On August 11, 2014 the world lost a comedic genius, and a generation lost their childhood best friend.
Last year also saw the untimely passing of British comedian, Rik Mayall on June 9. To hear the news that he’d gone was a complete shock to the system, but to have Robin Williams pass two months later signaled the demise of not only my childhood, but a majority childhood’s across the globe.
Williams was an undeniable force of nature. Whether it was from his hilarious beginnings as Mork on the ABC sitcom Mork and Mindy, his stand up performances or his immense talent in films such as Good Will Hunting, Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poets Society.
But it was his ability to go from excessive profanity one minute, to soft, delicate and meaningful speeches the next that made him unique. How he could seamlessly blend drama with comedy, and even appear in multiple films aimed more towards kids. Williams was a chameleon of both the comedic and acting realm, able to use his off-the-wall energy, charisma and humor to be the spotlight of any given situation.
People sometimes seem to frown upon having an emotional connection to a celebrities death. That you never knew the person, and they never knew you. But Williams was my childhood, plain and simple. He was like the best friend that I always wanted. All I had to do was push play on a Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Aladdin, Jumanji or Flubber video cassette and I could spend time with him and laugh for hours on end.
I’ll never forget getting off an 8 hour flight from Orlando this time last year at 6 in the morning, getting in the car and the news of his death being the first thing I’d heard since I got on the plane in America. That was the quietest car ride home I’ve ever experienced. Which I can only assume wasn’t just my family, but families everywhere.
Missing Robin Williams for a year has been hard, but here’s a wonderful tribute that’s sure to make you cry from laughter…maybe a little from sadness, too.
Words by Sophie McEvoy