Dear Robin Williams,
The first time that I saw you, you played Adrian Cronauer in ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’. I couldn’t have been older than eight years old and recall vividly how your manic, upbeat and powerful comedy put a big smile on my face, eventhough I didn’t understand half of what the movie was about. And that wasn’t the point at the age of eight. The point was to laugh and to keep that smile there.
The second time I saw you, I didn’t recognise you. You were Mork for the first time, in an episode of ‘Happy Days’ on TV. When one of my brothers pointed you out, I was so happy to know you did even more amazing characters. I was sold, no matter what you did. ( Although we can both safely agree that Bicentennial Man was a bit shite…)
Time went by and as I grew up, I also became aware of other movies that didn’t star you, until I found out you were playing in amazing ones such as ‘Ms. Doubtfire’, ‘Jumanji’, ‘Awakenings’ ( which is still one of my favorites to date), ‘Hook’ ( where you played with so many of my personal heroes that you couldn’t do wrong at all!’), ‘What Dreams May Come’, ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen’ ( although it was difficult recognising you) and many more gems that coloured and brightened my childhood and along that my writing and comedy styles.
Your comedy went beyond movies and your stand-up shows are my favorite to watch of any foreign comedian by far. You took us on a magic carpet ride and didn’t let go until we safely got to the end. I have lost track as to how many times I broke up in laughter because of you and every time I faced a dark period in my life, I would turn on your shows to lighten th eday and be inspired again to make jokes, to laugh and just be myself again.
Your laughter is one I can still not imitate to this date, despite me knowing a lot of your jokes and voices by heart. I is a unique laugh that displayed a sense of joy and love. And this is where I am sad. Because I recognise your sadness too, the darkness that you fought and struggled with, and not just yourself.
The last time I saw you, I was watching ‘Awakenings’ again. It had been a while since I saw your face and wanted to see you in a different light than just your comedy side. You had a talent I have not seen in anyone else. Maybe some come close, but your star went up farther and shone brighter.
I can only hope that you are now in a better place, Robin. Thank you for making me laugh when I needed it the most and know that, although we have never met, you are a big part of my childhood and you inspired me in so many ways than you could possibly imagine.
Rest well, oh captain my captain.