With so much talk of death and mortality, it’s only natural that we’d want to pay tribute to those we’ve lost. Sometimes it’s hard not to compare our own struggles with those of people we’ve loved and admired, which can lead to some funny mental comparisons. Robin Williams’ unique brand of humour made it easy for us to recognize these moments of sadness and turn them into something to be grateful for. Here are a few of his priceless quotes that will give you the chills, and an appreciation for the comedic genius that was Robin Williams.
You Will Never Be As Famous As They Are
Robin Williams’ rise to fame was nothing short of extraordinary. Not only did he make a name for himself in Hollywood, but he became one of the most popular comedians of all time. He effortlessly combined physical comedy with emotional depth, creating a unique character that millions of people around the world loved to watch. It’s no surprise that he left such a lasting impression on fans, as he was one of the most generous and thoughtful comedians to ever live.
While he was undoubtedly incredibly successful, that didn’t stop him from being modest about his own talent. He was quick to credit others, especially those close to him, with helping him along the way. When it came to acting, he often attributed his success to his wife, Catherine. He said of her;
“I think if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have made it as an actor…She’s been my biggest supporter, and she’s helped me a lot with my work. I was very lucky to find her.”
The Importance Of Laughter
Robin Williams often said that laughter was the best medicine, and he certainly did a lot of laughing himself. Not only did he find joy in his work, but he encouraged others to do the same. When he found out that his friend and mentor Orson Welles had gone through a bad stage in his life, he told Welles that he should keep trying to find the happy medium between tragedy and comedy. It wasn’t until after this conversation that Welles found dramatic success with his 1941 play, The Old Man.
“I’ve always felt that there was something about laughter that was healing,” Williams said. “I think that nothing can take the place of laughter in helping you get through the day. It’s important to make people laugh. It helps them get through terrible things that happen in life.”
Even in the middle of a comedy set, he didn’t stop there. He’d often tell self-deprecating jokes and laugh with the audience. When he performed in front of a live audience, he often told them he was afraid they wouldn’t like what they heard and would hate him. After a few jokes, he’d always find something funny, and the audience would laugh. This is a testament to his remarkable sense of humor, and the fact that he could find the beauty in even the most absurd situations. He once said;
“Humor is a great equalizer. It cuts through all sorts of social barriers. You can be laughing with someone and not know who they are…It creates a common ground where there wasn’t one before. If someone makes you laugh, you can’t help but like them.”
Never Forgetting Where You Came From
Robin Williams wanted to become an actor, and he worked hard to make that happen. Over the years, he appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, getting critical acclaim and a handful of awards along the way. However, he wanted to stay true to himself and avoid being typecast as a comedian, so he turned down many high-paying jobs to pursue his dream of being an actor.
It wasn’t easy, but he eventually landed a role in the Broadway play, The Crucifer of Blood. Afterward, he was asked if he’d be interested in doing a movie with Mel Gibson. Williams said no thanks, but then later changed his mind and went ahead with the project. He ended up helping Gibson with some of his lines, and getting a small on-screen role in the process. While this wouldn’t become legendary, it was another step in the right direction for Robin Williams.
“I learned that if I wanted to do movies, I had to go where the jobs were, and that’s mostly in Pittsburgh,” he explained. “So I moved there and started working at a steel mill, which was quite a comedown from my upbringing. But it was a good training ground for being an actor.”
With all the talk of acting and learning, it’s important to point out that Robin Williams was always looking for new ways to grow as an individual and a professional. He was open to new ideas and never content with what he had, wanting to always be improving. He credited much of his success to his ability to learn.
“I’ve just kept on getting better and better at acting, and sometimes I wonder how I did it,” he said in 1991. “I mean, there was a point when I wasn’t that great. Now I am. I don’t know how I did it. It just kind of happened.”
He also credited much of his professional growth to the people around him. While he often felt that he was a lone wolf in terms of filmmaking, he acknowledged that he was supported by a team of people who helped him bring his vision to life. When he first started, he taught himself camera operating, editing, and sound recording, figuring that this was the best way to ensure that he got what he needed without any compromises. Even now, he said that if he ever has an idea for a movie, he’ll immediately reach out to the people around him, knowing that they’ll listen and help. This is one of the main reasons why his comedic style and brand of humour have endured for more than 75 years – he never stopped learning, and consistently kept improving.
“[Film is] a lifetime process for me,” he said in 1991. “I started in 1936, and I’ll be doing a play this fall that will be my 47th movie. Each new one is a chance to learn something new.”
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Robin Williams is how much he embraced technology and new ways of creating and distributing content. He was one of the first celebrities to have an on-line store, which sold everything from T-shirts to vintage vinyl records. He also encouraged people to learn more about computers and the internet, often performing online chats and even teaching his fans how to use Photoshop. He even went so far as to build his own YouTube channel, where he’d show off his comedy tricks, musical performances, and even answer questions from his fans.
The Importance Of Friendship
One of the things that made Robin Williams great was the quality and quantity of his friendships. Unlike many celebrities, he made friends with a wide variety of individuals, having developed deep and lasting connections with people from all walks of life. Even after he became famous, he continued his pattern of making friends with those he found interesting, and often took time out of his schedule to meet with fans and those who’d supported him throughout his career. These are the people he cared about, and tried to make sure were taken care of.
When he was asked about his legacy, he said that he’d like people to remember him as a comedian. However, he also wanted others to learn from his life and be better people for it. In many of his comedy specials, he’d make fun of how ridiculous our obsession with money was, but he’d also show moments of compassion, as when he performed for the Special Olympics, where he encouraged the kids to keep their smiles. He wanted his legacy to be a positive one, and he accomplished just that.