Bobcat Goldthwait already counts his latest movie starring buddy Robin Williams a success, no matter how well it does at theatres.

That’s because World’s Greatest Dad star Williams landed a slot to promote the film on NBC’s The Tonight Show, where Goldthwait once burned his own bridges by deliberately setting a chair on fire during an appearance with Jay Leno.

In an interview shortly before Williams’ Tonight Show gig, Goldthwait marveled at the fact that the low-budget black comedy he wrote and directed would get airtime on one of Hollywood’s premier publicity venues.

“I truly, not in a bitter way, am not too concerned about box office, because trust me, when I sat down and wrote this screenplay, I never thought that would happen,” Goldthwait, 47, said over coffee alongside Williams. “He’s going to go on The Tonight Show and talk about a movie I made. I’m banned from The Tonight Show.”

World’s Greatest Dad continues Goldthwait’s tradition of truly twisted humour, which he also showcased in Sleeping Dogs Lie, an indie comedy about a woman whose impromptu sex act with her dog causes havoc years later after she and her boyfriend adopt a policy of complete honesty.

The new movie stars Williams as a high-school poetry teacher whose dream of becoming a famous writer finally happens after publicity surrounding a bizarre family tragedy snowballs into a national outpouring.

The story leaves Williams’ single dad caught in a deception that serves his personal ambitions while sugarcoating the truth about his malignantly surly teenage son (Daryl Sabara of the Spy Kids flicks).

Williams, 58, has been friends with Goldthwait for nearly 30 years. He appeared in Goldthwait’s 1991 directing debut, Shakes the Clown. That movie starred Goldthwait as a boozy clown framed for murder, Williams signing on for a bit part as a favour to his pal.

“I went, ‘Alcoholic clown movie. Yes, I want that in my resume,’” wisecracked Williams, who shared his thoughts about Goldthwait’s decision years ago to give up acting and stick to directing.

Williams told Goldthwait, “Bob can do it. It’s a question of do you want to do it? It’s like, people say to me, ’Do you want to direct?’ I went, ’Not at all. I’d rather cater.’”

Goldthwait sent the World’s Greatest Dad script to Williams to get his opinion, not thinking his friend might star in the film, which opened last week in New York City and expands to more cities Friday.

After Williams came on board, the film took on a bigger life, Goldthwait said.

“The real reason I was thinking of Robin NOT being in this movie was really because he is one of my best friends, or my best friend, but I’m also fully aware that he’s one of the greatest actors we have, period. Really, period,” Goldthwait said. “So the idea that he would do the movie just suddenly changed it, and watching him in these scenes, I was sitting there and I was getting goose bumps.”

For World's Greatest Dad trailer, photos and screen times, or to buy tickets, click here

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