Robin Williams' 1990 Senate Speech on Homelessness Goes Viral 31 Years On

A clip of late actor Robin Williams testifying before the Senate on the issue of homelessness is going viral after it resurfaced online.

The award-winning actor spoke out on the matter in 1990, infusing his opinion with his signature comedic stylings.

A two-minute snippet of his moving speech was shared across Reddit and Twitter, with poster Simpleballers writing: "During the height of America's homelessness crisis in the 1990s, Robin Williams asked to testify before the Senate. He spoke with compassion, humility, and hope. It's the best two minutes you'll see today..."

Network C-Span, which hosts a full-length copy of the two-hour meeting, explained the comedian appeared before the panel on preventing homelessness in America, chaired by Senator Edward Kennedy.

Williams sat beside Whoopi Goldberg, who also issued a statement to the panel, and during the course of his speech he reduces the room to fits of laughter as he cracks jokes and puts on accents.

In the moving two-minute clip which has been widely shared over the last 24-hours, Williams says: "What we've been doing for the last four years is basically putting a band aid on a very gaping wound. But this is, this program has incredible possibilities to deal with basically keeping people in their homes. The problem cannot be denied anymore, we cannot be a kinder, blinder nation.

During the height of America's homelessness crisis in the 90's — Robin Williams asked if he could testify before the Senate.

Whoopi Goldberg was by his side.

It's the most powerful two minutes you'll see today... pic.twitter.com/y1yiTRQUfd

— Goodable (@Goodable) April 13, 2021

"I do believe this can work in an incredible way, from a grassroots level, that the money can get to that and prevent, truly prevent, homelessness, that's where it lies. You can't keep picking people up, you have to stop them from falling. That's what I hope, thank you.

"I thank all of you in a bipartisan way, I know it's a little scary having a comic in front of you, it's kind of like having a porcupine in a haemophilic ward. I present just my simple soul and hope you do continue this in a bipartisan way."

Thousands of fans have commented on the clip, praising his decision to speak out on the issue.

Goodable uploaded the segment to Twitter, saying: "During the height of America's homelessness crisis in the 90's — Robin Williams asked if he could testify before the Senate. Whoopi Goldberg was by his side. It's the most powerful two minutes you'll see today..."

Responding online, dagershman wrote: "He may have acted like a goofball, but Robin Williams was actually a *very* smart man."

David A. Perchinsky posted: "Wow! Very moving and still relevant today."

While Binoy Mathew commented: "The genius that was Robin Williams. He's sorely missed."

Williams, who committed suicide in 2014, was an acclaimed actor known for his roles in Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet's Society, Mrs Doubtfire and as the voice of Genie in Aladdin.

Williams, who died aged 63, was nominated for a host of awards throughout his illustrious career, winning an Academy Award, five Grammy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, six Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Actor Robin Williams appears onstage in 2006
Actor Robin Williams appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on April 27, 2006 in New York City. A 1990 clip of Robin Williams testifying before the Senate on homelessness is going viral. Peter Kramer/Getty Images