a real joy to tell the story of Jonathan Winters here today….cuz I know Bone Daddy for one, will just love it…..as I hope you will too.                                                     

 

Comedy – 1949 To 2013 – PBS Special Documentary – Johathan Winters: “Comedic Genius Without Ever Telling A Joke”

 

 

Comedy – 1956 – Jonathan Winters Show Improv – Jonathan Winters With A Pen & Pencil Set

 

Jonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) was an American comedian, actor, author, television host and artist….who beginning in 1960, recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label….after which he also had records released every decade for over 50 years….while receiving 11 Grammy nominations….which included eight for Best Comedy Album, during his career….and from these nominations, he won the Grammy Award for Best Album for Children for his contribution to an adaptation of The Little Prince in 1975….and the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for Crank(y) Calls in 1996.                                                                     

Comedy – 1957 – The Jonathan Winters Show – Comedy Routine – “General Custer At Little Big Horn”

 

 

Comedy – 1978 – Dean Martin Celebrity Roast – Featuring Jonathan Winters Roasting Frank Sinatra

With a career spanning more than six decades, Winters also appeared in hundreds of television shows and films…..all of which included eccentric characters while on The Steve Allen ShowThe Garry Moore ShowThe Wacky World of Jonathan Winters (1972–74), Mork & MindyHee Haw and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.  He also voiced Grandpa Smurf on The Smurfs TV series from 1986 to the show’s conclusion in 1989….then, over twenty years later, Winters was introduced to a new generation through voicing Papa Smurf in The Smurfs in 2011…..and The Smurfs 2 in 2013.  Winters died nine days after recording his dialogue for The Smurfs 2….as the film was dedicated to his memory.                                                                                                 

 

Comedy – 1962 – I’ve Got A Secret – With Jonathan Winters – US Marines Drill To Winters & 4 Civilian Commands

 

 

Comedy – 1984 – Dean Martin Celebrity Roast – Featuring Jonathan Winters Roasting Johnny Carson

On February 8, 1960, Winters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame….and in 1973, he received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.  In 1991, Winters won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Gunny Davis in the short-lived sitcom Davis Rules….when in 1999, Winters become the 2nd recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. In 2002, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance as Q.T. Marlens on Life with Bonnie…..then Winters was presented with a Pioneer TV Land Award by Robin Williams in 2008.                                                                                                   

 

Comedy – 1991 – ABC Sitcom “Davis Rules” – With Randy Quaid + Jonathan Winters

Winters also spent time painting and presenting his artwork, including silkscreens and sketches, in many gallery shows. He authored several books….with his book of short stories entitled Winters’ Tales (1988) making several bestseller lists.                                                                                                      

 

Comedy – 1956 – The Jonathan Winters Show Comedy Routine – FAA Board Of Inquiry – “Pilot Under Pressure”                                                                                       

Winters was born in Bellbrook, Ohio, to Jonathan Harshman Winters II, an insurance agent who later became an investment broker.  He was a descendant of Valentine Winters, founder of the Winters National Bank in Dayton, Ohio (now part of JPMorgan Chase).  Being of English and Scotch-Irish ancestry, Winters had described his father as an alcoholic who had trouble holding a job…..and his grandfather, a frustrated comedian, owned the Winters National Bank….which failed as the family’s fortunes collapsed during the Great Depression.                                                                                              

 

Comedy – 1966 – The Dean Martin Show Comedy Skit – With Jonathan Winters As Maude Frickert + Coach Knute Rockne

 

 

Comedy – 1993 – 1st Comedy Hall of Fame Awards – Jonathan Winters 1st Inductee

When he was seven, his parents separated…..as his mother took him to Springfield, Ohio, to live with his maternal grandmother.  “Mother and dad didn’t understand me; I didn’t understand them,” Winters told Jim Lehrer on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer in 1999.  “So consequently it was a strange kind of arrangement.”….so, while spending time alone in his room, he created characters and interviewed himself…..and since he was a poor student growing up….so, he continued talking to himself and developed a repertoire of strange sound effects…..and would often entertained his high school friends by imitating a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.                       

 

Comedy – 1957 – The Jonathan Winters Show – Comedy Routine – Jonathan Winters: “The Amateur Talent Show”

 

In another television interview, Winters described how deeply he was hurt by his parents’ divorce….when he fought youthful tormentors who ridiculed him for not having a father in his life….and when the tormentors were not around, he would go to a building or tree and weep in despair.  Winters said that he learned to laugh at his situation….but admitted that his adult life had been a response to sorrow.                                                                                           

 

Comedy – 1964 – The Jack Parr Show – With Jonathan Winters Comedy Routine – “The Doctor’s Little Men”

 

During his senior year at Springfield High School, Winters quit school to join the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of seventeen and served two and a half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  Upon his return, he attended Kenyon College…..and later studied cartooning at Dayton Art Institute….where he met Eileen Schauder….whom he married on September 11, 1948.                                                                                                                         

 

Comedy – 1956 – The Jonathan Winters Show – Comedy Routine – Jonathan Winters: “On A Picnic With Maude Frickert And Weird Lenny”

 

Winters’ career started as a result of a lost wristwatch….which was about six or seven months after his marriage to Eileen in 1948…..when the newlyweds couldn’t afford to buy another one….and that is when Eileen read about a talent contest in which the first prize was a wristwatch…..and encouraged Jonathan to “go down and win it.”.….as she was certain he could….and he did.  His performance led to a disc jockey job….where he was supposed to introduce songs and announce the temperature….and gradually his ad libs, personae and antics took over the show.                                                                       

 

Comedy – 1964 – Jonathan Winters Comedy Routine – “The Baseball Pitcher”                  

He began comedy routines and acting while studying at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio…..when he was also a local radio personality on WING (mornings, 6 to 8) in Dayton, Ohio….and at WIZE in Springfield, Ohio….then he performed as “Johnny Winters” on WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, for two and a half years…..and that is when Jerome R. “Ted” Reeves, then program director for WBNS-TV, arranged for his 1st audition with CBS in New York City….and after promising his wife that he would return to Dayton if he did not make it in a year….and with $56.46 in his pocket, he moved to New York City….while staying with friends in Greenwich Village. After obtaining Martin Goodman as his agent, he began stand-up routines in various New York nightclubs.  His earliest network television appearance was in 1954 on Chance of a Lifetime hosted by Dennis James on the DuMont Television Network…. where Winters again appeared as “Johnny Winters”.                                     

 

Comedy – 1955 – WBNS TV Special With Don Riggs – “A Jonathan Winters Story That You’ve Never Heard”

 

Winters made television history in 1956 when RCA broadcast the first public demonstration of color videotape on The Jonathan Winters Show. Author David Hajdu wrote in The New York Times (2006), “He soon used video technology ‘to appear as two characters,’ bantering back and forth, seemingly in the studio at the same time. You could say he invented the video stunt.”                                                                                                                                  

 

Comedy – 1959 – The Jack Parr Show – Comedy Routine – With Jonathan Winters – “The Stick”

 

His big break occurred (with the revised name of Jonathan) when he worked for Alistair Cooke on the CBS Television Sunday morning show Omnibus.  In 1957 he performed in the first color television show, a 15-minute routine sponsored by Tums.  From 1959 to 1964, Winters’ voice could be heard in a series of popular television commercials for Utica Club beer.  In the ads, he provided the voices of talking beer steins, named Shultz and Dooley.  Later, he became a spokesman for Hefty brand trash bags, for whom he appeared as a dapper garbageman known for collecting “gahr-bahj,” as well as “Maude Frickert” and other characters.  Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label, starting in 1960….and probably the best known of his characters from this period is “Maude Frickert”…..with the seemingly sweet old lady with the barbed tongue…..plus, he was a favorite of Jack Paar….who hosted The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962…. and appeared frequently on his television programs….while even going so far as to impersonate then U.S. president John F. Kennedy over the telephone as a prank on Paar.

 

 

TV Ads – 1962 – Utica Club Beer – Voiced By Jonathan Winters

 

TV Ads – 1970 – Jonathan Winters For Cheetos

 

 

TV Ads – 1975 – Jonathan Winters For Wendy’s Hamburgers

 

 

TV Ads – 1988 – Jonathan Winters As Maude Frickert For Stove Top Stuffing

Winters had a dramatic role in The Twilight Zone episode “A Game of Pool” (episode 3.5 aired on October 13, 1961)…..and he also recorded Ogden Nash’s The Carnival of the Animals poems to Camille Saint-Saëns’s classical opus.                                                                                                                                       

 

Comedy – 1957 – The Jonathan Winters Show – Comedy Skit – “Improv With Art Carney + Jonathan Winters”

 

On The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–92), Winters usually performed in the guise of some character….as Carson often did not know what Winters had planned….and usually had to tease out the character’s backstory during a comedic interview.  Carson invented a character called “Aunt Blabby,”…..which was similar to and possibly inspired by “Maude Frickert.”                                                                                                                               

 

Comedy – 1977 – The Johnny Carson Show – With Jonathan Winters Doing Improv

 

 

Comedy – 1976 – The Johnny Carson Show – With Jonathan Winters Impersonating Politicians

 

Comedy – 1974 – The Johnny Carson Show – With Jonathan Winters Telling Story Of Gluing His Cat To The Floor

 

 

Comedy – 1988 – The Johnny Carson Show – With Jonathan Winters Telling About His Youth + Impersonating Foreigners

 

 

Comedy – 1988 – The Johnny Carson Show – With Jonathan Winters Telling Drinking Stories About He And Johnny When They Were Younger

 

Winters appeared in more than 50 movies and many television shows….with particularly notable roles in the film It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World….and in the dual roles of Henry Glenworthy and his dark, scheming brother, the Rev. Wilbur Glenworthy in the film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s novel The Loved One.  Fellow comedians who starred with him in Mad World, such as Arnold Stang, said that in the long periods while they waited between scenes, Winters entertained them for hours in their trailer by becoming any character that they suggested to him.

 

Comedy – 1963 – Movie Clip From “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” – Gas Station Scene With Phil Silvers + Arnold Stang + Marvin Kaplan + Jonathan Winters

From December 1967 to June 1969, Winters starred in his own hour-long weekly variety program on CBS….which was similar to the then-popular Red Skelton and Carol Burnett shows on the same network….as The Jonathan Winters Show featured guest stars of comedy and music….like The Doors….along with recurring sketches which often featured Winters characters such as Maudie Frickert….rural Elwood P. Suggins….drunk Harold Nermlinger….and Norwegian Yorny Bjorny….plus an audience-request section where Winters did impressions of persons, animals, etc. in various situations….like John Wayne on the moon….as choice bits from the latter were collected and released on a 1969 Columbia LP, “Stuff ‘n’ Nonsense”.              

 

Comedy – 1967 – Special – “The Wacky World Of Jonathan Winters” With Orson Wells + Leslie Uggams + Pat Boone + Mary Gregory + Bob Donner

He later participated on ABC’s The American Sportsman, hosted by Grits Gresham….who took celebrities on hunting, fishing, and shooting trips to exotic places around the world.

 

Comedy – 1968 – Jonathan Winters Comedy Routine – “Fishing and Fishermen”

 

Winters made memorable appearances on both The Dean Martin Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast….as well as a regular on The Andy Williams Show…..plus, he also performed regularly as a panelist on The Hollywood Squares.  In the mid-1970’s, he appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America doing humorous reviews of films.

 

 

Comedy – 1971 – The Dean Martin Show – With Jonathan Winters – Comedy Skit – “Airline Passengers” 

 

 

Comedy – 1974 – The Dean Martin Show – With Jonathan Winters – Comedy Skit – “At The Bar”

Comedy – 1966 – Andy Williams Show – With Jonathan Winters – “Impromptu Session”                                                                                                                               

 

Comedy – 1966 – Andy Williams Show – With Jonathan Winters – “Small Town Heroes”

 

During the late 1960’s, Winters acted in several film comedies….with most prominently The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming in 1966….. and Viva Max! in 1969….and additionally, he was a regular (along with Woody Allen and Jo Anne Worley) on the Saturday morning children’s television program, Hot Dog in the early 1970’s.  He also had his own syndicated show called The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters from 1972 to 1974….of which, the music director, Van Alexander, was nominated for a 1973 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction of a Variety, Musical or Dramatic Program.

 

 

Comedy – 1966 – Movie Clip From “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming” – Featuring Jonathan Winters

 

 

Comedy – 1969 – Movie Clip From “Viva Max” – Featuring Jonathan Winters

Jonathan Winters was a guest star on The Muppet Show in 1980….and that same year, he also appeared in I Go Pogo (a.k.a. Pogo for President)….then in 1981 he was a guest on the short-lived comedy series Aloha Paradise.                        

 

Comedy – 1976 – Muppet Show With Jonathan Winters – “Fozzie’s Prop Box”                     

In the 4th and final season of the sci-fi-styled TV comedy Mork & Mindy, Jonathan Winters, who was one of Robin Williams’s idols….was brought in as Mork & Mindy’s child, Mearth….when due to the different Orkan physiology, Mork laid an egg….which grew and hatched into the much older Winters…. as it had been previously explained that Orkans aged “backwards,” thus explaining Mearth’s appearance and that of his teacher, Miss Geezba, which was portrayed by then-11-year-old actress, Louanne Sirota.  Mork’s infant son Mearth in Mork & Mindy was created in hopes of improving ratings…. and as an attempt to capitalize on Williams’s comedic talents.  Winters had previously guest-starred in Season 3, Episode 18, as Dave McConnell, Mindy’s uncle….however, after multiple scheduling and cast changes, Mork & Mindy‘s 4th season was already quite low in the ratings….and ended up being the show’s last season.

 

Comedy – 1982 – Sitcom Mork & Mindy – Season 4 Episode 16 – “Mork, Mindy and Mearth Meet MILT” – With Robin Williams + Pam Dawber + Jonathan Winters

Winters became a regular on Hee Haw during the 1983–1984 season….and he was later the voice of Grandpa Smurf from 1986 to 1990 on the television series The Smurfs…..while additionally doing the voice of Bigelow in the 1985 TV film Pound Puppies….as well as being the voice actor on Yogi’s Treasure Hunt in 1985….among other voice roles throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s.  In 1987, Winters was featured in NFL Films’ The NFL TV Follies. That same year he published Winters’ Tales: Stories and Observations for the Unusual.                            

 

NFL – 1986 – NFL Films – “The All New NFL Football Follies” – Starring Jonathan Winters

 

In 1991 and 1992, he had a supporting role on Davis Rules, a sitcom that lasted two seasons (25 episodes)….for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series….when he played Gunny Davis, an eccentric grandfather who was helping raise his grandchildren after his son lost his wife.

 

 

Comedy – 1992 – Sitcom Davis Rules“The Rules Of The Game” – Starring Randy Quaid + Jonathan Winters

 

In addition to his live-action roles, he was a guest star on The New Scooby-Doo Movies….in an episode where he also voiced an animated version of his “Maude Frickert” character….along with being the narrator in Frosty Returns…..which airs annually aired during the Christmas season.  Winters also provided the voice for the thief in The Thief and the Cobbler.  In 1994, Winters appeared as a fired factory worker….which was credited as “Grizzled Man” in The Flintstones…..then in an interesting role reversal, he was the serious-minded secular police chief and uncle of the character Lamont Cranston….which was played by Alec Baldwin in The Shadow.  That same year he voiced Stinkbomb D. Basset in the episode “Smell Ya Later” on Animaniacs.

 

Animation 1992 – Movie “Frosty Returns” – Narrated By Jonathan Winters – Starring John Goodman As Frosty

 

In 1996, Winters played himself in Bloopy’s Buddies….which was a children’s TV series on PBS designed to teach children about health and nutrition and to encourage them to exercise.  In 1999, he was awarded the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, becoming the second recipient.

 

Comedy – 1999 – The Kennedy Center Presents The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor – Jonathan Winters Acceptance Speech

 

Winters had various roles and appeared in numerous television features throughout the early to mid-2000’s….when in 2000, Winters appeared in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle….and in 2003, he appeared in the film Swing.                                                                                                                                       

 

Comedy – 19 The Davud Letterman Show – With Jonathan Winters + Robin Williams

 

News & Comedy – 1986 – 60 Minutes With Ed Bradley – Featuring Jonathan Winters & Robin Williams

In 2004, Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time ranked Winters as the #18 greatest stand-up comedian.  In 2005 and 2006, Winters appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.  In 2008, PBS aired Pioneers of Television and Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America in 2009….as both featured Winters.                                                                                                                    

 

Comedy – 1962 – Jonathan Winters Comedy Routine – Gay Moby Dick “Captain Arnold” + John F. Kennedy

 

 

Comedy & Talks Show – 1988 – Larry King Live – With Jonathan Winters

 

Winters was coaxed out of retirement to voice Papa Smurf in The Smurfs in 2011….which was the first-ever animated/live-action Smurfs film….and later in The Smurfs 2 in 2013….which was his final film project.  He died only nine days after he finished recording Papa’s voice…..plus, Winters was originally cast in Big Finish in 2014 during pre-production….which was to be a comedy set in a retirement home….as his scheduled role was to appear alongside Jerry Lewis and Bob Newhart.                                                                                               

 

Comedy & Interview – 2007 – EG Conference At The Getty Center In Los Angeles – Jonathan Winters: “A Poignant, Bittersweet, Funny Reflection On His Life”                                                                                                                                    

In his interview with the Archive of American Television, Winters reported that he spent eight months in a private psychiatric hospital in 1959….and again in 1961….as the comic suffered from nervous breakdowns and bipolar disorder.  With an unprecedented frenetic energy, Winters made obscure references to his illness and hospitalization during his stand-up routines, most famously on his 1960 comedy album, The Wonderful World of Jonathan Winters.  During his classic “flying saucer” routine, Winters casually mentions that if he wasn’t careful, the authorities might put him back in the “zoo”, referring to the institution. “These voices are always screaming to get out,” Winters told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “They follow me around pretty much all day and night.”…..as Winters was able to use his talents in voice-over roles as a result.  A devotee of Groucho Marx and Laurel and Hardy, Winters once claimed, “I’ve done for the most part pretty much what I intended.” He told U.S. News, “I ended up doing comedy, writing, and painting…. I’ve had a ball, and as I get older I just become an older kid.”                                                                                                                              

 

Comedy – 1960 – Audio Special – Jonathan Winters Famous Flying Saucer Routine

 

Winters lived near Santa Barbara, California….and was often seen browsing or “hamming” for the crowd at the antique and gun shows on the Ventura County fairgrounds….and he often entertained the tellers and other employees whenever he visited his local bank to make a deposit or withdrawal….plus, he spent his time painting and attended many gallery showings….while even presenting his art in one-man shows.                                           

 

Comedy – 2010 – Special – Jonathan Winters As Maude Frickert On “Gun Control”                                                                                                                               

 

Comedy – 1999 – The Johnny Carson Show – With Guest Jonathan Winters

 

On January 11, 2009, Winters’ wife of more than 60 years, Eileen, died at the age of 84 after a 20-year battle with breast cancer.  Winters died of natural causes on the evening of April 11, 2013, in Montecito, California, at the age of 87.  He was survived by his two children, Jonathan (“Jay”) Winters IV and Lucinda Winters, and five grandchildren.  He was cremated and his ashes were given to his family.  Fans of Winters placed flowers on his Hollywood Walk of Fame star on April 12, 2013, at 1:30 p.m.                                                           

 

Animation – 2011 – Movie Clip From The Smurfs“Papa Smurf’s Sacrifice Scene” – With Jonathan Winters As Voice Of Papa Smurf

 

Animation- 2013 – Special – The Smurfs film Voice Recording Theater – Featuring The Cast + Jonathan Winters As Papa Smurf Just Before His Death

 

Many comedians, actors, and friends gave personal tributes about Winters on social media shortly after his death.  Robin Williams posted, “First he was my idol, then he was my mentor and amazing friend. I’ll miss him huge. He was my Comedy Buddha. Long live the Buddha.”  In September 2013, at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, Williams again honored the career and life of Winters.  The 2013 movie, The Smurfs 2 was dedicated to him.                           

 

Comedy – 1991 – The Johnny Carson – With Robin Williams + Jonathan Winters

 

 

Comedy – 2005 – Sit Down Comedy With David Steinberg – Featuring Interviews With Robin Williams + Jonathan Winters

 

 

Comedy – 2008 – Special Presentation – Robin Williams Presents The TV Pioneer Award To Jonathan Williams

A pioneer of improvisational stand-up comedy with a gift for mimicry, impersonations, various personalities and a seemingly bottomless reservoir of creative energy, Winters was one of the first celebrities to go public with a personal mental illness issue and felt stigmatized as a result.  According to Jack Paar, “If you were to ask me the funniest 25 people I’ve ever known, I’d say, ‘Here they are—Jonathan Winters.'” He also said of Winters, “Pound for pound, the funniest man alive.”

 

Comedy – 1965 – The Jack Parr Show – With Jonathan Winters – “The Voice of Spring”

 

 

Comedy – 1964 – The Jack Parr Show – With Jonathan Winters – “The Many Faces Of Jonathan”                                                                                                             

With his round, rubber-faced mastery of impressions….which included ones of John Wayne, Cary Grant, Groucho Marx, James Cagney and others….along with improvisational comedy, Winters became a staple of late-night television with a career spanning more than six decades….with notable honors….along with many television show, film and comedy circuit appearances….as Winters was known to start his stage shows by commanding an applauding audience that had risen to its feet to “Please remain standing throughout the evening.”                                                                      

 

Comedy – 1966 – The Jack Parr Show – With Jonathan Winters – “JFK And The Cuban Missle Crisis”

 

Winters performed a wide range of characters….which included hillbillies…. arrogant city slickers….nerve-shattered airline pilots trying to hide their fear …..disgruntled westerners…..judgmental Martians….little old ladies….nosy gas station attendants…..a hungry cat eyeing a mouse…..the oldest living airline stewardess and more.  “I was fighting for the fact that you could be funny without telling jokes,” he told The New York Times….while adding that he thought of himself foremost as a writer and less as a stand-up comedian. He named James Thurber’s sophisticated absurdity as influential and said he idolized writers with a gift for humor.

 

Comedy – 2003 – Orinda Film Festival Special – “Montage Of The Funniest Work Of Jonathan Winters” – Part I

 

Comedy – 2003 – Orinda Film Festival Special – “Montage Of The Funniest Work Of Jonathan Winters” – Part II

                                                                                                                                    Onstage and off, Winters was wildly unpredictable. He was often viewed by producers as a liability, and this led to a scattershot, though memorable, film career. On television, his two self-titled variety shows displayed him in dazzling form as a sketch comic and impersonator….as Winters was an inspiration for performers such as Johnny Carson, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Tracey Ullman, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, Jim Carrey and Jimmy Kimmel.                                                                                                                              

 

Comedy – 1982 – The Bob Hope Classic Cabernet – Featuring Jonathan Winters Stand-Up Routine

In a 1991 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Winters likened the  entertainment industry to the Olympics….with actors standing on boxes to receive gold, silver, and bronze medals…..as Winters claimed, “I think my place is inside the box, underneath the guy receiving the gold medal. They’re playing the national anthem and I’m fondling a platinum medallion.” as some of his greatest comments which in truth were tremendous life lessons such as…..“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it.”….along with “I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”….and “Behold the turtle, the only time he makes progress is when he sticks out his head.”                    

 

Comedy – 2005 – Jimmy Kimmel Live – With Jonathan Winters – Featuring His Humor And His Paintings

 

Two of his most memorable characters, cranky granny “Maude Frickert” and bumpkin farmer “Elwood P. Suggins” (“I think eggs 24 hours a day”), were born from his early television routines.  Robin Williams once told Playboy why Mr. Winters inspired him. “It was like seeing a guy behind a mask, and you could see that his characters were a great way for him to talk about painful stuff,” he said. “I found out later that they are people he knows—his mother, his aunt. He’s an artist who also paints with words. He paints these people that he sees.” 

Comedy – 1972 – Dean Martin Show – With Jonathan Winters As Elwood P Suggins 

                                                                                                                                    We here at ImaSportsphile have always been of the belief that there is a very thin line between Genius and Insanity, and an equally thin line between  Happiness and Despair….and two of our all-time favorite comedians, Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams, were certainly examples of those “thin lines”….as both were incredibly funny….with the ability to make people laugh from the bottom of their souls….yet they both walked the “thin lines of Insanity and Despair”….with one leg firmly planted in Genius and Happiness.  The world is a great deal less funny without Jonathan and Robin. As evidenced by the videos seen in this story herewith…. Jonathan Winters was a comedic genius….who brought great joy and happiness to those who observed his humor.  He was indeed gifted with the ability to find great humor in almost anything….even the worst of situations….while struggling with his own sense of being unwelcomed….but regardless of those “thin lines” that he straddled….he was still a brilliant comedian and entertainer….of whom we simply appreciate and adore…. while being overjoyed that we have some much of his brilliant legacy in our library herewith.  Thank you Jonathan Winters for the many times that you brought laughter into our consciousness.                                                                                   

 

Comedy & Interview – 2013 – John Kerwin Interview Jonathan Winters in His Last Interview

 

Comedy & Interview – 1973 – PBS Day At Night – With James Day Interview Of Jonathan Winters

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