Howard Storm is a long-time television director who has directed everything from Laverne and Shirley to Full House to Everybody Loves Raymond and Keenan and Kel. He even directed Jim Carrey’s first major movie, 1985’s Once Bitten, which preceded even In Living Color.
Storm is probably most famous, however, for his extensive involvement with Mork & Mindy. He directed 59 episodes of the series, which meant he worked a great deal with Robin Williams. In fact, in a relatively recent interview with the Archive of American Television, Storm explained that the only way to work with Williams — who he called a “genius” — was to let him do his thing during rehearsal and get it completely out of his system before he actually began shooting. Basically, as Storm said, he let Williams riff as long as he needed to do, then he began to peel it away until he got it down to exactly what he needed before turning on the cameras.
That approach is no more apparent than what we see in this rare footage of Williams who, back in the early 1980s, put together a video for Storm to help him promote his career as a director. Williams had only a short message to deliver, the gist of which was: “Howard Storm is now directing commercials. If he can work with me, he can work with anyone.”
It took Williams 13 minutes to get there, 13 minutes of riffing and impressions and goofing and unbelievable brilliance. It is Williams at his absolute best. You can honestly watch the entire thing or pop in at any moment: It’s all the same. Incredible, hilarious, and mind-blowing, and in a way, heartbreaking because we no longer have this insanely brilliant man in our lives.