Nearly eight years ago, the world lost a revered comedic actor with the passing of Robin Williams. Comedian Roger Kabler has been paying his own tribute to the comic’s unique genius with his poignant impressions and side-splitting routines in character as Williams.
DO Savannah sat down with the seasoned performer as he prepares to make his Savannah debut on Saturday with “Robin: The Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute Experience.” We discuss how he got into comedy, what he loves about performing, and why the legacy of Robin Williams continues to impact audiences.
DO Savannah: How did you first get into comedy?
Roger Kabler: “I started by entertaining my mom and as a teen doing impressions at parties, stoned teens love Robin Williams and cartoon impressions. Then at 18, I went to an open mic night in Boston.
“I moved to New York and studied acting. I did some plays but went back to stand up, doing an act about an impressionist who goes mad. It got attention and landed me on the New Carol Burnett Show, The Tonight Show, and other films and TV situations.”
DO: What do you love about performing live?
Kabler: “Performing live is a natural high. The communion of a live audience responding with laughter caused me to veer off and improvise, which can get really scary and cause a greater high.”
DO: Have you played Savannah before?
Kabler: “I have never played Savannah, but I’ve eaten the pralines.”
DO: What do you love about Savannah?
Kabler: “Savannah was a quick rest stop during a comedy tour a few years ago, and I fell in love with the architecture and waterfront, and the pralines.”
DO: How did you decide to do a Robin Williams tribute act?
Kabler: “I had retired from performing. I had decided never to go on stage again, as my years in New York and Hollywood almost did me in. But when Robin passed in 2014, people were asking me if I would do a tribute.