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It’s been seven years since Robin Williams died, but you could be forgiven for thinking you’d seen — and especially heard — a ghost in a new video on YouTube.
Actor, comedian and impressionist Jamie Costa this week uploaded a video to his YouTube channel entitled ROBIN Test Footage Scene. Set in 1982, the five-minute clip shows Costa as Williams in his dressing room, preparing to shoot a scene in the TV show Mork & Mindy, then in its fourth and final season.
As he runs his lines, costar Pam Dawber (Sarah Murphree) enters to tell him that comedian John Belushi died the previous night. “I was with him,” a visibly shaken Williams responds. “John’s not dead. I was with him.” She goes on: “I can’t let what happened to him happen to you. ’Cause if it did, Robin, I would find you and kill you first.”
When the call comes to head to the set, she tells him: “You know you don’t have to go out there.” He replies: “I think I do, Pam.”
Belushi’s 1982 death of a drug overdose after a night of partying with Williams helped convince the hard-living superstar to give up drugs and alcohol, a run of sobriety he continued until 2003, when he started drinking again.
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Costa is uncanny as Williams, nailing the body language, the voice, the mannerisms and even the tiny facial tics for which the actor was known. Uncertain at first what Dawber wants to tell him, he asks: “Was it about that fart earlier? I’m sorry about that,” his face flickering into an impish grin, followed by a wink.
Fans online are ready for a full-on biopic, though the “test footage” label is misleading. There is no planned Williams biopic in the works for now.
This isn’t even the first time Costa has taken to YouTube with his Williams impressions. Six years ago, a shorter (and less polished) clip called Never Had a Friend Like Him showed Costa delivering lines as Mork, the Genie from Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Popeye and more. He called it “a tribute to a man whose spark ignited my passion.”