Yesterday we lost one of the great artists of dramatic and comedic performance. On stage we knew him for the manic energy of his stand-up comedy act, and his HBO specials after a sabbatical away from stand-up.
On film, he was able to transplant that gift to television and film but then we saw something deeper emerge. As a troubled therapist in Good Will Hunting, we saw the darkness and the beautiful soul buried beneath a persona that is always “on” as they say in comedy.
In a shocking concluding segment of TBS’s Conan, Conan had been alerted to the death of his friend and frequent talk show guest. His guest at the time Will Arnett said, “As funny as he was, he was truly one of the all-time greats, he was even better as a person.”
Comedy isn’t usually full of such charity. “My life is a better place because I knew Robin Williams,” Williams’ The Crazy Ones co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar said to E!. “To my children he was Uncle Robin, to everyone he worked with, he was the best boss anyone had ever known, and to me he was not just an inspiration but he was the father I had always dreamed of having.”
“He was an amazingly kind and generous person, and it’s got to be a terrible time for his family, and our thoughts go out to them,” Andy Richter said.