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RIP Robin Williams


dogwelder
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Yeah I don't think anybody epitomized the "sad tragic clown" thing more than Robin Williams. When I learned he started his career as a mime, it all made such perfect sense. Going on the sad smile thing mentioned a page back, I hate to psychoanalyze people I never met but Robin always struck me as the kind of guy who made people laugh to hide a deep inner sadness. I guess that's what made him such a terrific dramatic actor - that vein of melancholy that always bubbled under the surface of him and his performances.

 

Anyway, with apologizes to Carlin, Pryor and many many others, Williams is probably the funniest guy I ever saw in my life. I for damn sure don't recall ever laughing harder at anybody than when he was on his game. So thanks for the laughs Robin.

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He was so, so nice to everyone in the LA Comedy scene. Always coming to shows, always staying to watch everyone and going out of his way to be present backstage and in green rooms. He would politely ask for ten minutes and then just be a ball of nerves backstage, then go up and just destroy. Just a delight to be in a room with. Pretty much every comic here has a Robin story and they're all so, so positive. 

 

I didn't have a lot of interactions with him directly, but one night he popped into a show, shook all of our hands, introduced himself, and they put him on last. He called back to and discussed everyone's set that had gone up before him. Riffing on their jokes, 'arguing' with their points. He had watched EVERYONE and really, really paid attention. I can't name very many 'higher ups' in this scene that would do anything like that. Really sad today.

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Goddammit.

 

This one... this one hurts.

 

I was diagnosed with autism at a young age, and I always felt weird as a child. Like I was the only person of my kind, who saw and felt things the way I did.

 

The first time I watched a rerun of Mork and Mindy on Nick at Nite was the first time I saw an actual real life human being act in a way that seemed natural to me; Robin Williams played the role of Mork from Ork with a kind of physical charisma that I always envisioned myself having, the tendency to alter the pitch of his voice that played a large part in my own speech patterns, and the kind of curiosity of the world around him that helped me relate with him.

 

I would see pieces of myself in many of his roles; Mork, the Genie, John Keating, Adrian Cronauer, Sean Maguire, and even facets of my own dark side in Sy Parrish. To hear that Robin Williams lost his struggle with his demons is not only sad in the way it always is when a favorite actor from one's childhood dies; it literally feels like losing a part of myself that was somehow here on this planet before I was. I'm not one to put much thought in celebrity deaths, but this... Goddammit, this one hurts. A lot.

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He was so, so nice to everyone in the LA Comedy scene. Always coming to shows, always staying to watch everyone and going out of his way to be present backstage and in green rooms. He would politely ask for ten minutes and then just be a ball of nerves backstage, then go up and just destroy. Just a delight to be in a room with. Pretty much every comic here has a Robin story and they're all so, so positive. 

 

I didn't have a lot of interactions with him directly, but one night he popped into a show, shook all of our hands, introduced himself, and they put him on last. He called back to and discussed everyone's set that had gone up before him. Riffing on their jokes, 'arguing' with their points. He had watched EVERYONE and really, really paid attention. I can't name very many 'higher ups' in this scene that would do anything like that. Really sad today.

 

A relative of mine used to book some comics at the local comedy club up in Marin. He was eating sushi across the street from the club and popped in afterwards. Of course he was asked if he wanted to perform after all the comics had did their time. He kindly obliged and did an hour set for about 20-25 people. Truly a class act and great comedian.

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Who makes the clown laugh when he is down?

 

 When he’s depressed, who is there around?

 

 He spends all his time cheering up others

 

 Mothers, Fathers, Sisters and Brothers

 

 He puts on a front, he puts on a show

 

 But deep down inside, his own being is low

 

 He’s depended by people to brighten their lives

 

 Yet his own existence is full of trouble and strife

 

 He’s called upon by others when they have worries

 

 He humours them with jokes, actions and stories

 

 But when he’s alone, he starts to feel sad

 

 Isolation and loneliness makes him go mad

 

 His audience has gone, no one for a banter

 

 The repertoire of jokes he tells at a canter

 

 They’re no longer needed, there’s no one to tell

 

 He cries for attention, he’s going through hell

 

 When needing a lift, favours are not returned

 

 He calls for help but his pleas are spurned

 

 Sitting alone, he longs for true company

 

 The chatter of voices, the sound of a symphony

 

 He can’t raise himself, his efforts are wasted

 

 So he sits and cries for the joy he once tasted

 

 Who makes the clown laugh when he is low?

 

 That is the question, for I do not know.

 

 

John W. Austin

 

You will be missed.

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I wish like Hell I could be shocked, but I can't. I didn't "see this coming" or any bullshit like that, but my first thought wasn't surprise or denial at all, just "oh. Oh no." It's crushingly sad to see someone lose a battle with mental health issues, and Hollywood and the world are a poorer place than yesterday. I especially feel awful for his poor family, having to live their lives in a fishbowl after something like this. I really don't have anything else to say, except RIP.

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This one really does hurt. I'm like in shock and still can't believe it's true. Saw all the real news twitters rt'ing it and I was like please let it be a hoax that got out of hand.

 

But he was also such a great dramatic actor. It's said the best dramatic actors are comics because they know how to play the emotions. A while back in school, I told one of my friends if I ever make it with this screenwriting thing and I was like "if I can remake one movie, I want to do Night Of The Hunter and I want Robin Williams to play Robert Mitchum's role". If anyone could play such a cold person and make it convincing, I thought it would be Robin Williams.

 

I just got nothing right now. Later tonight I'm gonna fire up my laserdisc player and watch Toys.

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I don't know what to think. I'm normally not bothered with celebrity deaths, but this one really gets to me.

 

Robin Williams is like me. Like a lot of people who are scared, vulnerable, and sensitive to the world around him/her. They feel too much too soon and know how much life hurts. But they tough it through for awhile and try to make other people who are suffering the same and their lives better, even for a little bit.

 

Deaths like Robin Williams makes me question what the hell am I doing with my life -- why are the good ones like him leaving us too soon. Why are we stuck with Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber? Why I couldn't do anything to change life experiences the way he did.

 

What's weird is growing up I was told I had Robin Williams' sense of humor. I got his humor very easily. So like Super Ape I 'got him' (although I didn't have autism, was just misunderstood).

 

Still tomorrow won't be easy, but I think I'll be OK.

 

What really is the kicker for me is Robin Williams' last Tweet was to his daughter, wishing her a happy birthday. That hits like a punch to the gut.

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Looking back at Robin Williams, while I'm not a huge fan of black comedies, one that I really enjoyed was Death to Smoochy.  And Williams as this dark, crazed kids show host I thought was a wonderful satiric role.  What I like the most though is that it has an uplifting ending and the Randolph character redeems himself.

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Damn it. Damn it all to hell.

Maybe I'll come back later and write an essay about how awesome Awakenings is, or an epic poem in tribute to his brilliant stand-up comedy. But right now, on the day, all I've got is God DAMN it.

EDIT: actually, you know what? Here's a good summation: all of you who watch Community, remember when Pierce joined Troy and Abed for a riffing session with a bad movie, and he was cheating by having hired a team of comedians to write his jokes, and he was firing out passable one-liners at auctioneer speed? Troy immediately noticed something was wrong, said so, and compared the pace of Pierce's delivery to "the incomparable Robin Williams". That's one of those moments where one of the funniest, sharpest shows on television gives a tossed-off critique of any particular part of pop culture. And, unlike Jim Belushi, Robin Williams isn't defined as the sad median. He's defined as the measuring stick for comedy. I do believe those folks got it right.

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Joe Rogan told a story once about how, maybe a couple years ago, he was doing a set at the Icehouse or somewhere else and after the show Joe was doing a meet and greet with fans who want to come up after the show. So this old bearded guy comes up and is super complimentary to Joe and his act. Turns out it was Robin Williams and Joe didn't really realize it at first. He was just at the show and wanted to come up and tell Joe how much he liked his set. He didn't make it about himself, was really low key, and just wanted to show some appreciation.

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I loved that when "Blame Canada" was nominated for an Oscar, they couldn't find anyone who would perform it at the Oscar ceremony and Williams did it.

Oh and Marc Maron just posted a special WTF Podcast talking about Robin and replaying his interview with him from 2010. It's fantastic and heartbreaking .

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This is just fucking awful.

 

There are actors and actresses that people like and dislike for various reasons, but (as someone else already mentioned) I'm not sure if I know anyone that didn't like Robin Williams. So awesome, and wound up having such a wide range of roles that he was more than just the "crazy funny guy."

 

Dead Poets Society is one of my 2 or 3 favorite movies of all time. He totally got hosed out of an Oscar for that. Every student has a John Keating in their lives somewhere, or at least they should have.

 

Ugh. . .God damn it.

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