Last night when the news broke of Robin Williams’ death broke I was setting up for a phone interview with Ares of Downset and my mind was pulled in several directions at once. I posted a brief though and remark last night but didn’t feel it was enough.
I began thinking all night and throughout the day about him and his work. I remember watching one of his standup performances as a kid on Comedy Central when that station first went on air and as a child he made me laugh even though some of his jokes went over my head. As I grew, and many of my generation grew, we discovered more of his work and would spend hours and even days repeating his lines.
I’ve seen and quoted more of his movies than I even realized I had seen. Robin Williams had managed to do something many others in movies and TV with it coming naturally – connect with his audience. Whether it was a comedic role or serious role he always managed to connect with his audience, be that audience an audience of 1 or 100 or 100,000.
Most of the world never met or knew him but over the last 24 hours of his passing everyone has that go to movie or movies of his when you need to feel good. People watching Patch Adams, Popeye, Aladdin, Fern Gully, The Birdcage, Mrs Doutbfire, or countless others wanting the moments when they felt connected to him.
The man was a genius, there’s no other word for him. And THAT is what we must remember of him. Share his genius with future generations so it isn’t lost to eternity.
In Disney’s Aladdin Robin Williams voiced Genie and sang “You Never Had A Friend Like Me”. He was right, this world never had a friend like him and won’t ever again. Nanu Nanu Robin.