'Tasmanian Devil of stand-up': ABC special explores life, legacy of Robin Williams

'Superstar: Robin Williams' airs Oct. 20 on ABC and streams next day on Hulu

ByEvan McMurry ABCNews logo
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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"The Tasmanian Devil of stand-up comedy."

That's how Paula Poundstone remembers Robin Williams, the legendary comedian and actor who inspired a generation of entertainers, in the latest episode of ABC's "Superstar."

The look back at Williams, which airs Wednesday at 10|9c on ABC and streams the next day on Hulu, traces his rise from a classically trained actor at The Juilliard School to his early stand-up days, and then to his worldwide acclaim as a movie star.

"When you find that thing that you really love, there's a bliss that goes along with it," Williams said of the beginning of his stand-up career.

"And there's a bliss of knowing, 'This is what I want to do.' And when you find it, and know that that's it, it is an incredibly powerful feeling."

"Mork & Mindy" star Gina Hecht recalls working alongside Robin Williams.

Alongside a chronicle of his life, the show features a swath of other entertainers reflecting on the comedian's electrifying talent and energy. Margaret Cho, Howie Mandel, Barry Levinson, Pauly Shore, Lewis Black and others weigh in on the comic legend.

"At some point you say, 'This is who the hell I am,'" Williams said. "'Yeah, I'm shy. And I'm also outrageous, too. That's me. Computers is me. Running is me. Performing is me. Being in love is me. It's all of this wonderful thing that you say is your whole life.'"

The ABC series "Superstar" showcases the lives and careers of impactful cultural figures. Previous episodes have focused on Whitney Houston, Kobe Bryant, John Ritter and others.

All episodes are available for streaming on Hulu.

'Superstar: Robin Williams' airs Oct. 20 on ABC and streams next day on Hulu