by Dish Staff
Some immediate reaction from Twitter, including many clips of Williams’ greatest moments, here. Several more clips after the jump. A reader writes a moving eulogy:
I’m sure that I’m just one of many Dishheads writing in about the horribly sad death of Robin Williams. I’m a child of the ’90s, and he was a constant fixture of my cultural world through childhood and into adulthood. Not only was he a genuine comedic genius – his bit on the invention of golf [seen above] was legendary long before today, as was his 2001 appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, to name a few drops in the bucket. But his joy, sincerity and warmth of personality left a mark that I am now surprised to find was so deep.
He was consistently open about his struggles with depression, addiction and alcoholism, and it sucks that some combination of those demons managed to overpower him, despite all the effort he put into fighting his battles and helping the rest of us fight our own. His approach to humor was so unusual among comics of this era: it was never based on cynicism or complaint, but rather, predominantly, on sharing the things that made him irrepressibly happy. He was such a transparently compassionate person that if he’d had any inkling of the outpouring of collective mourning that took place [last night], things might have gone another way.
I’ve never seen a larger or more visceral mass response to a celebrity death.
On Twitter alone, I follow close to 200 accounts, from a wide range of countries, cultures and sub-cultures, and I swear almost every single one came out of the woodwork, some of whom had been silent for years before tonight. And Twitter’s “trending” topics were completely dominated by subjects related to his life, career and death. It occurred to me that this might have to do with the fact that Robin Williams, whose filmography spans from Mork & Mindy (1978) to Night at the Museum (latest installment in post-production), is one of the few figures who looms just as large for my parents’ generation as he does for mine.
It’s really odd – I didn’t even consider myself a great fan of his, but he was a part of my life all the same, and this gutted emotional state I’m in is clear proof of that. I’ll miss him. Fuck depression.
Another points out:
If you weren’t already aware of it, I thought I would link to a WHO document [pdf] about responsible media coverage of suicide. I learned about it through this podcast. It’s being reported that Robin Williams killed himself, and celebrity suicides can cause a string of copycat suicides. How the suicide is reported can influence how many copycat suicides occur and this is true for famous and not famous alike. This is known as the Werther Effect. I’m not being critical of your coverage, but thought that you should be made aware of the WHO document.
Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It, discussed the Werther Effect and much more in her “Ask Anything” videos for the Dish. Meanwhile, as another reader notes, Robin Williams’ performance in Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy” music video has a dark irony this week:
A happier ending:
If you’ve never seen the standup bit of Robin Williams simulating cunnilingus, then you haven’t seen the full range of his comic genius. It makes my cheeks hurt from laughter every time I seen it (and might have a good tie-in with your recent coverage of hirsute men):
Another reader ties in another recent thread:
Last week I was going to send Williams’ and McFerrin’s version of “Come Together”, since it is one of my fave covers, but it didn’t seem quite outre enough. Now it’s a no brainer. No video, but it does have nice pictures of Robin:
And another touches upon another Dish theme:
You covered Robin Williams’ tragic, untimely death, but I think you failed to include a video that has him mentioning a number of favorite Dish topics, including Catholicism and gay marriage: