I can’t let today go by without a brief farewell to a wonderful man, a great comedian – who brought me (and many of you, I’m sure) hundreds of wonderfully entertaining moments growing up.
In the 7th grade, I had a pet canary named Mork. I absolutely adored the TV show Mork and Mindy! Robin Williams, first appearing as Mork on an episode of Happy Days, captured my complete attention – in all my young years, I’d never seen anyone like him. Silly, energetic, creative – I admired Robin Williams’ ability to make people laugh but also to be a compassionate philanthropist and a fine dramatic actor as well.
Through the years, I enjoyed Robin Williams’ acting in a wide variety of roles including his radio DJ persona in Good Morning Vietnam, his medical antics as Patch Adams, and his unbelievably enjoyable drag gig in Mrs. Doubtfire. I don’t know if there’s a movie that made me laugh more than The Birdcage. None of his roles, since he first grabbed my attention as Mork, was as wonderful to me as that of Genie in Disney’s Aladdin.
Everything about Robin Williams’ roles in Aladdin – beginning as the narrator in the movie’s opening and continuing on as the incredible, incomparable Genie – was as great a demonstration of all the comedic genius Robin Williams was capable of. The man could ad-lib so quickly, audiences could suffer whiplash trying to keep up! Disney’s illustrators captured the actor’s frenetic energy, silliness, and big heart perfectly. Even after seeing Aladdin dozens of times, I still find myself appreciating new things in Genie’s dialogue each time I see the movie.
I’m sad today because the world has lost a unique and wonderful man – who devoted himself to worthy causes like helping the homeless (Comic Relief), entertaining American troops, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (among many other charitable works). I’m sad for myself because a man who kept me entertained and laughing from middle school to adulthood has left the Earth far too soon.