Ah, for real. Sad. In a world with so much tragedy it seems almost shameful to make a fuss over one man’s death. But Christ, he was one funny sonofabitch. And the world could certainly do with more laughter.
There’s a reason those comedy and tragedy masks hang around together.
Sadly so true. Seems whatever’s in the mind of these comic genius types is also something that’s easily grabbed by mental illness. Add in enough ready cash to indulge every whim, chemical or otherwise and it’s rarely a surprise when one of these folks turn up dead. I saw the guy a time or two live in LA back in my comedy-club daze at the Comedy Store. His improv stuff was the best – I still laugh when I think about the time he got heckled by two guys on opposite sides of the room. “Oooh, stereo assholes” was his retort. Bill Maher’s coming to Sioux City this week – I’ll be there. RIP Robin W.
Anybody ever read William Styron’s “Darkness Visible,” an account of his struggle with depression? I came to it through Jim Harrison, who wrote in “Midrange Road Kill” that he had had “five identifiable whoppers” (bouts of depression), adding that “once you get past the early stages you should literally turn yourself in for whatever professional help you can find or afford, because you can’t truncate the process by yourself, and simply living through it makes you vulnerable to suicide.”
Fame and fortune don’t mean shit to the truly depressed. Styron was in the middle of receiving the Prix Mondial Cino del Duca in Paris when an episode laid him low. He teetered on the edge of suicide, then rallied enough to have himself hospitalized.
I remember reading Styron on his depression – don’t know where- it was in the ’80s after I read “Sophie’s Choice”. I was very moved and thought he was brave to write and speak about his depression.
Thinking of a different writer, Jerzy Kosinski, I remember when he committed suicide. A child witness to unspeakable cruelty and atrocities, left for dead, he lived on, explaining grimly, (paraphrase), “I was left for dead, there is nothing alive to kill.” He did end his life in middle age. Was the emptiness too great or did he start to experience the unbearable pain of his witness.