I made a joke to a friend last night about Robin Williams and immediately got “too soon.” And she was right. His death is one of those passings that has sunk in as the hours as passed and I realize just how much of a great man and comedic genius we lost. This morning has just been a flat-out, full-blown downer because the world is definitely a lot less brighter than it was yesterday.
Everywhere one looks this morning, there are montages and reports on the news networks. His death was front page news, above the fold on the major papers. Facebook is flooded with snippets, quotes, jokes, and movie clips. There’s no denying Robin Williams was at a level above and beyond “funny.” Call it “trans-comedianism.”
Disney gave Williams permission to ad-lib his dialogue for Alladin and drew the Genie around him. He ad-libbed no less than FIFTY-TWO separate characters, but Disney trusted him and the result was pure magic.
While he won the Best Supporting Oscar, and rightfully so, for his performance in Good Will Hunting, I feel he should have gotten it for his turn in Good Morning, Vietnam. Robin Williams as a motormouth radio DJ would have been par for the course, but he turns the part of Adrian Cronauer into one for the ages. There’s a reason his opening cry of “Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood morning Vietnam” is in damn near every movie montage one could think of. And it’s when he shows up in movies in small cameos…specifically, when he pops up in Nine Months and especially Dead Again.
But what I respected Williams for the most was his honesty about his personal problems. Cocaine. Alcohol. Bi-polar disorder. Depression. He never hid them, he never shied away from talking about them, and he openly encouraged people to seek help. And he sought help himself, showing it was more than just lip service. He lost to his personal demons in the end (apparently, nothing’s been officially released, but it’s been all by confirmed), but no one can deny he put up one hell of a fight.
So, all we can say is “thanks.” And what I can do is put up perhaps my favorite Robin Williams piece of dialogue…