In season 1 episode 7 of "The Crazy Ones", Robin Williams delivers a line about how pain is good for art, and that we should be thankful for the people who inflict the pain - "like the guy who broke Adele's heart, or the Mountain Goat who broke Neil Young's heart."

Does this mean something (the part about Neil Young, not the part about Adele)? Or is it just Robin Williams doing some extreme ad-libbing?

  • Something about the Heart of Gold?
    – Bebs
    Nov 28, 2016 at 18:59
  • "Only Love can break your heart". Hard to find a connection between Neil Young and the Mountain Goats, unless the Love in the above song is a mountain goat.
    – Angst
    Apr 20, 2017 at 21:11
  • You do realize Robin Williams was known for random, absurdist ad-libs, created via free-association? Jan 3, 2019 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


There is nothing in Neil Young's biography or his own lyrics to provide any sensible explanation.

However, a number of reviews have compared the group, 'The Mountain Goats', and John Darnielle in particular, favourably with Neil Young. For example, amongst others:

His lyrics draw comparisons to Neil Young, although he would undoubtedly prefer Mary Chapin Carpenter (“I worship the ground she walks on.”) and the tracks sound like short stories more than toe-tapping anthems.


The album then resumes the decompressed attitude from before, almost straying into Neil Young territory during Have to explode and in particular Old college try.

In the absence of any clarification from the script writers, it is possible that Neil Young's perceived pain was due to The Mountain Goats having usurped his position as the icon for angsty country rock.

The words spoken by the character could well be an oblique call-back to Don MacLean's American Pie where Bob Dylan was supposed to be "the jester" who stole the thorny crown off Elvis Presley "the king", although this may be stretching the metaphor a little.

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