“Is he still alive?” The question most asked when I mention that we have finished a film with Jonathan Winters, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, Howie Mandel, Tim Conway and others. This is just after I have mentioned in the same breath that we spent nearly four years hanging out with the guy. “Of course. At least he was last week when he called and pretended to be an IRS agent looking into possible problems with my last few years’ tax returns.”
The reason why we hear this so often is that Jonathan, still hilarious, crazy and supremely talented is very much alive in his own little world, rarely stepping out of it. Unless, of course you live in Montecito or Santa Barbara and are fortunate to have had lunch in one of his haunts.
During the years spent with him, our camera recording dozens of lunches (Jonathan lives for lunch) he would always start out with, “Listen, I only have an hour, no more, I’m really busy today.” Okay, we’ll have you home in an hour. Lunch? Four hours and 5 tapes later we’re still trying to get him out of the restaurant as he makes his rounds entertaining everyone between our table and the front door of the restaurant.
Jonathan is very much alive and probably enjoying lunch this very minute.
-Richard Marshall, Producer