Monday, August 11, 2014

Comic Relief

Maybe Mork just went home!
Growing up I remember watching Comic Relief on television (I believe it was on HBO). While at the time many of the jokes went completely over my head I can still hear my parents laughing as Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robin Williams took the stage and proceeded to conduct an improv set the likes of which I had never seen. Even with my limited understanding, I couldn’t help but watch them go back and forth not missing a moment or opportunity to turn common responses into belly laughs. While Crystal and Goldberg were good, Robin Williams was always the one that took over the entire stage and the audience.

Recently I have been thinking about Robin Williams ever since we learned that we will be having a baby early next year. For some reason I have been thinking about a part of one of his stand up sets when he talks about becoming a father. It was one of those rare moments of honest vulnerability that he would occasionally touch upon during those wild times on stage. In the midst of clear chaos, it was those moments that made you stop and think about something so serious that it just sticks with you years later. Maybe that it why it has been on my mind during the last few weeks.

Of course, as I am certain you have heard, Robin Williams was once again on the forefront of all our minds. I am still shocked that he is gone. I am not one to dedicate an entire lost to the loss of a celebrity but Robin Williams was on a completely different level. As I have gotten older I have constantly looked forward to what he would do next… whenever he was on I was going to watch.

And as I have gotten older, caught up and now understand those jokes lost on me during my childhood, I have continued to become more and more envious of the ability to create at an instant no matter where he was, what he was given, or what was said. He is a talent that we will never fully understand let alone replace. He was a complicated man but one with unparalleled ability, talent, and passion. I will miss watching that complicated man both during those intense moments of improv and also during those subdued roles that showcased a complexity and range that few have possessed.

Unfortunately, we all have our flaws and our struggles and his death is a reminder that no matter how much we watch someone, or their outgoing personality, or the success that they have… we don’t know what is going on inside of them. It is the scariest part of life not knowing what can be just below the surface and the horrible way that people see themselves. We can only do so much but one thing that we can do is make sure that we are there for our friends and family regardless of whether they seem like they need someone or not from the outside. You just never know.