Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Tears of a Clown: Rest in Peace Robin Williams
Robin Williams ended his own life yesterday. Many people have talked about how he was a caring, generous, giving person. He helped up-and-coming young comedians, performed overseas for the troops and raised millions through the Comic Relief concerts. We all know about his incredible talent to make people laugh, but his dramatic roles are just as impressive. He studied at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. He was classmates with Christopher Reeve. Most first saw him on Happy Days playing the alien Mork from Ork. Then he had his own sitcom, Mork and Mindy (1978-1982). He idolized Jonathan Winters, who appeared on Mork and Mindy many times. The two were cut from the same cloth, masters of the absurd improvisational humor.
The news reports have said that he battled mental illness for years and also struggled with substance abuse. Something like this event shows that people never know what others are battling in their brains. Depression is devastating and those who do not know about it have no way of understanding it. Here's a guy who seemingly had it all, from money, to fame from a successful career, to a wife and kids, but the depression makes it hard to see the good things in life. It is a merciless adversary.
Johnny Carson was known as a master when it came to judging comedic talent. He gave big breaks to Joan Rivers, George Carlin, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen Degeneres, Drew Carey and many others. When Johnny stepped down in 1992 after 30 years as the king of late night, he could have anyone as his final guests. It would be a supreme honor for anyone in entertainment to be the last guests. Johnny chose Bette Midler and Robin Williams.