We live in a magical time of media. On an evening when deeply sad news strikes from the entertainment world we can instantly transport back to the Best of Robin Williams. Youtube is a treasure trove of memories of some of his great performances. People posting on Twitter are doing the digging for you by linking to both the popular and the lesser known performances.
You can re-live the rapid fire comedic genius of Williams playing comedy clubs early in his career. You can enjoy the spontaneity of his late night television appearances with Johnny Carson and David Letterman. You can view clips of his dozens of films. Some made us laugh like "Mrs. Doubtfire". Others touched our hearts and minds like "Dead Poets Society" or his Oscar winning performance in "Good Will Hunting".
The instant availability of recordings of Robin Williams work softens the blow for those who appreciated his talent, but were not personally close to him. Family and friends will feel the sting for a long time to come. For the rest of us our ability to appreciate his singular talent remains alive on film, video and the written word.
Tonight I tracked down reviews from the hundreds who saw Williams perform at Syracuse's Landmark Theatre in November of 2009. They described him as on-fire and electrified. They gave him credit for researching Syracuse and poking some fun at us. Some 35 years after Robin Williams hit the national scene he was still killing it live on stage. The grand old theatre was live for nearly two hours that night. People said they left with pains in their stomach, chest and sides from laughing so hard.
It is hard to believe someone who could so easily make us laugh could have such sadness inside that led to him taking his life. That can be the nature of depression and mental health issues.
As Robin Williams is remembered take a moment to click around on your smartphone, iPad or desktop. Watch some of that talent at work. He was incredible from the very start.
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