Robin Williams was a giant among men. A super nova in a galaxy of stars.
He was on my bucket list to see doing stand-up for decades, and a couple of years ago I got to tick that one off the list when I saw him perform in Sydney. The passing years and the fact that he no longer drank, and no longer powered his performances with enough cocaine to sink a battleship, had slowed down his delivery, his near supersonic patter. Tempering his performance to a more measured, human level. But he was still Robin Williams. Still the greatest stand up comedian on the planet. And though I never met him, I will miss him now he has gone.
And tonight I shall watch 'Dead Poets Society' again in his honour. A film that touched me so deeply when I first saw it in a cinema in Hindley Street, Adelaide, all those years ago, that as the credits rolled, I fled the cinema, tears balling down my cheeks, and it took my girlfriend at the time, Monica, several minutes to catch up with me. So moved was I by what Robin's character had been saying during the movie - words that could've come directly from my own mouth - that I was overwhelmed by emotion, and blanked everything out, forgetting even that I was seated in the cinema next to my partner.
That was the power of Robin Williams. He had the ability to make us laugh, to make us cry. To make us want to be better than we are.
Carpe Diem, Robin. You're making the angels laugh now.