While many celebrities make outrageous personal demands in their riders, the 'Jumanji' star reportedly asked companies to hire homeless people if they wished to sign him.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on September 27, 2019.
The legendary late actor Robin Williams doesn't need much of an introduction. The star spread joy to all those who were fortunate enough to cross his path and even to those who only knew him through his work. While his cheery and humble disposition made him one of the most beloved personalities in Hollywood, there still appears to be a lot we don't know about the "Jumanji" actor. Shortly after Williams passed away in 2014, Brian Lord, a fan who came quite close to booking the celeb for an event, shared a heartwarming piece of information about him that has raised our respect for the Hollywood icon.
On his blog, Lord revealed that years ago, he'd learned a very cool fact about Williams that had a profound impact on his perception of the actor. The fan recounted how, although he failed to sign the actor for an event, he'd come close enough to get a glimpse at the star's rider. A rider is essentially "lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event—anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements."
Robin Williams clowning around outside The Comedy Store (1978) pic.twitter.com/pCDsQVIaZb— History Lovers Club (@historylvrsclub) September 22, 2019
Lord stated that he was pleasantly surprised by the contents of Williams' rider as it listed a rather unusual requirement. "When I got Robin Williams' rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work," he wrote. Because most celebs tend to make outrageous personal demands on their riders, Williams' unique requirement of providing work to homeless people in order to sign him, thoroughly impressed Lord.
To provide an idea of just how different Williams' requirement was from that of some of his peers, a report by The Telegraph claims that the singer and diva Mariah Carey's rider reportedly insists that "she is supplied with bottles of vitamin water to bathe her dogs in as well as an attendant to dispose of her used chewing gum." Meanwhile, Lady Gaga is said to request "a mannequin with puffy pink pubic hair" in her dressing room, while Iggy Pop's rider allegedly asks for "a copy of USA Today that’s got a story about morbidly obese people in it."
Having come across similar extravagant demands from other celebs at the time, Lord marveled at Williams' desire to use his fame to help those in need. "I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back. I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions. He was a great multiplier of his impact," he wrote.
Robin Williams & Saul Bellow pic.twitter.com/I9Su6UZ6Xm— History Lovers Club (@historylvrsclub) September 25, 2019
Revealing that he's "never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that," Lord concluded his post by thanking Williams, "not just for laughs, but also for a cool example." This isn't the first time someone has shared heartwarming anecdotes about the "Dead Poets Society" star. According to a report by HuffPost, comedian Ricky Gervais once said, "I did a benefit gig with him and there were loads of new comedians that we hadn't heard of, and he spent the whole night at the side of the stage watching them - you could hear him laughing louder than anyone - and they were just blown away. He was a legend. Amazing. It's really sad."