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Robin WilliamsMy first memory of Robin Williams was watching him on an episode of “Happy Days”. In his first appearance as “Mork” (from Ork), he attempts to kidnap Richie and take him back to Ork with him. Richie runs to get help from The Fonz who, like Mork, also has some otherworldly powers. It was Mork’s finger versus Fonzie’s thumb, for Richie’s sake. It was a great episode. …but what was really at stake was Williams’ career. The episode was a huge hit with fans and after a short but very memorable run on Richard Pryor’s sketch comedy show “The Richard Pryor Show”, Williams teamed with Pam Dawber for the sci-fi based sitcom, “Mork And Mindy”. If you’re not old enough to remember all of that, don’t worry. There are always reruns.

I was mostly familiar with Williams as a stand-up comic as I did stand-up myself.  I even tried to imitate him but it was just about impossible to do. He was truly an original and one of a kind. His talent was obvious. If you had a smile anywhere inside you, he could bring it out. As a mentee of the legendary Richard Pryor, Williams went on to forge a legendary career in his own right. Williams was one of the very few stand-up comedians who could perform both dramatic roles and comedic roles seamlessly. Williams won an Oscar for Best Supporting in Actor 1997’s ‘Good Will Hunting’. However, prior to that role, he had sharpened his dramatic acting skills in critically acclaimed films such as ‘The World According To Garp’ (1982), ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ (1987), ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ (1989), and ‘Awakenings’ (1990).

I was stunned to hear of his passing. Robin seemed to always exude laughter. As a deity in the world of comedy, what mischievous spirits could possibly chase him? He had achieved the one-time dream of every stand-up comedian in the United States, including myself. He was a star. In some ways, he will always live forever. …but although he was a deity in the world of comedy, he was still only mortal in the world of men.

Personally, I am saddened by his passing. I’ve never met Robin and now I will never get to work with him. …so, with his passing, he takes with him a part of my dreams as well. …but the memories that he left me, all of us, are the gifts he gave us that can never be taken away. The greatest gift that one human being can give to another is the gift of happiness. …and he was selfless in that regard.

Rest in peace, Robin. I always enjoyed watching you. We all did.

…thank you for the memories.

Robin Williams (Jul 21, 1951 – Aug 11, 2014)

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