Robin Williams performs a whirlwind accent marathon – Hysterical !

Robin Williams performs a whirlwind accent marathon – Hysterical !

Although Robin Williams was first recognized as a stand-up comedian and television star, he later became known for acting in film roles of substance and serious drama. He was considered a “national treasure” by many in the entertainment industry and by the public.

His on-stage energy and improvisational skill became a model for a new generation of stand-up comedians. Many comedians valued the way he worked highly personal issues into his comedy routines, especially his honesty about drug and alcohol addiction, along with depression. According to media scholar Derek A. Burrill, because of the openness with which Williams spoke about his own life, “probably the most important contribution he made to pop culture, across so many different media, was as Robin Williams the person.”

Williams’ unusual free-form style of comedy became so identified with him that new comedians imitated him. Jim Carrey impersonated his Mork character early in his own career. Williams’s high-spirited style has been credited with paving the way for the growing comedy scene which developed in San Francisco. Young comedians felt more liberated on stage by seeing Williams’s spontaneous style: “one moment acting as a bright, mischievous child, then as a wise philosopher or alien from outer space.” According to Judd Apatow, Williams’s rapid-fire improvisational style was an inspiration as well as an influence for other comedians, however, his talent was unique enough that no one else tried to copy it.

Director Chris Columbus, who directed Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, says that watching him work “was a magical and special privilege. His performances were unlike anything any of us had ever seen, they came from some spiritual and otherworldly place.”

Looking over most of Williams’ films, Alyssa Rosenberg at The Washington Post was “struck by the breadth of Williams’ roles”, and how radically different most were, writing that “Williams helped us grow up.”

Everybody in America Loved Robin Williams

Everybody Loves America

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