A Stand Up Man

It is hard to believe Robin Williams is gone.

The man was positively brilliant! Many would never believe Mork from “Mork and Mindy” fame would go on to become an Oscar-winning actor. But that is exactly what Williams did. His roles in later movies where he excelled at comedy where really funny, but he was absolutely phenomenal in his comedic-drama roles, such as Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs. Doubtfire.

And then, there were his serious roles. Williams was intense as a character actor playing roles in The Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King, and Good Will Hunting.

Many admired Williams for his quick mind and wonderful humor. Many more admired his charity work. Like Bob Hope before him, Williams spent much time entertaining military troops in places where most Americans would not care to go.

But Williams did.

The man was genius at improvisation. I have often wondered what is in his brain. He must have a huge mind because no matter the situation, he could make up something funny about it on the spot.

As an example of the man’s intellect, in 2007 when Williams was entertaining the troops at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Williams was thrown a curve ball in the middle of his soliloquy. As he was speaking to the troops and they were laughing their butts off (as only you would do at a Robin Williams performance), suddenly every soldier shut up, stopped laughing, stood up, did an about face to the stage and Williams, and stood at attention.

Williams, not really knowing what was going on, had the great sense of mind to mimic the actions of the soldiers. It was then he learned it was out of respect for the flag, which the soldiers were lowering. I miss those days when I was in the Navy; all the traffic on base would stop, military members would stand at attention, and we would all pay respect to the flag we were there protecting.

I think this is why this clip of the event is one of my favorite memories of Robin Williams.

Found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD9QAAEfQEA

©2014 J. Clark

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