Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP Robin Williams...

What a shock it is this morning to find out that Robin Williams, one of the greatest comedians ever, has just passed away.  I read on CNN that Mr. Williams had been battling depression and apparently took his own life.  As someone who has also experienced significant depression and suicidal ideation, I have a tiny inkling of what led Williams to take this action.  When I say "tiny inkling", I mean it.  I can never know how another person feels, especially one who has clinical depression.  All I can say is that I know how I felt when I was depressed and how awful that was.

Robin Williams was one of the funniest people in show business.  As a child of the 70s and 80s, I remember watching his zany antics as an alien on Mork & Mindy.  My generation grew up saying "Nanoo nanoo" and "shazbat" to each other.  I even had a Mork & Mindy lunchbox, for God's sake. 


"Mork calling Orson... come in, Orson!"

Later, he was brilliant on the big screen.  I have never been one to go to a lot of movies in the theater, but I do remember seeing Robin Williams in Popeye in 1980...



"I Yam What I Yam!"

He was in Dead Poet's Society, which was a big hit among my peers in 1989, Aladdin, which I remember seeing in college one Friday night, and Mrs. Doubtfire, which is still a favorite...



This made me a little teary...

My thoughts are with Robin Williams' friends and family, who no doubt feel the loss more than I ever could.  The world has lost an amazing person who delighted so many with his hilarious humor and touched others with his kind, vulnerable, dramatic talents.  

  

I hope when Robin passed, he saw some things that were even more breathtaking than this video...

Depression is a very real thing.  Some of the funniest people you know in your life are suffering from it.  When I was clinically depressed, I was often funny.  Being funny hides that black feeling and distracts other people.  I don't know what Robin Williams was like when he wasn't entertaining people, but I do know that humor is a great "make up" for the depressed.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple of other funny men who killed themselves.  Richard Jeni was one of them... another was Ray Combs.


Richard Jeni in action...



Ray Combs...

Yes, being funny can be a mask.  I think Robin Williams fought the good fight for as long as he could.  May he rest in peace. 

ETA...  Someone posted this classic and awesome clip of Robin Williams performing for the troops...

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