Robin Williams is one of those who taught me humor. I’ve had a sense of humor, and I’ve loved to laugh for as long as I can remember. He probably
warped developed my sense of humor and sarcasm into what it is today. In my formative years, shows like Mork & Mindy were my initiation with wit. Mine was still in a petri dish when I first “met” Robin Williams. I was only 8 or so. He played a backward-aging alien on television. (Yes. I had rainbow striped suspenders and LOVED them.). He first appeared in my life on Happy Days and cleverly landed his own show just like Laverne & Shirley. A few years later he was Popeye, and he pulled off the perfect squint and pipe-biting sidemouth.
I remember hiding around the corner, lingering in the dark hallway, pretending to be asleep while my parents watched him “Live at the Met”. My dad was laughing out loud every time the comedian would curse and joke about stuff I didn’t quite grasp. I was still a tween, so I hadn’t fully developed my understanding of all things sexual and/or drug-related. I missed a lot of his jokes that night, but it was remedied years later when, as an adult, my parents couldn’t withhold the rated R content any longer. I was my own woman, and I could fully appreciate all that was “dirty” and “Carlinesque”.
He was the go-to for the perfect antihero. He was Garp. He was the Fisher King. He was Mrs. Doubtfire and Patch Adams. He was Batty and Genie… I could go on and on about my favorite Robin Williams characters, but nobody has time to read it. My list is extensive, and when I see his movies and shows today, I can still remember how I felt when I first enjoyed them. Robin Williams certainly wasn’t the best looking guy in the room, but he was charismatic as hell. He could tell a story and make you feel it was the truth. One of the few comedians who could flawlessly and effortlessly move between genres, he was taken seriously as an actor. I’m glad he received recognition for his talent in this lifetime.
The movie I’ve always connected the most deeply with is, “What Dreams May Come”. It struck a chord with me deep down in my spirit where we all recognize the truth of the universe. The movie explained “heaven” in a way I had not yet been able to articulate but had always felt. It told us that we create our afterlife based on our transition from the material plane to the next plane of existence; therefore, our actions here will certainly have an effect on the immediate afterlife experience. While it made for a good film story, I don’t necessarily think suicides get “stuck” in a particularly painful level of purgatory or hell. I find it hard to believe that a person who brought so much joy and love to the world could be stuck there for long. It’s his turn to laugh.
Here’s to a man who brought delight and laughter to so many. May that part of him of that lives on find the peace we all seek.