August 18, 2014 – Much has been said over the last week about Robin Williams’ incredible generosity and kindness. Redwood High School experienced it first-hand back in 1987 when Robin Williams spoke during our graduation ceremony. I created a little slideshow to watch as you listen to his sage advice. Thank you for everything, Robin! We miss you. — Jason (Special thanks to Dave Allen and Amy Koppelman Kahn for helping provide the VHS recording.)
Click the PLAY button above to listen to Robin Williams’ pre-recorded graduation speech delivered to the Redwood Class of ’87. In the middle of the ceremony, student Ted Gold pretends to answer an unexpected telephone call from Thailand where Williams was shooting “Good Morning Viet Nam”.
“Robin Williams meant a lot to me growing up. He gave me a lot of laughs when I really needed them. Fueled an early passion for comedy and weekly pilgrimages to The Punchline, The Other Cafe and The Holy City Zoo. He also attended my high school. So during senior year I contacted Robin to speak at our graduation. He said he’d love to but had to pass because of a thing called “Good Morning Vietnam”. No way to make the date. I countered that our school would pay to put his speech on film and rent a projection system large enough and strong enough to screen during daylight hours for the entire student body friends and family. He said yes. Of course I had forgotten I was in public school, and it was 1987– neither funds nor available technology to achieve such things. Eventually pity prompted Robin to agree to put his speech on audio cassette. It was the first thing I produced and for one day I got to be a hero to my class. For years, I tried to track Robin down at local events to thank him. I was never able, possibly because I got myself put on some kind of stalker list. Anyway, thanks Robin. For everything. So much great work and spirit. RIP.” — Ted Gold
Ted Gold is currently a television producer in Los Angeles. His most recent project is a big-budget pirate series called “Crossbones” starring John Malkovich. He helped launch numerous other TV shows including Fox’s “Prison Break” and its 3rd highest rated drama “Bones”.