A Hickey on the Neck of Life

Hello, everyone.  Ryan here.  I wanted to take a little time out from our usual tomfoolery to honor the life and work of Robin Williams.

There are millions of funny people in the world.  Not one of them was ever or will ever be anything like Robin.  He was a million miles above the pack – somewhere out in space – at a level of style and versatility that I doubt we’ll ever see again.  Everything he did was original.  Everything he did was him.  

I remember my first time hearing A Night at the Met.  Simply put, I was blown away.  I had never heard anything so funny.  Here was a guy taking these huge, fearless swings at everything and knocking the hide off the ball every time.  I couldn’t believe it.  I wanted to be funny like that, but I knew I couldn’t be.  I grew up reading The Far Side, Bloom County, and Calvin and Hobbes and listening to Bill Cosby on tape.  These shaped my humor because they were what I aspired to.  They seemed attainable.  I thought, “I can pull that off.  I can be as funny as that.”  But I knew there was no aspiring to Robin Williams.  He was so bravely himself and his energy was so unique that I knew trying to live up to it would only leave me feeling bad about myself.  There’s just no way to be that funny or that interesting unless you were Robin Williams.

I don’t know what happened.  He must have been in terrible pain.  His loss is a tremendous shame, and so is the fact that he struggled the way he must have.  He deserved every last bit of admiration he got – from fans who loved his work to co-stars who loved working with him – and that’s why we’re going to remember him so fondly.  It’s why we’ll miss him so much.

As Mork, Robin Williams said he wanted to be “a hickey on the neck of life.”  This has incredible power for me.  He didn’t want to be a black eye or a cigarette burn.  He didn’t want to be a scar.  He wanted to be a suck mark left in the throes of passion.  He wanted to be a mark of love so livid and telling that we’d be embarrassed by it – as embarrassed as we were excited to receive it.  In this, he undoubtedly succeeded.

Thank you, Robin Williams, for your love, your zeal, and your little spark of madness.  You have made our lives that much more extraordinary.

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