Comedy, like drama, comes from the clash of personalities and ideas.
The 1970ssitcom, Mork & Mindy (1978-1982) took this basic idea and stretched it into new directions. Mork (the late Robin Williams in one of his first major roles) is an alien who is sent to Earth to study humanity and report back to his superiors. Renting a room from Mindy (Pam Dawber), the culture clash, the difference in perspective, and Mork’s charming innocence makes for classic television that will never get old.
I remember watching reruns of this show as a kid and laughing, but not quite getting all of the references. Now, as an adult, I get it and I love it. Mindy is to Dean Martin as Mork is to Jerry Lewis. Mork’s naivete, out the left-field references, and complete lack of cynicism perfectly conflicts with Mindy’s realism and understanding of the world around her. If nothing else, this series cemented Williams’s on-screen persona that has kept the audience laughing for decades.
Robin Williams was one of the most remarkable performers of our time. When he took his life in 2014, his passing created a hole in our culture that will never be filled.
Earlier this year, Dave Itzkoff published Robin, a biography of the late star.
Robin Williams was a walking contradiction. He was a performer who could make audiences laugh and cry at the same time. He played iconic characters in Mork & Mindy, Aladdin, Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs. Doubtfire. But not even those remarkable performances could mask years of dealing with the triple demons of addiction, self-esteem and mental illness.
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed because when put Hollywood celebrities on a pedestal, we forget that they are still human beings who deal with the same issues that all human beings deal with.