I know he suffered from depression ... maybe similar to how I suffer from depression. I know he was battling addiction, and whatever demons lurked behind it ... maybe similar to how I suffer from addiction and its attending demons. I guess I shouldn't be surprised when someone who's dealing with all that decides to quit ... maybe similar to how I've wanted to quit so many times over the last 4 decades.
But dammit, Mork! Why now? Why you?
Robin Williams is probably the 8th funniest person I've ever seen, behind only George Carlin and the Pythons. Maybe even 1st funniest on a good day. I've been splitting a gut watching him since he first showed up on Happy Days lo these many years ago.
And I've also been fighting the demons of depression and addiction for at least that long. And I'm trying to hang in there. And Williams isn't that much older than I am. And while a lot of my current angst has to do with jobs and money, I suspect he didn't have those same worries (I hope he didn't).
But if he can quit — if one of the most talented comedians who's brought so much joy to so many can decide it's all not worth it — then what happens next time the "it's all not worth it" thought flits through my brain?
I'm very sad. And I'm scared. And I hope we can all talk about how someone who Seemed To Have It All could feel that low, and about how so many others who don't seem to have it all must be feeling that low, too.
All I can think of now is that classic joke, and the only decent telling of it I can quickly google is from Rorschach in the film Watchmen:
I heard a joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says, "But doctor... I am Pagliacci." Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.