Robin William played it cool when his audience turned their back on him. Robin got a surprise of his life when his performance for the troops at Camp Arifijan in Kuwait got interrupted when his entire audience of American soldiers suddenly seizes laughing at his jokes, stood up and turned their back away from him.
Actually, what happened was a Retreat ceremony just commenced. The Retreat ceremony signals the end of the official duty day and it is part of the daily routine at ground bases. In this ceremony, the flag is being lowered and it is customary to face the flag during this exercise and pay respect to it by saluting or by any other means. It is a way to display patriotism. Everyone turned around in the middle of Robin William’s skit since the flag was on that direction.
Robin William seemed lost at first when suddenly his entire audience turned their back on him and felt that he was left hanging. But, Williams played it cool, and respectfully followed along with the troops. He did not lose his calm demeanor. He was even quick to make a witty reaction of what just happened saying he thought that he was the only guy in town who was not possessed by the devil. He is really good in doing improvising comedic acts and effortlessly incorporated the scene into his performance. What is more amazing was that he was not scared to admit that he did not have a single idea of what was happening which was really humble for him to says so.
One commenter perfectly quoted Williams act saying “A good comedian can make people laugh. A great comedian can take the unexpected and act like it was part of his plan all along.”
This video footage was actually played in David Letterman. If you have not seen it, you should watch it yourself!