Marc Price is best known as Skippy, the Michael J. Fox character’s best friend on the 1980s sitcom Family Ties. He costars in the traveling comedy show Robin: The Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute Experience, at the Pioneer Underground April 12-14 and 19-21. For tickets, visit pioneercenter.com/underground.
Where are you now?
Right now, I’ve lived in the same place since I’m 17 years old. I’m 50. I had the pleasure of peaking when I was 17 years old. I don’t know if that’s true for most all human beings, or if it was just me. I was riding high with Family Ties and everything, and I made all the mistakes that people make when they’re making lots of money. … But I did one thing right, and I bought this beautiful piece of property in the Hollywood Hills, and I’ve lived there since I was 17.
What were your earliest experiences onstage like?
I’m told [that as a baby] I was brought out as this cheap device for applause. My mom was a singer. My dad was the comedian. They were on the bill together. At the end of the show, they’d bring out their baby. I was practically a standing ovation. Talk about getting hooked young, right? But then I would start to introduce my dad and trade jokes with him, and then come out at the end and do a little dance number. … I’d introduce him, and he’d come out and compliment me and say, “What a great introduction. I have to give you credit.” And I’d say, “You said cash!” … At 14 years old is when I started going solo. … I went right away on the The Merv Griffin Show. … NBC called, and they kind of groomed me for Family Ties. I was really lucky.
Tell me about the tribute show.
There’s nobody who can channel Robin Williams like Roger [Kabler]. He’s just an incredible artist. He transforms. It’s not a caricature. It’s not an impression. … It’s none of these things, and it’s all of these things. He feels that Robin Williams came to him and literally asked if he could use Roger’s body as a vessel to continue to make people laugh. How weird is that? I use my body as a vessel for Domino’s Pizza. … He’s not doing an old Robin Williams album. … It’s mostly about original material. He’ll say “nanu, nanu” and quote Good Morning Vietnam or something, but the comedy material is original material, and it’s material about what’s happening today. … That’s one of the things the show has to offer: What would it be like if I could watch Robin Williams tonight? … The “more” comes from the moments that he takes with the audience to offer a form of closure to people who just can’t understand what happened. It’s hard to explain, but there’s an emotional, uplifting message to the show. It’s got a mission of love. I am sold. I am personally drinking the Kool-Aid on this one.
What’s your part of the show like?
If you’re asking what people can expect from my standup, I like to say, “Not a refund.” I get a little political. I’m not overly political, that’s for sure. I certainly don’t piss off—if anything I kiss up to—Republicans in the audience. A liberal kissing up to Republicans is something you won’t find on Facebook. But I am a liberal. I’m from L.A. That’s the way it is. There’s something in the kale. … I have an open mind about stuff. I do feel firmly about my beliefs, but at the same time, I don’t want to just dismiss anyone who thinks differently. I truly am open-minded. I like Roseanne. I like what she does. We’re in such a state of deadly gridlock that anything that can bring us together is important.