New Biography Details Robin Williams Naked Groping Antics Filming ‘Mork and Mindy’

Robin Williams was, by all accounts, always on in his younger days. I remember hearing Pam Dawber, Robin Williams’ co-star on Mork and Mindy, mention that once Jonathan Winters joined the show as Mearth, she could barely get her lines out because Williams and Winters would improvise back and forth so much. Williams told Johnny Carson they used to run out of film because they did so much improvising on set.

But even before Winters joined the cast, Robin Williams was, well, Robin Williams. And the Daily Mail has excerpts from Robin, Dave Itzkoff’s upcoming biography of Williams, where Dawber describes his on-set antics that today would probably make Williams a pariah for sexual harassment, but that at time no one found the least bit troubling, including Dawber, who was the butt of Robin’s jokes.

But Dawber remained unfazed, she admits: ‘I had the grossest things done to me – by him. And I never took offense. I mean I was flashed, humped, bumped, grabbed. I think he probably did it to a lot of people…but it was so much fun.

‘Somehow he had that magic. If you put it on paper you would be appalled. But somehow he had this guileless little thing that he would do – those sparkly eyes. He’d look at you, really playful, like a puppy, all of a sudden. And then he’d grab your t*ts and then run away. And somehow he could get away with it. It was the Seventies, after all’.

Director Howard Storm also had an anecdote about Williams and the actress who played Mindy’s grandmother, who Williams poked in the ass with a cane.

‘I’m standing there watching this and I’m thinking, “oh my god” and I just laughed. I thought she was going to turn and say: “How dare you stick a cane in a woman’s a**?” That sweet old lady.

‘There was nothing lascivious about it, in his mind. It was just Robin being Robin, and he thought it would be funny. He could get away with murder.’

My favorite story is from legendary TV producer Garry Marshall, Mork and Mindy‘s EP.

‘He would take all his clothes off, he would be standing there totally naked and she was trying to act. His aim in life was to make Pam Dawber blush.’

So what makes this not sexual harassment? If the person being harassed doesn’t think it’s harassment, then it’s hard to make a case that it is, for starters. This story sort of reminds me of Andy Dick being fired from his latest project. Sophomoric antics like this used to be perfectly acceptable. When i was in high school, my friends and I used to hit each other in the balls because we thought it was funny to hit each other in the balls. We’d probably all be expelled for it today.

We’re in the middle of a cultural shift today, the opinion and what is and isn’t acceptable behavior regarding human sexuality is changing. And I think this is a good illustration of how. A good number of people were probably horrified reading about Robin Williams groping Pam Dawber and showing up to rehearsals completely naked and carrying on like nothing was out of the ordinary, but Pam Dawber wasn’t. She was in on the joke. Keep that in mind before you file Robin Williams next to Bill Cosby in your mental Rolodex.

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