Friday, August 15, 2014


Robin Williams didn’t so much make me laugh as marvel open-mouthed at the lightning-fast intelligence behind the wit and the perfectly matched gestures. You can see him thinking, comparing, concluding and performing while vacuuming in everything around him through those intelligent blue eyes.

Animation and Robin Williams were made for each other as you can see in this fabulous ALADDIN number animated by Eric Goldberg. The art was inspired by Al Herschfeld’s lyrical lines visible in the curled fingers of the Genie on the right --> and the  actual Herschfeld drawing below. Williams and Disney had a falling-out over the promotion of ALADDIN and he refused to do the voice of the Genie in any subsequent projects, his voice being replaced by the wonderful Dan Castellaneta of Homer Simpson fame.

Here’s the young Robin Williams performing in 1977: the remarks to the audience and crew are particularly biting but without malice, leaving everyone laughing in his dust.

I once saw him walking up Madison Avenue, his face lit up in the crowd, his little red cheeks radiating beams of bliss, reveling in the turned heads and admiration that followed him up the street. For those of us who didn’t know him personally, he’ll always be here in his videos and films, making us laugh and marvel at his talent.


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