Nearly three years after his passing, comedian Robin Williams’ legacy — and unique humor — lives on.
Roger Kabler leads a trio of national touring comedians in bringing the Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute Experience to 7 Cedars Casino on Aug. 3, blending the legendary humorist’s indelible quirks and mannerisms with present-day comedy fodder.
“For all the people who didn’t get a chance to see him live, this is the closest (you can) get to Robin Williams,” says comedian Marc Price, who joins Kabler and Ryan Wingfield.
The amazing thing about Kabler, Price says, is that, “he looks so much like (Robin Williams), and sounds so much like him; in reality, he doesn’t look like him at all.”
“People don’t know what to expect when they hear about it,” Price says of the Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute Experience. “Roger has that comedic genius master. He’s been one of his best for years.”
Price — well-known for his role as Skippy on the television hit show “Family Ties” — is no stranger to rubbing elbows with comedic geniuses. Born into a performing arts family, the 49-year-old Price got a taste of Hollywood when family friend Phil Foster (Frank DeFazio on TV sitcom “Laverne & Shirley”) got Price access at Paramount Studios at age 12.
“I got to watch ‘Happy Days, ‘Laverne and Shirley.’ I went to see ‘Taxi,’ ‘Bosom Buddies’ and ‘Mork and Mindy.’” At that time, the Mork-portraying Williams was the biggest comedy star in the nation.
“I got to sit and watch him work, (to) develop the scene, to work out the jokes,” Price recalls. “I was a fan.”
Price says he wasn’t close friends with Williams but may relate some personal stories about connections he’s had over the years with the late great, including a serendipitous sharing the stage at the first Comic Relief event in the mid-1980s — taking the spot fellow “Family Ties” star Michael J. Fox was unable to fill.
“Michael J. Fox really treated me right. He couldn’t go to Comic Relief, he managed it to get his slot his stage (for me). If you see the stage, there’s Robin Williams, there’s Whoopi (Goldberg), everybody is there … and there I am, in the second row.”
A New Jersey and New York resident for much of his childhood, Price and family moved to California in his preteen years. Thanks to his comedian father, Price got to see up close and be around the likes of A-list comedians Robert Klein, David Brenner and later, Jerry Seinfeld.
“It was a form of royalty,” Price recalls.
Price began his television career with guest-starring roles in shows such as “Condo” and “One Day At A Time” before catching on with “Family Ties,” which ran from 1982-1989.
And yes, Price says he isn’t above a bit of self-reference to that role when it comes to getting gigs.
“If anyone can be called the master of milking it (it’s me); I mock my self openly about that,” he says.
“It’s a totally a generational thing. We (from ‘Family Ties’) pride ourselves on being relevant.”
Price says he does keep in touch with some of the “Family Ties” crew, particularly with Tina Yothers (“Jennifer”) and Scott Valentine (“Nick”).
For years Price has worked as both a stand-up comedian, actor and producer in Hollywood. For much of the 2000s he worked as a writer/producer for cable television networks such as Disney Channel, Food Network, Animal Planet, GSN and Showtime, and was a touring comedian with the Sitcom Legends Tour with Marsha Warfield (“Night Court”) and Jimmie Walker (“Good Times”).
A resident of Los Angeles since age 17 — “They can’t get rid of me,” he says — Price mixes in influences from old guard comedians such as Joey Bishop and Sam Kinison to newcomers like Adam Ray.
“People ask me what they can expect from my show: Not a refund,” Price jokes.
“My inspirations are so all over and it comes out in the show,” he says. “I just enjoy it all. Sometimes I get political. Sometimes I get silly or physical or observational.”
That, in away, helps Price set the stage for the audience as they get a kind of reincarnated Robin Williams through Kabler.
“It’s like a one-man show, with all the emotions and dynamics,” Price says of the Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute Experience. “And it’s a show that can appeal to all ages.”
See more details and get ticketsz online at www.7cedarsresort.com/robin-williams-tribute.html?evtd=2017-08-03.