(CBS SF/AP) – Wind up Bay Area comedian Robin Williams and the stories pour out – how he developed his accent for “Mrs. Doubtfire,” found out “Mork & Mindy” was canceled by reading about it in a newspaper and the remark that abruptly ended his appearance on a German talk show.
Old friend Whoopi Goldberg steered the conversation last week at SiriusXM, part of a town hall program that’s swiftly becoming a programming signature at the Internet radio service.
Sirius’ town halls bring artists together, usually when they have new projects to promote, with a small group of fans for hour-long discussions sent out to the Internet radio system’s 25 million subscribers. Portions are fed out to a larger audience through Sirius’ YouTube channel.
The series began by chance two years ago when Bruce Springsteen was touting his “Darkness on the Edge of Town” reissue. Sirius subscribers were brought in to meet their hero and asked about what Springsteen would want his children to know about the 1978 disc and how his writing was affected by the death of Elvis Presley, the latter question leading the singer to pick up his guitar to demonstrate.
There have since been more than 70 such encounters with artists and personalities.
Williams’ “The Crazy Ones” debuted before 15.6 million people on last Thursday night. Williams, who plays an advertising executive working in a firm with his daughter (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), had a huge advantage. “The Crazy Ones” directly followed a new episode of television’s most popular comedy, “The Big Bang Theory,” which was seen by 19.5 million people in the second of a two-part season premiere.
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