Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This Is Mork Signing Off

I won’t rehash his biography, or list his extensive library of cinematic roles.  NBC Nightly News has already done that.  I’m not going to talk about his struggle with addiction, speculate on the causes of his depression, or try to discern the motives for his final solution.  A special episode of 20/20 will undoubtedly do that.  All I can do here, is to record my reaction to the August 11th suicide of, the comedy genius, Robin Williams.

Photo courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.
In 1980, my father organized the parking garage for the, then brand new, Marriott Hotel, in Portland.  As a job perk, dad was given a suite, for our family, for a three day weekend.  Part of the package were tickets to the double feature, Flash Gordon & Popeye.

The ten year old me loved the Star Wars-esc action of Flash Gordon, but I remember also being enchanted by the music and comedy of Popeye.  Seeing the man, I knew as Mork, play E.C. Segar’s classic character was a treat for my young eyes.

 His unpredictable wit has entertained me for decades.  I enjoyed his improvisational wit and his willingness to step, even leap, outside of the box for a laugh.  Meanwhile, I found myself inspired by his charity work for organizations such as Comic Relief, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the LiveStrong Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and more.

Robin Williams’ talent, humor, and compassion literally brought joy to millions of people.  Keep in mind, I’m also a huge fan of Maverick and The Rockford Files, but I don’t think the recent death of James Garner hit me nearly as hard as the death of Robin Williams.

By ending his own pain, Robin Williams chose to stop spreading joy by denying his talent to the world.  He chose to quit making millions of people happy; that’s the part that stings the most.

R.I.P. Robin Williams.

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