The comedy world lost one of its brilliant improv and comedic pioneers last week when Jonathan Winters passed away at the age of 87. Winters’ groundbreaking style of quick-thinking improv inspired dozens of comedians to come after him, including Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.
Needless to say, comedy wouldn’t be the same hadn’t it been for Jonathan Winters, and his legacy will certainly continue to inspire generations of comics to come. One of those who has been inspired by Winters’ career is none other than Laugh Factory’s owner and friend of the K-EARTH 101 Morning Show, Jamie Masada.
Jamie recently spoke with Gary Bryan about his memories of meeting Jonathan back in 1986 and how the comic never missed an opportunity to crack a joke.
“He was my hero, he was one of the most brilliant comics I ever knew,” said Jamie. “He was one of the most original men I knew to do improv.”
Jamie tells Gary about the time he went over to Jonathan’s home to interview him for his Laugh Factory Magazine in 1986, saying that the comedian greeted him at the door dressed as a woman.
“This lady opened the door and I went inside to have a cup of tea with him. I thought it was his wife and after fifteen minutes I realized it was Jonathan,” Jamie remembered. “It was the funniest thing you’d ever see.”
While conducting a sit-down interview with Jonathan, one of the questions Jamie asked was what the comic wanted to be remembered for, and he replied that he wanted to be remembered through a book because “it doesn’t take up much room, like a tombstone.”
“At the time I met him, he was upset about all of the cemeteries. He said ‘we shouldn’t give the land to the dead people,’ he was so funny about that,” he said.
In the interview, Jonathan adds that he’d either want to be remembered through a book or his artwork (the comic also spent much of his time painting) because “those things don’t take up a lot of room and the statements are there.”
Jamie was kind enough to share his entire 1986 interview with Jonathan Winters, which you can read in full here.
Listen to Jamie share his memories of the comic and how he helped change the world of comedy in our interview below.