There are few people in history who could talk faster, be funnier or segue more efficiently than Robin Williams. Like his idol Jonathan Winters, you could hand Robin Williams a stick, and he’d hand you back an endless array of characters and scenes, jumping—or leaping, really—from gag to gag. No stage was big enough.
And that was just in interviews and stand-up specials.
But that’s leaving out his reign as a celebrated ‘90s box office mainstay in The Fisher King, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji and Patch Adams. That’s leaving out his turns as generational guides John Keating in Dead Poet’s Society and Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. That’s leaving out him loaning his wild and recognizable voice to oddball cartoon heroes like Genie from Aladdin and Batty Koda from FernGully.
During his 30-plus-year stint of making movies, he also delved full-blown into truly memorable, truly offbeat performances: the gloriously wisecracking drag club owner in The Birdcage, the wanderer of the vibrant and sinister landscape in What Dreams May Come, the joyously manic and conniving kids’ show host Rainbow Randolph in Death To Smoochy and the unnervingly obsessive photo lab employee in One-Hour Photo.
On Monday afternoon, social media feeds flooded with fans posting favorite scenes, celebrities sharing favorite memories and the world mourning the loss of one of the most cherished performers and artists of our time. At C5, we were equally heartbroken.
When asked by James Lipton what he wanted to hear at the pearly gates, Williams answered, “laughter.” He just wanted to hear God tell a joke.
We’ll miss you, Robin.
Robin Williams Genie