|Mork from Ork, still one of Williams most enduring and endearing characters.|
I don’t usually go in for the whole celebrity-eulogizing but I was watching the “Pioneers in Television: Remembrance of Robin Williams” and it reminded me of what a singular talent he was. From his early standup through his academy award winning performances to his humanitarian work Robin Williams one of the truly wonderful souls. Many of us know of his trips to Afganistan and ALL of us remember Comic Relief, but it is one little known thing that I want to mention here.
My brief encounter with Robin happened at a traffic light on Van Ness Blvd. I was driving north when I stopped at a red light in my Jeep with the top down. There was a loud kerfuffle behind me with shouting and someone was getting out of their car in traffic. A quick glance in the rear view showed someone running up beside me. Now I admit my first thought was carjacking but the guy was not on the right side for that. It was then I notice in the car next to me, smiling his crooked smile, and shaking hands with the rogue pedestrian was Mr. Williams himself. I looked at him with dawning recognition. He just nodded at me, shrugged to say "Yup it's me", and waved. However that is not what I to talk about.
The under publicized event that I want to talk about happened on September 11th 13 years ago. After the tragic events of that day a lot of people wanted to do… something, anything. Even as far removed as San Francisco CA we wanted to help. For many, as it turned out a great many, that desire to help culminated in a desire to donate blood. Now I handled it by organizing a mobile blood truck to come out to my work site. But for Robin Williams he showed up to the San Francisco Red Cross where he found thousands of people had arrived ahead of him. For most this would have meant standing on line or going home. Robin could have used his name to jump the line, do what he’d come to do and go home. He chose to exercise another option, and fall back on what he does best. For the next 20 hours Robin William proceeded to entertain those giving souls on that line at that donation center. Long beyond the point of his voice giving out he “riffed” and improvised like crazy bringing a little light to a few solid citizens on a very dark day indeed.
Few, but those who were there, know this story and I thought that today would be a good day to share this with those of us that morn the loss of a true comic genius and a great human being.
Now, if you have the time, here is one of the greatest episodes of "Inside the Actors Studio" of all time.