Revolutionary comedian Jonathan Winters has been dead only a day, since April 11, and already the tributes are piling up. Jamie Masada, owner of the Laugh Factory comedy clubs in Chicago and Los Angeles, offered his own remembrance:
"Dear Friends," Masada wrote in an e-mailed note, "I met Jonathan Winters 27 years ago. I thought he was the most brilliant and original comic I had ever met. Winters created the persona of the wild kid grown to adulthood. In addition, his ability to transform into different and recurring characters became a staple of the SNL sensibility. Robin Williams and Steve Martin are among today's comics influenced the most by Winters' quick wit, but all owe some development to his manic and vivid imagination.... This is one special talent that the world should remember."
Masada interviewed Winters in August of 1986 for an edition of the long defunct Laugh Factory magazine. Here, with Masada's permission, is a copy of their exchange.