Narragansett man worked with Robin Williams in Hollywood

Bob Perlow lives in Narragansett and talks about working with Robin Williams.

"He had the whole package and as nice a guy as you'd ever want to meet."

On his Narragansett deck, Bob Perlow remembers his first encounter with Robin Williams, when Williams paid him a compliment at an improv group in Los Angeles in the 1970's. "One guy said, 'Hey, nice job man,' and after I said, 'who was that? Oh, that's Robin Williams.'" Back then, Perlow says it was clear Williams stood out.

"This guy had something that you can't touch. It was this genius, this energy. The words would just flow and nobody else existed on stage once he got there," Perlow told NBC 10.

Perlow, a Pawtucket native, spent more than 30 years in Hollywood warming up audiences on the sets of television shows and as a writer on dozens of TV series, like Mork & Mindy. "They should have just put 'Robin talks' because no matter what you wrote, he would go off into something that was brilliant."

And as the warm-up guy between scenes on the show, Perlow says he had a hard act to follow because Williams wouldn't stop when the cameras did. "They would launch into the most brilliant improv that people have ever seen. Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters. 20 minutes. Then they would leave the stage to go change and I'd be there going, 'Well, ladies and gentlemen what you just saw should be put in a time capsule.'"

Later, Perlow spent 15 years warming up the crowd for Jay Leno's Tonight Show, where Williams was a regular guest. "Once the interview would be over, they'd go to commercial. Robin always brought his harmonica with him and he'd go over to Kevin Eubanks and the band and get into a riff and then talk, do a Louis Armstrong thing. It was a treat. Robin was a treat. He was special. He was a genius. It's just a loss beyond imagination."

Perlow, coincidentally, will be doing a show Saturday at the Narragansett Theater at which the audience can ask him about his encounters with countless celebrities.