Get Better Soon

The Core Belief

Today I’d like to offer some thoughts about a guy from the neighborhood in which I grew up.  He needs a new aorta valve and is due to undergo open-heart surgery in he next few hours/days.

His name is Robin Williams.

In 1979, I followed the hype surrounding the then hit TV series Mork & Mindy, which pushed me into buying Robin Williams’ stand-up record entitled Reality… What A Concept.  Scatological, untamed and wildly funny, I’m am still shocked my Mother actually allowed me to not only buy but also to listen to the LP.  During the sketch ‘Kindergarten of the Stars,’ Williams did a spot on imitation of Truman Capote claiming to be Truman Capote Jr.  Needless to say, I found that voice to be hysterically funny and asked if this Capote guy had children.  “There will never be a Truman Capote Jr.,” Mother told me.  I nodded and pretended to understand.  The other big plus was that my Old Man hated it.

Three years later, the whole family went to see Moscow on the Hudson.  The movie, a drama set in New York, which follows the life of a Soviet musician after he defects during a tour of the US.    The actual defection scene takes place in Bloomingdale’s, which led my father to grab my shoulder and announce loudly “See kid?  All we have to do to beat the fucking Russians is drop parcels with chocolates, nylons and Playboy in every piece of shit Soviet city with a note attached that reads “All this and more could be yours if you kick the commies out.  Trust me, the Cold War would be over in a matter of weeks.  This Williams guy gets it”

Dad never had a sense of humor, let alone irony.

My brothers and I have followed Williams’ career since he debuted as Mork from Ork on Happy Days back in 1978.  In the intervening 31 years, he has made my cry, laugh, howl and think.

Get better soon Robin, I can’t wait to see your next one man show.


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