Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams dead at 63. Alas

Once in a great while, yours truly takes the liberty of writing a post that is not sports related. So far, the boss, that dastardly editor, has shown lenience on such occasions. Either that, or he doesn't bother to read my tripe anymore. Regardless, this is one of those times.

Robin Williams is gone at the age of 63. Few would doubt he was amongst the most quick-witted, ad-lib impromptu hilarious people there ever was. Put Williams in a room-- any room -- under any circumstances -- and he would find a way to make people laugh.

Sure, he came to fame as the loveable and goofy alien Mork on the TV show, nanu, but he became so much more. From hit films like Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Morning Vietnam, to his always hilarious antics on late night talk shows, to stand-up comedy routines, and much more, Robin Williams was an icon.

Yet few remember who his own hero was. The late Jonathan Winters, who was equally adept at creating scriptless humor out of virtually nothing. Williams often said he patterned himself after Winters. But very few have the gift of such talents. Yes, there have been other quick-witted people like Carson, Leno, Letterman, and Rickles, to name a few, but usually they were reacting to things said by others -- rather than creating it from scratch. Winters and Williams could walk on a stage anywhere, with no pre-written "lines", no teleprompter or cue cards, no nothing, and bring down the house with their imagination and spontaneous humor. A rare special talent indeed.

But on a much more somber note, it's time for a dose of reality. Once again, in a "high-profile" death, the authorities are playing hide and go seek with the facts. Reports appear unanimous that Williams committed suicide by asphyxia. Certainly the cops and the medical examiner know the circumstances and forensics surrounding his death. What does "suicide by asphyxia" mean? Did Williams zip tie his own neck? Hang himself? Out with it.

Hey, if Chicago Cubs and Detroit Lions fans can weather countless decades of heartbreak, and the "View" continues to air, how another celebrity killed himself won't exactly cause a mass panic across the nation. We can take just about anything, however it went down. So let's hear it.

Nevertheless, yours truly mourns the loss of Robin Williams. Only 63, and what a talent.


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