SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
You can call anyone but Einstein a genius and start an argument. Well, maybe Einstein and Jonathon Winters. The comedian who died Thursday at the age of 87 was immediately hailed by Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and others as a genius. He made hit comedy albums, was a regular on the old "Tonight Show" and memorably knocked down a whole gas station in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."
But Jonathan Winters was best known for creating a repertory company of characters that he carried around in his head. He told us in an interview in 2000...
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)
: So, that's the way I look at it.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIMON: Jonathan Winters speaking in September of 2000. You can hear the full interview at npr.org. This is NPR News.
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