RIP Robin Williams
Even as I type those words, I don’t believe them. I’ll try it again… Robin Williams passed away, his endless energy is finally taking a breather, Robin Williams is gone from this Earth.
Nope — I still don’t believe it. How? Why? When? What happened? Who would kill Robin Williams?
Wait just a damn GIANT minute. You’re attempting to explain to me that Robin Williams took his own life? The man known for so many famous roles: Popeye — Peter Banning — Mrs. Doubtfire — Mork — Jack Dundee — Donald Quinelle — Vladimir Ivanoff — Adrian Cronauer — John Keating — Genie — Leslie Zevo — Alan Parrish — Armand Goldman — Jack Powell — Professor Philip Brainard — Sean Maguire — Patch Adams — Andrew Martin — Seymour Parrish — Rainbow Randolph — Fender — Ramon / Lovelace — Teddy Roosevelt — Maxwell ‘Wizard’ Wallace — Tom Dobbs — Bob Munro — Dan — Walter Finch — “Himself” … is dead?
That is just impossible to believe, it simply hasn’t sunk in. One of the funniest men on the planet surrounded in seemingly perpetual laughter, fun and good cheer… took his own life. That makes my head spin.You see Giants Nation, I’ve felt the bitter taste of depression, I’ve contemplated suicide versus existence, but I can’t believe our hero is gone. I will miss Robin Williams like I miss so many awesome comedians that have effected my life.
Richard Pryor is gone. George Burns is gone. Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison, Mitch Hedburg, Johnny Carson, Mel Blanc, Mickey Rooney, David Brennar, Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Partrice O’Neal, Greg Giraldo, Bea Arthur, John Ritter, John Belushi, Richard Jeni, Bernie Mac, Dom Deluise, Ed McMahon, Bob Hope, Robert Schimmel, Soupy Sales, Danny Gans, Dudley Moore and George Carlin to name a few of the comics whom have passed away during my life. And there are many more that are gone that I didn’t mention.
All of these names effected our lives in some way, just like Robin Williams, often with our laughter as their number one goal and priority. For me, personally, I’ll miss many of those names… but George Carlin is my absolute hero. Before he died, he famously stated:
“I dread the deaths of certain super-celebrities. Not because I care about them, but because of all the shit I have to endure on television when one of them dies. All those tributes and retrospectives. And the bigger the personality, the worse it is.”
It is my belief that Robin Williams would have been on George’s list of super-celebrities, and like many times in his acerbically logical life, George was correct. Robin Williams news is everywhere and it will remain a top story for some time because he apparently took his own life. Nothing has been confirmed, but there have been reports that asphyxia is the cause of death.
Regardless of the details, I’m stunned, shocked and deeply saddened. For me, it’s not just about the movies. Personally, I want to be a Writer, Comedian, and Entertainer. Who Robin Williams was as a person is the pinnacle of all my dreams. It may be ridiculous, but I have dreams of becoming one of the best ever. Robin’s ability to walk into a room and make everyone forget everything but his words and zaniness was an incredible sight to behold.Robin Williams simply took you to another place when he was on stage, he never stopped. He had 97 million bottles of water up there on stage with him, because he knew beforehand that he was going to give every ounce of sweat and effort in his human body as a sacrifice for the performance and happiness of the crowd. Outside of Steve Martin and Billy Crystal, there aren’t that many comedians with that level of passion up on stage. Lewis Black comes to mind, but it’s a different kind of energy.
Robin Williams didn’t just use his mouth to tell jokes, his entire body was a vehicle for making people laugh — and it worked. Robin Williams was hysterical and he never stumbled over his words, even if he messed up, he always kept talking until he got the reaction from the crowd he wanted. In the history of comedians, no one controlled a room like Robin Williams, he was on a different playing field in terms of passionate talent and skill that other people just couldn’t touch. It’s not possible. Robin Williams can be impersonated, but will never be duplicated.
Right now, I still can’t believe the Genie is dead. That Peter Pan will never fly again.
But then I say — rubbish. Any time I want to watch George Carlin, his work is alive on my computer screen. Whenever I want to see if anyone respects Rodney Dangerfield yet, I just plug in some 1980’s HBO comedy specials and he’s back, alive as ever. The same with Sam Kennison, my hero from my childhood. Whenever I want to see Sam, I just type his name in and there he is, yelling in my ear about what exactly sand will be in 100 years: Sand.
The thing is, Robin Williams is dead, he committed suicide, his time on this planet is over. But the hundreds of characters and voices, along with the stand-up specials and interviews will outlive us all. Any time you want to view Robin, just hit your GIANT DVD collection, type Robin Williams into Google or YouTube, throw on a VHS of Hook or watch Aladdin with your children and tell them about the talent and passion behind the voice of one of the best characters Disney ever created, Genie.
In my lifetime, I’ve experienced much joy and happiness. Some of it was the direct result of watching Robin Williams work. Other times, life sucks, it’s hard. I’ve battled Depression, Anxiety, Loneliness and thoughts of Suicide, which just took one of my heroes. The instant reaction to that is the thought:
If Robin Williams can’t find meaning in his life, then what’s the point for me?
The point is, no matter how much you think it’s bad, no matter the emptiness and perceived need to want to die in the moment, it will pass and people will definitely miss you if you’re not around. Just like we’ll all miss Robin Williams. When you feel sadness, reach out to friends, write a loved one, write a journal, believe in yourself, realize time will pass, start thinking about where you were when your favorite team won the Super Bowl and then hope they’ll do it again next year.
I write in the sports world, I’m not supposed to be writing about death and suicide. I’m supposed to be writing about football passion, while giving you reasons to love your team that much more. Today, reality took over the notion that I can only write about football. Today, we lost an icon. One of the greats of forever, RIP Robin Willams.
Finally, once again, remember that our hero and inspiration has gone to a better place, but his life’s work, talent and hysterical frantic passion will truly live forever.