If Robin Williams can become an actor -- and win an Oscar doing so -- then his Awakenings co-star Robert De Niro can do stand-up comedy. The Defamer has a video clip and several quotes from Travis Bickle's speech at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 50th tribute to Meryl Streep. Unlike his work in Eddie Murphy's Showtime, Bobby D turned in an incredibly funny performance, dissing Meryl and his former agents at CAA. He was loose, warm and off the cuff despite having more 3 x 5 cheat index cards than all the presidential candidates combined. Streep, whom I love in comedies but find occasionally overprocessed in dramas, couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable tribute from a most unlikely source.
This video got me thinking. What actor would I most love to see doing stand-up? Tom Hanks and Sally Field tried it, to terrifying effect, in a movie called Punchline. So they're out; anybody who'd want to see The Flying Nun tell penis jokes on Def Comedy Jam needs psychiatric care. Streep's Angels in America cohort "Screamin'" Al Pacino would top my list. Pacino has done comedies before, like and Revolution, but he's never taken to the stage. He won't need to, either. All we have to do is loop quotes from his movies on a record and toss in one of those fake-ass laugh tracks, the same ones they've been using since I Love Lucy. It would be fantastic!
He'd come out with "Say hello to my little friend!" [Laughter] "They keep pulling me back in!!! " [More laughter, followed by someone heckling him -- probably Beverly D'Angelo] "C'mon! Gimme Whatcha Got!" [Heckler says something unintelligible] "You're out of order! You're out of order!" [Laughs and applause as heckler quiets down] "Free Will, It is a bitch!" [Laughter] "I'm just getting' warmed up! Hoo-ah!!"
Even in that patched-together configuration, he'd be a lot funnier than Dane Cook.