Thinking about Robin Williams and how stunning it is to learn of his death. He was probably the most frenetic of any comedian that ever lived with Jonathan Winters coming in a close second. Those two geniuses shared so much ability and were so much alike it’s no wonder that they wound up playing father and son on Mork and Mindy. Jonathan also suffered from depression and had at least two nervous breakdowns in his career. Fortunately he was able to overcome his Robin apparently could not.
Comic genius has its pitfalls and comedy is often an outlet for personal problems not shared with the world any other way. Many great comedians have been known to have chased demons all of their lives and sadly their genius as comedians were often because of those demons they faced everyday.
Robin Williams just was special and like Jonathan Winters you could just say one word to him or hand him something anything it didn’t matter and he would be off on a rampage of comedic genius. Anything and everything was a prop for him. He could just look at someone and make them laugh without saying a word. Just the expression on someone’s face would be enough to sustain a 15 minute monologue. As James Lipton said on Hardball that type of genius is in the DNA of a person. It can’t be taught or gleaned any other way. Robin Williams had that like no other comedian.
One of the funniest moments I remember about Robin was on the Late Show with David Letterman. Robin was the guest and he and Letterman were talking about Mork and Mindy and how Jonathan Winters came to be on the show playing his son, when suddenly from the wings Jonathan Winters came running out and leaped into Robin’s lap yelling Daddy, Daddy. Then they he and Robin proceeded to go on a nearly 10 minute tear ad-libbing all the way while Letterman finding himself upstaged just stood there grinning and letting the whole thing play out as it would because he knew that he was in the presence of something that would never be again and he just let the two comic genius go with the flow. It was one of those classic moments that could only happen on television and it was pure genius at work!
Robin Williams is up there somewhere smoozing with his pal Jonathan ad-libbing to St. Peter and all the other comedic giants are there with him – George Burns, Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Phyliss Diller, Art Carney, Jack Lemmon and all the other greats – Just where he should be. Number one in our hearts. There truly will never be another one quite like Robin Williams. Rest in Peace you have earned it through all the wonderful memories you have left for us!
Ode to Robin Williams
He always kept us laughing,
A smile was his umbrella,
He was often pretty crazy,
But he was a fun filled fellow.
He always gave us laughter,
It was a special talent of his,
To make the world brighter,
That was his primary biz.
You knew his soul was sweet,
Because you saw it in his eyes,
That he loved bringing laughter,
That was never a real surprise.
We did not know his sorrows,
Nor what demons by possessed,
We just knew how much we loved him,
And how we knew that he was the best.
We had him only for a short time,
But he made our world fairly glow,
With his antics and his zany humor,
He gave us all of his heart and soul,
Say hello to your pal Jonathan,
We know you guys are rollicking,
Up there with all those other crazies,
That place today is wildly rocking.
The laughter that you brought us,
Will never from us depart,
You may not be here upon this earth,
But you will always be in our hearts.