His career was about to skyrocket him to fame, fortune and a place in great comedian history. He was about to make his birthplace of Chicago a holdhold name. Robin Harris, the comic genuis who died after playing to a packed house at the Chicago Regal Theatre in 1990 had made it! Only the man famous for “BeBe Kids” woulld not wake the next morning to read his great reviews. Robin Harris, according to his sister, Dorothy Winfrey, lived to make folks laugh. Dubbed on the standup circuit as the “putdown” comic, his life is captured in part on this DVD by comedians Robert Townsend, DL Hughley, Martin Lawrence, Joe Torry, and the late great comedian in his own right,Bernie Mac.
The old school song intro Down Home Blues prepares you to relax for something memorable to take away from this film and it doesn’t disappoint for me. I recall the stout comedian whose jokes caused gut wrenching laughter back in the day. I remember thinking, I want to see & hear more! Spike Lee knew the specialness of Robin Harris. He cast him in the movie Do The Right Thang. There were appearances in House Party and Harlem Nights. Movie folks were vying to include his comedic persona in their projects. In We Don’t Die, We Multiply, facts about Robin Harris emerge from his family & friends. He was a runner, winning athletic scholarship to two universities, only dropped his last year in college to pursue his passion. According to his sister, Dorothy, at 19, Robin confided he wanted to become a comedian. She advised him if he was sure that’s what he wanted; “Go for it!”
The comedians interviewed on this documentary compared Robin Harris to the comedic, satirical genius of a Moms Mabley. Stating how Robin’s gift for gab surpassed that of another great; Richard Pryor.They tell how other comics were reluntant to follow him on stage. Relating how at one gig Robin went on stage to perform after Andrew Dice Clay and that the audience were rolling, leaving the former comedian standing off stage asking “Who the “F” is that guy?!”
Dear readers if you haven’t seen We Don’t Die, We Multiply and you’re in need of a good belly laugh & trip down nostalgia lane this Christmas, pick up a copy at Amazon.com or any online venue. Clara54 advises this material is not for small children. Now some of the jokes from a master comic, gone too soon:
“It’s cold out there (Chicago) saw Superman in a cab! asked him what you doing in a cab? Superman replied, “defroster ain’t working Robin!”
“Yea, I got a job. I got a job, looking for one!”
“I feel good. I was out back, “smoking me a drink!”. Yea, that’s right, I said smoking me a drink, “test tube baby!”
“Police in Los Angeles stopped me. Asked me “got any dope in the car?” I said, “naw, it’s at home with the gun!”
Robin Harris died at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago in 1990. He left behind a son he was raising with his wife, Exetta & their unborn son… who by the way appears from the film to have inherited his famous dad’s talents.
Thanks to Dorothy Winfrey for loaning me her brother’s legacy for review…
Clara54 wish you all a happy, healthy holiday, and prosperous new year!