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Late Night Comics

January 03, 1988

Robin Williams was so hilarious on a recent "Tonight Show" that he literally knocked Johnny Carson out of his chair.

Yet ex-weatherman David Letterman was unable to open his mouth--froze, when he guested on "the boss' " show not too long ago.

There are so many genuinely funny comics who don't rely on gimmicks for laughs, simply ad lib: Jay Leno, Richard Pryor, Robert Klein, Elayne Boosler, Bill Cosby, Buddy Hackett, Arsenio Hall, Don Rickles, Jackie Mason, George Burns, Milton Berle, Gary Shandling, Jonathan Winters, McLean Stevenson.

You wonder how someone like Letterman, who throws pencils through a glassless window pane, turns on a water fountain and flings his arms around every night for laughs and can barely speak without the aid of 12 writers, his sidekick-band leader Paul Shaffer plus cue cards, could have his contract renewed for the 8th year.

Luckily, he follows "The Tonight Show," has no competition at that late hour and most important, his show is produced by his mentor Carson, who likes him and apparently thinks he's funny.

KAY KLEIN

Los Angeles

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