The TechHive staff was saddened to hear of the passing of the incredible actor and comedian Robin Williams on Monday. He attended high school and some college across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, and lived here for most of his life — the Bay Area is proudly protective of its handful of celebrity residents, so grateful are we that a few big stars prefer our foggy home over the flashier Los Angeles. Robin Williams was a geek, too: he loved video games so much he named his daughter after Princess Zelda, plus he showed up on stage at both a Google keynote at CES and to help Will Wright introduce Spore at E3.
We want to honor the incredible talent of Robin Williams by collecting some of his best work that's available for streaming on services like Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, and Amazon. While favorites like Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam, and Mrs. Doubtfire aren't currently available on the big subscription services, they're worth a rental or a purchase. The nine titles we've listed here span his entire career, showing that whether he's playing an alien, a cartoon sailor, a gay nightclub owner, or Peter Pan, the boundless energy in his performances will never be matched. Enjoy these films and TV shows, and if you or a loved one is struggling with depression, please reach out for help.
Weapons of Self Destruction
This 2009 HBO comedy special, streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video, is an hour and 30-minutes of gut-busting laughs and crude-yet-hilarious commentary on everything from heart surgery to tornados to Sarah Palin, leaping from topic to topic at hyperspeed. It's a great place to start if you want to see the pure energy bomb that was Robin Williams doing stand-up. (If you don't have Amazon Prime, the whole special is actually on YouTube, although it could get pulled at any time.)
The Birdcage, on both Amazon and Netflix, features one of of Robin's best performances, as Armand, the owner of a drag club in Miami Beach. Armand's 20-ish-year-old son Val gets engaged to Barbara, the daughter of a conservative U.S. Senator, but she hasn't exactly confided in her right-wing parents that her fiance has two dads. To avoid aggravating an unrelated scandal, Val asks Armand and his partner — Albert, the drag club's star, played to perfection by Nathan Lane — to go along with Barbara's story temporarily, when her parents come to visit. Naturally, the charade doesn't go well (or, rather, it goes too well) and hilarity ensues. Robin and Nathan Lane are wonderful together, Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest are perfect as the senator and his wife, and Hank Azaria steals the entire show as the housekeeper/butler Agador Spartacus.
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