Keeping laughter and love in your heart

If there wasn’t out-and-out falling on the floor laughter and a genuine love for humanity before Robin Williams made his debut in heaven last week, there is now.

In an interview with James Lipton on “The Actor’s Studio,” Williams told Lipton he hoped there would be seating near the front if he made it to the pearly gates.

“If heaven exists, just to know there’s laughter,” Williams said during the interview about his hopes.

There is no doubt in my mind Williams has ‘em rolling in the aisles. I can almost imagine the Johns of the world – Johnny Carson, John Candy, Jonathan Winters, John Ritter – applauding and laughing as Williams ran one-liners past Jesus.

But there was so much more than jokes when it came to Williams and his characters’ wisdom.

As Professor John Keating in the film “Dead Poet’s Society,” Williams extolled the virtues of “friendship, honor, discipline and excellence.” From everything I’ve read and watched about Williams, he exhibited those characteristics in nearly everything he did during his 63 years on Earth.

In “Dead Poet’s Society,” Williams’ character dared his students to walk a new path and “suck the marrow out of life.”

Williams did. And without dwelling on how he crossed over this past week, he made an impression on my life and the lives of everyone around the world who needed a good laugh or a reminder of what really matters most in life.

In the television series “Mork and Mindy,” the sci-fi comedy that launched Williams’ career in 1978, his character Mork, from the planet Ork, was sent to Earth from a planet where humor was forbidden. That notion seems virtually impossible for a man who had Williams’ sense of humor and comedic timing. No wonder he was banned from Ork!

In one episode, Williams talked to his alien leader Orson and told him, “I made a friend.” Orson replied, “Now your friend is gone?”

Williams’ character shook his head and responded in a sweet, innocent manner by saying, “I’ll always keep him right here,” indicating his heart.

Nanu Nanu (or “good-bye” in Orkin alien lingo), Robin. You are a friend who may be gone, but will never be forgotten.

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Lisa Ann Capozzi, features and education reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or lcapozzi@thegardenisland.com.

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