The very best of Robin WilliamsComment on this story
Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an stand-up comedian and actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times, and won for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Good Will Hunting. He also received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards. He rose to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy (1978–1982). He then went on to establish himself in the film world, starring in such acclaimed movies as The World According to Garp (1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), The Fisher King (1991), Good Will Hunting (1997) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).
Williams was ranked #13 on Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time.
Below are some of his funniest, and most profound, musings on the world as he saw it.
On How He Started: I left school and couldn't find acting work, so I started going to clubs where you could do stand-up. I've always improvised, and stand-up was this great release. All of a sudden, it was just me and the audience.
On Traffic: Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?
On Women: If women ran the world we wouldn't have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
Women! Can't live with 'em, can't live with 'em!
On Reality: Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
On God: Do you think God gets stoned? I think so… look at the platypus.
On Sobriety: After I quit drinking, I realized I am the same asshole I always was; I just have fewer dents in my car.
On Fashion: Men wearing pants so tight that you can tell what religion they are.
On Sex: Is it rude to Twitter during sex? To go “omg, omg, wtf, zzz”? Is that rude?
On Ugly People: Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they've got nothing to lose.
On Divorce: Ah, yes, divorce... from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet.
On the Battle of the Sexes: A woman would never make a nuclear bomb. They would never make a weapon that kills, no, no. They'd make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while.
On the Arts: We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering - these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love - these are what we stay alive for.
Some of his best film lines ...
"Nanu Nanu" – Williams' extra-terrestrial greeting from hit television show "Mork & Mindy"
"Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, 'Wonderful. Just have a back-up profession like welding.'" – Williams pays tribute to his father in his 1998 Oscar acceptance speech for "Good Will Hunting".
"You're not perfect, sport. And let me save you the suspense, this girl you've met, she's not perfect either. The question is whether or not you are perfect for each other" – Williams' character Sean Maguire offers relationship advice in "Good Will Hunting".
"It's all part and parcel of the whole genie gig: phenomenal cosmic powers, itty bitty living space" – Williams as the Genie of the Lamp in Disney's 1992 hit "Aladdin."
"Goooooooood morning, Vietnaaaam!" – Williams as motormouth armed forces DJ Adrian Cronauer in "Good Morning, Vietnam".