Last week was an insane week at work. Long hours, very busy, running around. Stressful. So while I heard the news about Robin Williams, I didn’t really have a chance for it to sink in. The guy had been famous and hilarious and manic for as long as I can remember. I vaguely remember watching Mork and Mindy when I was little. I distinctly remember watching Popeye with my dad many, many times…it was, for some reason, one of his favourite movies, and therefore one of the first we ever bought on VHS. I was always amazed by Williams, by how high-velocity he was, how funny he could be at absolutely breakneck pace, and then turn out serious roles with that mania just dusting the edge of him.
Last night, with Nellie out for a work thing I finally had a few hours to myself with the laptop off. I read the Grantland piece about Williams and Norm MacDonald’s story about their first meeting, and listened to Marc Maron’s podcast with Williams from a few years back. And, of course, I watched Dead Poets Society.
I know The Fisher King is probably his peak, but this is the one that always stuck with me. Probably because I was a teenager the same as these kids when I first watched it. I wrote nine years ago about how this is one of the few movies that really got to me, about how I could barely make it through the final scene without tearing up.
Last night I didn’t make it.
Rest in peace, captain.
Cover photo by Mike Lau, used under Creative Commons license