...the wave of dread - it hits us like a ton of lead:
As we were closing up shop today, the word broke that Robin Williams was gone. With all the things going on in the world today, I guess I couldn't say I was totally shocked - it's long been known that Williams battled demons and depression - and, let's face it, we've kind of become numb to many of life's senseless events. But it certainly cast a melancholic pall over my thoughts.
People of my age - who grew up shooting pterodactyls after school, before skeet was invented - probably became aware of Williams in his role as the alien Mork. Of course then it was funny to have aliens in our homes. And from there we watched him evolve into a comedy superstar and gifted actor. I used to love to watch him on Carson - while at the same time feeling sorry for Johnny, He wasn't a loose cannon, but more like a gimbal-mounted auto-cranked Gatling Gun running unattended. In the days before DVRs, you had to hope for re-run segments of Williams' interviews, because you'd probably missed 2/3 of the gags.
That Williams was a genius is undisputed. His stream-of-consciousness delivery, impersonations, and range were like having Steve Allen, Carl Reiner, Sid Caesar, and Mel Brooks - maybe even with a little Rickles thrown in - in one person. With the possible exception of Jonathan Winters, his zany, quirky humor was unrivalled.
After leaving the office, my sadness ebbed and flowed with some of the tributes being given on the radio. As I got near home, I did nearly lose composure when my Daughter texted "Robin Williams died. :(" We'd recently watched Patch Adams together.
"I heard - it makes me very sad" was my response.
2 days ago