Today is a sad day with the announcement of the passing of Jonathan Winters. He was a favorite comedian of mine since I was little. I had the sincere pleasure of seeing Mr. Winters speak last year at a very special screening at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences of a new 70mm print of IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, WORLD. It was an evening to behold as the Q&A moderated by Billy Crystal included Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters, Mickey Rooney, Stan Freberg, Marvin Kaplan, Barrie Chase, casting director Lynn Stalmaster, script supervisor Marshall Schlom and Karen Sharp Kramer, director Stanley Kramer’s wife. The evening was pure heaven for a movie geek like myself.
I’d like to share the audio recording I made from that night. Mr. Winters was in rare form and, despite being bound to a wheelchair, the man seemed as vibrant and funny as one would hope. It was, in the purest sense of the word, a joy.
This first part starts just after the short screening of THE MIRACLE OF TODD-AO with an explanation of the process, followed by Billy Crystal being introduced and then the start of the intro to the many Q&A participants. Mickey Rooney’s intro begins Part 2 of the recording (with a cut where I video taped Mr. Rooney dancing, then I picked right back up again with the audio).
If you’d like to hear Jonathan Winter’s segments right away, start with Part 2.