Tuesday, August 12, 2014

O Captain, My Captain

"Comedy is acting out optimism."
~Robin Williams

Of course everyone knows the tragic loss of, in my opinion, the most talented comedian of my lifetime.

He oozed spontaneity, craziness, laughter and joy. You could see the warmth in his eyes whenever he was presented with a cause he cared about or a subject that touched his heart. He was warm and fuzzy (he was fuzzy) and in the next second bringing you to tears with laughter.

I first saw him on Happy Days as Mork from Ork (Nanu Nanu). It was short and sweet but lead to Mork and Mindy-what was my favorite show during it's run. Who can't forget the incredible Jonathan Winters (Robin William's mentor) as Mearth-their strange large child.

But as a young adult I loved how he could mix comedy with the most serious of subjects and make you laugh and cry in two hours. Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poet's Society, Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams and so many other films that touched our hearts and tested our bladders.

Personally he was often a light at the end of a dark tunnel which is ironic when he was often fighting his own darkness. In a terrible marriage that made me often so sad I would look to Robin, in brilliance like The Bird Cage, The World According to Garp or Mrs. Doubtfire. I would watch for Today Show or Tonight Show interviews because it was "edge of your seat" excitement that made you wish it would never end.

My personal Robin favorite (and we all have one) is Dead Poet's Society. I have actually had a couple of teachers like Mr. Keating in my time as an English Major. A certain poetry professor at Gettysburg comes to mind-he even had the wild hair. But the language, the meaning, the lessons to be taken from that movie were truly inspiring and heartbreaking.

As he quoted Walt Whitman: "I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world"' so did Robin. He sounded his joy, passion, brilliance and love for everyone over our rooftops and our world. He had quite a "yawp."

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
~Robin Williams

You will be so missed.

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