Monday, August 11, 2014

Losing Peter Pan

Today, Robin Williams decided to end his life at the age of 63.  I found this out in the way you never really want to find this out, your Mother calls you on the phone, sobbing her eyes out, and then you follow instantly in concert.  I am absolutely devastated, as is the world, of this there can be no doubt. Find me someone who doesn't love Robin Williams, and I'll show you a man who doesn't love to live, and doesn't know how to laugh til you cry, or cry til you laugh.  Few could achieve such cosmic polarity, such energy and such conviction and be great.  Few men, had so much soul. Today's wretched world truly needed men like Robin, or rather eternally puckish boy/men. Robin was one of the great artists of our time.  As a comedian, he broke boundaries and elevated the art form.  As an actor, he constantly refused to be pegged, and showed more range than most will ever be able to fathom. Adorable Alien, Communist Defector, Son of a Pure Eccentric constantly in the line of fire, Snarky Shrink in the back of a grocery store, wise and paternal professor/advisor, not once-but twice, clown repetitively, a genie, a cross dressing Nanny and even most aptly, Peter Pan.

Robin had the eternal twinkle in his eyes.  Those eyes, distracted from an epicenter of pain, most knew about, but sadly, apparently no one, not any of us, could comprehend.

Add to this impressive array of personae he gave us like gifts, when it came to stand up, Robin could make nothing, into anything.  He could improvise off of any situation.  He could take an inanimate object, as witnessed in Olympian form on Inside The Actor's Studio, and do a solid hour with it, using the prop as a flexible Ginger Rogers to his always elegant Fred Astaire.  His energy was boundless, and this was even when he was sober, which...we all know, was a lifelong battle for him. He was the epitome, of Comic Relief.  I'll never hear the song Fire, or the voice of Elmer Fudd again, quite the same way.

Every now and again, I like to pull out, Robin Williams Live At The Met out for shits and giggles because when it came out in 1986 I thought it was arguably one of the funniest nights of comedy of all time, and though it hasn't aged as well as say Bill Cosby Himself, it's still a man, ruling the world, holding it in the palm of his hand and being so funny it's painful.  It's like watching the greatest in their prime, in their moment.  To think, with all the good fights he'd fought and won, that this live wire, would be leaving the planet of his own volition, makes me weep.

Robin, you were there for me when I needed instant laughs on days that were the worst.  You were one of my all time favorites, and you leave behind a great glorious legacy.  I'll never forget you, and I'll miss you for the rest of my days on Earth.  Rest In Pan.

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