DC Trawler

Robin Williams Made It Okay To Be Weird

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Not just okay. He made it cool.

Let’s say you’re a kid growing up in the ’70s. One night you’re watching your favorite show, on one of the three channels you can get on your TV with a dial on the front. Some of the numbers on the dial are worn down from years of turning, which you always do too fast — CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK!! — and your mom always yells at you. But you’re not about to jump up and change the channel tonight, because this is happening:

The next day at school, he’s all anybody can talk about. Did you see Mork? I can talk like Mork. Mork should have his own show!

An eternity later, six whole months, he does.

After a few years, Robin Williams breaks into movies and leaves Mork behind. As you get older, you start to outgrow him. He starts to outgrow his old self. But there’s always that little kid in the back of your mind who can’t think of him without being grateful. When you needed it most, he made it a little easier to be a weirdo, an outsider. To be yourself.

I’m not going to condemn Williams for what he did. I’m not going to wonder how someone who made so many people happy could feel so alone. That’s not how it works. I’m incredibly sad, but frankly, I’m not all that surprised. He was a genius, and that comes with a price.

RIP, Robin Williams. Shazbot.

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Jim Treacher