A year and a half before that great Norm Maccdonald–Robin Williams backstage encounter at Late Night with David Letterman, there was another similar crossing-of-the-paths at Saturday Night Live. Documented by a wonderful selfie that has been shared anew this week to celebrate the warm-hearted spirit of the late Williams.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Jason Silverstein caught up with the young man on the left, Jim Muraco, to get the background on this marvelous shot:
Muraco, 44, stumbled upon Williams backstage at Saturday Night Live in 1988. Back then, Muraco was an 18-year-old film buff who recently had moved to New York City and was eager to meet some of his idols.
Muraco said that he tried to sneak backstage at SNL one night in October to meet Tom Hanks. (It didn’t happen.) When he showed up again the next week, a security guard recognized him and invited him backstage.
That’s when he ran into Williams, whom he wasn’t expecting to see. Matthew Broderick was hosting that night [October 15, 1988], and Williams just happened to be hanging around with some friends.
Muraco, who provides several more wonderful details in the Journal Sentinel piece, has been in the pages of his hometown paper a number of times prior, for his various documentaries. Everything from Wisconsin Born & Bred: The Entertainers to The Fabulous Life of…. (The latter coverage includes a hilarious typo of Robin Leach’s first name in the lede (“Leech”); just imagine what Williams could have done with that starting point!)[Image via: Facebook]