There are very few people who can do certain things well and even fewer that can do them so great it puts them on a whole another level. You often wonder what makes them tick, how they work, and where they get their inspiration from. They will always leave you wondering because sometimes even they don’t know. Asking a genius what makes them a genius is a difficult question to answer for the listener asked because sometimes they do not even feel that they count as a genius, yet in everyone’s eyes they are. Michael Jackson never thought of himself as a musical genius or legend because he would often compare himself to all the greats before him and say that he would never be as great as they were but as the whole world knew, he was truly a legend like no other.
When I heard the news that the world lost another important soul in this world, it was very hard to take. Very few people can do what this person did. He could take a simple idea and turn it into something amazing. Many people said that he thought faster than the speed of light because he would be onto so many different things that you had trouble trying to keep up with the last few things he said but everything he said was hilarious and it made you feel good about yourself knowing that there was a man like him in this world.
When the US experienced it’s attack on the twin towers the whole country went into mourning. No one had ever felt so down about what had happened and the number of lives that were lost. All the programming on TV had been changed to reflect the mood that Americans’ were feeling. The hardest TV show to deal with this tragedy was Saturday Night Live, the producer of the show, Lorne Michaels, was looked to by the cast to figure out if they should do a show or not the following saturday after the attacks. He knew that the show had to go on because if it didn’t where would everyone turn to too make them laugh? That episode after the attacks was hard to watch because even the cast members were still dealing with their own personal grief, they knew they had to do their best to show that the world kept moving forward. They made sure also to not step on any sore subjects.
The show progressed but it took awhile for it to come back to where it was and the ratings at the time didn’t fare so well but they pulled through. Through all the pain and suffering though there was one man who said that the US needed to know it was ok to laugh again. He created this amazing show and toured many cities in the US before taping what many now know as his “Live on Broadway” performance. For anyone that has watched it the show is absolutely hilarious (and if you haven’t I put it down below for you to enjoy his wonder talent). His talent on earth was to make people laugh and he did it in everything he talked about and the movies he starred in, both the funny and heart-warming ones. If laughter was currency he would be the world’s richest man.
His movies were amazing and there is one story I will always remember. When I was a teenager I had a acting performance I was about to give. My uncle had taken me to go see a movie of his that came out at the time because he told him it would be great for me to see the performance of an amazing actor before I was to go and act. He took me to go see “The Birdcage” and it has since been one of my favorite movies. I have never forgotten that experience watching that movie for the first time. Infact every time I watch that movie I want to move to South beach and live there. He made it look like so much fun. If you have never seen that movie go watch it and realize this was a man who could take any role and make it great. Then again, this was a man who got into Julliard because of his talents for performing. They put up a photo of him in honor of being a graduate form there.
The movie he did on the doctor who used humor to provided free care to patients is another great movie of his. I even got to meet the real Patch Adam’s once and even got to give the man a great big bear hug because that is how the real Patch Adams liked to meet people. He was never fond of the regular hand shake he said. They say that laughter is the best medicine, in that case Robin was the best doctor the world has lost.
There are so many movies and TV shows of Robin that I enjoyed watching that it is just so hard to pick just one. I remember watching Mrs. Doubtfire so many times when it came out that I knew ever part of that movie by heart. Today I now tell kids about it and watch it with them to show what an amazing comic genius he was. I even read the book that inspired the movie. It was a very fun read. I think that every film he made left some kind of impression on me and that is what kept me going in telling jokes. I enjoy doing stand-up comedy and enjoy making people laugh. It’s not easy but when you can get someone to laugh it’s the best feeling in the world so I understand why he pushed so hard to make people laugh.
I realize this post is not about business or entrepreneurship but if you look closely, everything that business and this world is based on is built on the people that affect our lives; it all comes down to the relationships we have with people. They don’t necessarily have to be people we’ve met but the ones that inspire us and that is what Robin Williams did for so many in this world. He really taught us how to laugh, not only at our selves but in general. They say that getting someone to cry is hard through a performance but the real challenge lies in trying to get someone to laugh and that is what made him a genius and legend in his own right. He will be missed. Thanks for all the laughs and tears of joy. I’m sorry I never got to meet you.
I was going to include the full interview he did on Inside the Actors’ Studios but they have since taken it down from Youtube which is terrible because he really gave a great interview but I did include one clip from the interview. I did include the full show of his performance for Live on Broadway which is the one he did after the attacks and then his second stand-up performance he did later on. If you have never seen it, take the time now to experience what he gave to the world. I also included a few of his other performances.
20/20 Special The Life and Death of Robin Williams
Link to Full Episode
Live on Broadway (2002)
Weapons of Self-Destruction (2011)
Inside the Actors Studio – Robin Williams
An Evening with Robin Williams
Live at the Roxy (1978)
Robin Williams on Whose Line Is It?
An Interview that showed Robin like he was behind the scenes
Robin on Inside the Actors’ Studio
Howard Stern Pays Tribute to Robin Williams