Remembering Robin Williams

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.
— Robin Williams (bless him)

Yesterday, the world lost a little bit of their childhood as Robin Williams passed away at age 63, in what is being reported as a suicide. It shook the whole world as Robin was chiefly recognized as one of the funniest actors/comedians ever. Someone who can change his voice, mannerisms, and delivery in an instant to have us crying from laughter and someone who can deliver a piercing, serious, and emotional performance to have us just crying.

In the immediate hours after the news broke yesterday evening, you’d be hard pressed to find someone not sharing their favorite Robin Williams movie or stand-up moment on social media — all of which paying homage to an entertainer that deeply touched so many lives. I embarked on as many clips and quotes as I could, with each heart-warming story and personal memory temporarily impeding the overarching, heart-wrenching feeling of his passing. I have curated a few of my favorites below, leading off with a Robin Williams hip hop connection as Questlove recalls his chance first meeting with Williams in an elevator.

In the wake of his transition, we can at least recall our own impactful memories, stories, and if we were lucky enough to meet him, his kind and gentle soul. Hopefully too, share more knowledge and awareness about depression to help save lives. #RIPRobinWilliams

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Man. The smallest gesture can mean the world to you. Robin Williams made such an impact on me and didn’t even know it. He named checked all of us in the elevator during the 2001 Grammys. I know y’all think I do this false modesty/T Swift “gee shucks” thing to the hilt. But yeah sometimes when you put 20 hour days in you do think it’s for naught and that it goes thankless. Grammy time is somewhat of a dark time simply because you just walk around asking yourself is it worth it or not: all the sweat and blood. I just felt like (despite winning grammy the year before) no one really cares all that much for us except for a select few. Especially in that environment I’m which people treat you like minions until they discover what you can do for them…if you’re not a strong character you run the risk of letting it get to you. This particular Sunday we were walking backstage and had to ride the elevator to the backstage area and we piled inside when suddenly this voice just said “questlove…..black thought….rahzel….the roots from Philadelphia!!!! That’s right you walked on this elevator saying to yourself “ain’t no way this old white dude knows my entire history and discography”….we laughed so hard. That NEVER happened to is before. Someone a legend acknowledged us and really knew who we were (his son put him on to us) man it was a small 2 min moment in real life but that meant the world to me at the time. Everytime I saw him afterwards he tried to top his trivia knowledge on all things Roots associated. Simply because he knew that meant everything to me. May his family find peace at this sad time. I will miss Robin Williams. #RIP.

– Questlove



Robin Williams on Conan (who found out about his death on air)

A heartfelt tribute from Marc Maronlisten to their 2010 perception-changing interview.