Archive for August, 2014

The Day the Laughter Died
August 14, 2014

Of course everyone is fascinated with the death of Robin Williams. The tragic reality of all this is that this great comedian, possibly the greatest, has done the one thing he tried to spare us from. That is, he made us feel sad.

The world has enough sad. I think that is why comedians are so desperately needed in this world. The George Carlins, the Bill Cosbys, the Richard Pryors, and lets go way back,  Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jonathan Winters, Carol Burnette, the great comedians all brought us to a place of being disengaged from this crazy world for a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours.

I heard someone say that all comedians have a dark side, demons that they fight, and this causes the great comedy they produce. I also heard that Seth Myers said that you don’t have to have those demons to be a truly great comedian. I agree.

Robin Williams suffered from depression. If you look at the drug abuse of John Belushi, Chris Farley, and others who have died from an overdose, I’m sure they were self medicating their depression. And I understand also that Robin was raised Episcopalian and others said he became atheist. I would be suicidal too if it wasn’t for Christ. This world is nuts.

The point, the tragic reality, the painful bright spotlight that his death has caused to shine on is that our enjoyment of life is not based on others making us happy or our trying to make others happy. 

I have worked in the mental health/drug and alcohol field for thirty years. I have yet to fully understand the magnitude of depression. I have yet to get a grip on the depressed feeling that causes one to kill themselves, or at least attempt to. I have yet to lose hope that life will get better. I have yet to understand also how people use the depression to excuse their behaviors. I have yet to feel insignificant in someone’s life.

When Robin died, Jack died. The Genie died. Peter Pan died. Popeye died. And all this comedic genius that portrayed these characters died. And it left us with the thought, “how could this guy who made so much laughter now cause so much pain in others”?

But see, that’s what we think about in these times. We think not so much what he did to himself, but look what he did to me. And when we think about it, what did he do to us that would make us so mad?

He took with him some of our innocence of our childhood. And we can never get it back.