Starting in 1978, the class clowns had fresh, new material. That is, certain kids were handed popularity on a plate. The reason? They were able to imitate Mork from Ork.
Marty was one of those kids in my school. He was one of the fortunate ones that was able to deliver a well-timed Shazbot or Nanu Nanu, rendering the rest of us in giggles.
Each week Marty would have new material and we, his audience, paid close attention. He could deliver the lines and could match the frantic, manic style that marked Mork’s behavior.
It was a good time to be a class clown.
So, then we have Robin Williams, the person. He had his addictions during the show, but we kids didn’t know any of that. He had his successful movie career, and a long period of being sober. More recently, it seems depression took hold of him.
In the most recent years, he didn’t look very comfortable. In live situations and as a guest on TV shows, Williams has been coming across, to me, as a bit nervous and unsure. It was almost as if he wasn’t certain how to be funny anymore, and was trying to imitate a younger version of himself - an impossible task.
He didn’t look comfortable in his own skin, he seemed a bit out of touch with the pulse of “kids these days,” and seemed to be having trouble aging gracefully. Watch some of his most recent appearances and look beyond the jokes to see someone in pain.
Despite his super success on stage, on TV, and in movies, he found the world depressing enough to check out yesterday, leaving friends, fans, and family to wonder.
With celebrity suicides, it always strikes me as a bit ironic the tremendous worldwide love expressed for them after they are gone. If only we had a mechanism to, say, fake it for them and let them see what they mean to people near and far. It is unfortunate they aren’t around to experience the outpouring of appreciation and kind thoughts. Always a day too late.