Nanu-nanu Robin Williams? The loss of greatness

Robin Williams
Robin Williams "Boulevard" |2014 Unreleased

CENTRAL MINNESOTA, November 7, 2014 — Los Angeles Coroner’s Reports confirm that on August 11, 2014 that Robin Williams, the 63-year-old actor and comedian took his own life.

Unable to hear the cheers of the millions of fans around the globe who loved him Williams was a tortured genius, a man who spread light to the four corners of the world while trying to fend off the darkest of demons. Alcohol, drugs, and eventual a crippling depression overcame the man who brought tears of laughter to generations of fans.

When a celebrity dies, the immediate temptation is to embellish their societal contribution. In this case, the highest praise and adulation is insufficient. Robin Williams was that special. He was that good. He was the greatest comedian in the history of comedy.

He was the very best.

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The shock and sadness that permeates everywhere from the red carpet to the water cooler has to be a hoax. Williams is going to pop up somewhere and everything will be fine.

If any man should not have died, it was him.

In a world wracked with war, terrorism, poverty, disease and pain, Robin Williams made us laugh. He made us feel good.

While his death is no one person’s fault, it seems so cruel and unfair that not one person out of seven billion global inhabitants could be there for him when he needed it most. So many people loved this man, and every one was too powerless to communicate that love in a way that could wash away the cloud of depression that followed him on his journey.

The man who cracked us up while saving a life and yelling “Help is on the way,” did not receive what he gave. For him, help was not on the way. His life was not saved.

He was an outstanding comedic and brilliant dramatic actor. HIs appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio with James Lipton is legendary:


He brought us to tearful hysterics by transforming himself into a 60-year-old woman named Mrs. Doubtfire. He was preparing to film its sequel nearly two decades after the original 1993 hit.

His acting career was impressive, being nominated for three Academy Awards, winning The Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1998 for “Good Will Hunting,” playing a therapist who works with a troubled prodigy played by Matt Damon.

But he will always be known as a comedic genius. The term genius is overused, but he embodied the term. He could make anything funny, the king of the ad-lib.

He danced in front of Whoopi Goldberg, singing, “Chaka Khan.”

He poked fun at his own hairy back and chest and told David Letterman that his thick beard was his preparation for the Chabad telethon.

In “Mrs. Doubtfire,” he stood emotionless after saying, “I do a great impersonation of a hot dog.” That same movie had him accidentally lighting his latex endowed breast on fire leaning over the stove, exclaiming, “My first day as a woman, and I am already having hot flashes.”

As a radio personality in “Good morning, Vietnam,” he announced the weather report by saying, “Today it’s hot, tomorrow, it’s hot.”

His routine on Scotsman and golf is one of the greatest comedy routines of all time.

His imitation of Elmer Fudd singing Bruce Springsteen became an instant classic.

Once, when a woman got up in the middle of his show to use the ladies room, Williams stepped down from the stage, lifting her fur coat from the chair. She came back thinking it was stolen, having no idea Williams was on stage parading around in it.

An appearance on one of the late night talk shows was mandatory viewing for everyone. The host would lose total control of the show as Williams just ran wild with unscripted comedy bits.

He even elicited humor in his human failings. He said that he quit drugs to save his life, but that a bigger deterrent was the “grand jury.”

Williams did so much more than make people laugh. He used his gifts to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. With Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg, his “Comic Relief” tours helped raise plenty of money for homeless people.

Nothing was sacred. No topic was off limits. On dating in the 1990s, he exclaimed, “Gosh Helen, I really like you. May I have some blood and urine so I can run some tests?”

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Despite having strong political opinions, he never let political correctness or self-censorship ruin his routines. Many individuals who disagreed with his politics loved him for his ability to make them laugh.

From alien Mork from the planet Ork to an animated genie in Aladdin to his appearance on the final Tonight Show where Johnny Carson had guests, Williams made us all laugh. He considered Jonathan Winters, who died in 2013, to be the best comedian and credited him for his sense of humor.

Winters would probably give the title to Williams.

There is a temptation to be angry at Robin Williams. He took himself away by choice, hurting those he loved the most. The alternative is to thank God for creating him and allowing him to be a part of our lives for a long if not long enough time.

There will never be another one like him. What Mozart was to music and Michael Jordan was to basketball, Robin Williams was to comedy. We grieve his loss because he was the very best at what he did.

We take a small amount of solace in knowing that while his body is gone, his videos will be with us forever.

He achieved immortality while he was alive. All his death does is reinforce what we already know.

Because those that know him, know he is the greatest comedian – person, father, husband, friend – who ever lived.

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