To most people, Robin Williams was just another ‘celebrity’. No different than anyone else in Hollywood. But for those of us who loved his films, stand up comedy and his personality…knowing that he is gone hurts just the same as if we knew him personally.
This is an over-reaction some people will say. I mean, how can you feel heartache for someone you didn’t even really know? Shed tears for a person that you only knew through their films and interviews?
It’s simple really. Some entertainers are more than just their characters to us. THAT is their brilliance. Not only do they offer us memorable roles to quote as we watch and re-watch what we love the most; but seeing the real side of a person as they talk about themselves in interviews gives them a human depth that attracts us.
There are many celebrities out there, but there are none that I have ever felt so drawn to than that of Robin Williams. He was always the master of his work. That was guaranteed. But watching him on any programme LIVE always left me happy and wanting more. He was just that engaging. To touch millions of people through his humour and know that this was truly who he was, is why so many of us loved him.
There is a lot of negativity out there which is sad; and while I can’t comprehend the details of his passing, I will never define all of this as the type of person he is to me. Simply, his gift was humour and laughter and that’s all that matters.
As a child I grew up watching Aladdin, Hook, Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji, Jack and Flubber. This right here is the majority of my childhood memories of cinema, and he was a big part of it all. Mrs Doubtfire especially resonated as it allowed the king of improvisation the chance to be spontaneous and funny, which I loved! The interview scene with Mrs Sellner where he does ‘voices’ was always my favourite part and something I could recite word for word in the playground. I still can. And “I am job”…who can ever forget that!? GOLD!
Upon my high school years I was introduced to Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting and Patch Adams and continued on with One Hour Photo, RV, License to Wed and August Rush in the years after. I always enjoyed watching this man on screen purely because I found him funny. Some actors can be hit and miss with their roles, but anytime I watched him as one of his ‘characters’, I was either left in awe of his ability to play creepy, or in stitches with his ability to make anything humorous.
One thing I do when I travel, is visit movie locations. Two of the movie locations I often go back to anytime I am in the city is the Mrs Doubtfire House in San Francisco and the Bench from Good Will Hunting in Boston. Because of this man, I loved and continue to love these two films the most out of all the characters he played; because these two films showed me his incredible heart, and were roles that I personally connected to because of the brilliance he had as an actor. Now, I can visit these locations, and pay my respects to this wonderful man.
As a comedian, Robin was undoubtedly the best. He had a magic about him that he could use anything around him (or imaginary!) and make it funny. There are some hilarious people out there, but none of them compare to him. It’s like comparing Michael Buble to Elvis. Impossible. Anytime I watch his stand up or his appearances on shows I am immediately glued, laughing at the most mundane thing that he has somehow made hilarious, because he was.
In any interview, the presenters as well as the audience were always on tender hooks, unsure of what they would see pan out in his segments. It made for entertaining viewing for sure and demonstrated just how simple his spontaneity appeared to his audience. He had a magnetic energy I will never forget. To enthral us with his gift unlike anyone else is why he was a superstar in his element.
Robin Williams was many things: an entertainer, a clown and the face of so many characters it is truly hard to remember them all. He was a little kid trapped in a man’s body. He was a gentleman who was sincere and no one had to meet him to know this. He was just an incredible person to everyone around him whether you were lucky enough to be in his presence or watching him on screen.
August 11th, 2014 was the day so many of us lost our laughter. We were left shocked that this man we had spent our whole lives watching was now gone.
I just feel so privileged that I lived when this man did, to see him in this life as he made everyday things funny. No matter the demons he faced and the things no one really knew he was suffering; I will always remember the guy who was a true comedic genius, but could be so sincere as a dramatic actor as well.
Those close to him say he lived to entertain and make us laugh.
Well, you did just that.
Thank you for every laugh Robin. I will never forget you.
Your humour will continue to live on in all of us. Forever.