Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Go
January 12th, 2009
My Comedian Hero
Jonathan Winters
Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Jonathan Winters: When I first met him, they chose me to do the baby of all things, as Merth, on Mork and Mindy.  I had only seen Robin a couple of times and thougt he he was funny.  And now I’m his dad’s age.  So he said, “Pops, God” he said, “I love your stuff, I love ya.  And we’re gonna have a good time.”  And, and we did, he said he started talking to people after the show about being interviewed and what’s it like to work with Jonathan Winters, and he said time and again, “Jonathan is my mentor.”  And I turned to him and I said one day, “Don’t say mentor anymore I tell you why, in Ohio they think that’s a salve.  Say idol, we all know that.  See mentor’s a little cutie stuff.”

  • Tony

    Jonathan Winters remains one of our greatest comedians to me. His mastery of timing with quiet subliminal punch and expression is unique, and he had great writers. Wish he lasted longer..

  • John Bialas

    How funny was Jonathan Winters, you ask? On his 1961 comedy album “Here’s Jonathan”, his old lady character Maude Frickert described how her dumb kid brother once tried to fly by scotch-taping 146 pigeons to his arms. The audience laughed out loud for a full twenty seconds.

  • gary cherry

    jonathan winters has always been my favorite comedians. anytime he was on tv i made a point to make sure i watched his performance. he always made johnny carson laugh so hard he cried tears of laughter.there will only be one jonathan winters and i recently found out his sweet wife passed away in january of this year after 60 years of marriage. god bless jonathan winters.

  • Scott Severson

    Happy Birthday! Your the best. I was watching your clips on YouTube tonight. Take care and God Bless!

  • Jeff Tappan

    I always liked Mr. Winters. I remember seeing 60 Minutes one night with Mr. Winters at his home with Ed Bradley. Who should show up but Robin Williams? They spent five minutes winging it back-and-forth, while Bradley was on the ground. You can even hear Mr. Winters’ rhythm in Willams’ delivery

  • l jacobus

    God’s gift to comedy.

  • Jeff S. from Levittown, PA

    Happy Birthday Jonathan! You’re the best! Thanks to the internet, I am discovering lots of stuff I never seen before. I didn’t even know that you made so many comedy albums. I just knew ya from tv and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World and the Russians are Coming, the Russians are coming. I think you broke a Guiness Book of Records for having the longest active career for a comedian. Hope and Burns don’t count because they weren’t funny. The same with Benny. (But they did have nice timing — if you could wait that long.) By they way, Steve Allen was wrong. You’re funnier than Jackie Gleason. In my book, it goes Winters at the top, Robin Williams, Carlin, and then Gleason, and Richard Pryor 5th. I would put Carlin 2nd, but he was just a tad too bitter and coarse at the end, although I do rank him number one for being the most bluntly truthful about our society.
    Thanks for making me laugh so hard.

    p.s. I am still waiting for the movie!
    It takes three years to release it? wtf

  • Certifiably Jonathan – Jonathan Winters film

    For all of you Jonathan Winters fans there’s a new movie – call it a documentary / mockumentary / dadamentary about Jonathan Winters – Certifiably Jonathan – http://www.certifiablyjonathan.com

    You can also follow the film on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/certifiablyjonathan

  • Larry Johnson

    Dear Jonathan,

    Back in roughly 1965 when I was 10 years old I loved watching you so much that I convinced my parents to mail you a letter asking you for a poster or picture from you. I have no idea how they got it to you and I never expected to receive a reply but to my surprise you sent a personally signed picture that says “To Larry Warmest Regards Jonathan Winters”. I am now 55 years old and I still have the picture in my room and have told this story to my family, kids (we have 7) and friends over the years as I am very proud it! Some have had their doubts of my story but I have the proof and they can think what they like as I know it is the absolute truth! I’d love to send you a picture of the picture if you wouldn’t mind with the hope of getting a reply stating that the signature is indeed yours. You made me laugh so much over the years and many others I am sure. There is not a day that goes by when I do not look at the picture and thank you for taking the time to reply a young person way back then that you didn’t even know. You definitely made my day! Thank you so much for that and God bless you!

    With Warmest Regards

  • Laurie J

    Jonathan Winters is my all time # 1 funny guy with George Carlin and Robin Williams and RIchard Pryor.
    All those characters Mr Winters played were the funniest from way back when. I miss his humor alot.
    Thanks for making me laugh, there arent that many really funny people out there nowadays.
    Yes God bless Jonathan Winters!

  • Scott F

    There are not enough words to descrbe the talent Jonathan has.His comedy has brought joy and laughter to millions of people worid wide.Thank you Jonathan for being you! your fan from way back. Scott F

  • Bob

    quite simply the BEST EVER and I doubt that will ever change…………….at least not for me. Thank You Jonathan.

  • Johnny B. Goode

    I started watching Johnny in the late 1950’s. Several of my friends and I were really into his humor. My parents went to the premier of Mad, Mad World and I still watch it at least once a year.
    When in contact with my Winters’ friends, I am always called “Gunny” and my wife is “Lamar Jean”.
    We love the guy and wish we could meet him to express our feelings as well as view some of his art work.
    God bless Jonathan Winters.

  • PDeNap

    No one will ever come close to the style of Jonathan Winter , a true master of improv, Jack Parr show “stick”
    i started watching the Dean Martin roasts, a classic is JW roasting Frank Sinatra but the facial expressions he made while roasting Johnny Carson were pure genius. i’m 58 and everyday a have to watch a small portion of Jonathan, its like a vitamin. “Old Folks” is a great tune, kinda hits home. god bless you. there is no better now or ever pd

  • PAT HELBERG

    (ORIGINAL POEM FOR JONATHAN)

    LAUGH CLOWN LAUGH
    LAUGH YOUR LIFE AWAY
    JUMP AS HIGH
    AS YOU CAN TODAY!
    FIND SOMETHING
    FUNNIER AND FUNNIER
    TO SAY!!
    OH! YOUR’E A RIOT
    I WANT TO TRY IT!
    WHY CAN’T I
    BE AS FUNNY AS YOU
    AND MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH
    THE WAY YOU DO?

    AH WELL! A CLOWN
    IS BORN WITH HIS GIFT
    PUT TOGETHER SPECIALLY
    TO GIVE US A LIFT.
    A SEPARATE BREED
    A DIFFERENT KIND
    NO SERIOUS THOUGHTS
    TO TROUBLE HIS MIND!
    AH! WHAT’S THAT
    JUST DROPPED FROM HIS EYE -
    A TEAR? FALL’N
    ON HIS POLKA DOT TIE?
    I DIDN’T KNOW
    THAT CLOWNS CRY TOO
    JUST LIKE ME
    AND JUST LIKE YOU!

  • http://www.jutefactory.com/en/Limerom-Products-Bags.html jute products

    I am curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be using? I’m experiencing some minor security issues with my latest website and I’d like to find something more secure. Do you have any solutions?

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.