When Robin Williams announced his Australian tour in 2010, my parents were quick to jump online and book the best seats they could secure for the whole family. They’d grown up with Mork and Mindy, whereas I had grown up with Mrs Doubtfire, Aladdin, Patch Adams, Jumanji and even Flubber.
How many comedians and actors have managed to stay funny and relevant for so long and win fans across several generations?
Even on his 2010 tour, he was tackling American politics with a searing, sharp edge. How many artists could trigger the spectacular outpouring of tributes that are flowing in today on all corners of the internet?
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When comedy turns to tragedy
The demon that drove Robin Williams
Robin Williams’ wisecracks and wisdom
Daily Review has already paid tribute to Williams’ greatest stand-up moments, but here’s our pick of the iconic characters he bought to life and everything they taught us.
Mrs Doubtfire – Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire
What he/she taught us: The true value of family, how to cope as a child with feuding parents, how to fake a full face of make-up with just cake icing and how to pass off an entire meal of takeaway as your own cooking.
Mork & Mindy – Mork
What he taught us: How to phone home using just our minds, that TV cross-overs can be cool.
Good Will Hunting – Dr. Sean Maguire
What he taught us: Sometimes tough love is best, funny guys can win Oscars.
One Hour Photo – Seymour “Sy” Parrish
What he taught us: The intricate art of stalking, that Robin Williams is a seriously, creepily talented actor.
Patch Adams – Hunter “Patch” Adams
What he taught us: That laughter really is the best medicine, how to make a splash at a graduation ceremony.
Aladdin – Genie
What he taught us: The meaning of friendship, the consequences of our wishes, that Robin Williams can do more hilarious voices in a 90-minute movie than most of us manage in a lifetime.
The Birdcage – Armand Goldman
What he taught us: That you can combine the choreography of Bob Fosse, Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, Michael Kidd, and Madonna in one 10 second sequence.
Dead Poets Society – John Keating
What he taught us: “They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – Carpe – hear it? – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”
This article was first published on The Daily Review.
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