Robin Williams is dead. Long Live Robin Williams!
Robin Williams is dead, and the world mourns. Though his filmography is full of more dreck that genius, it’s the genius that remains, and the genius that we will miss. What makes Williams such a draw was his wonderfully adept comic personality. Like Jim Carrey, he makes sudden, impetuous, spastic comedy seem easy. Also like Carrey, his occasional leanings to drama work well, illustrating serious dramatic chops can arise from the passioned impersonations of a man. Williams will likely be remembered most as an actor more than a comedian, but his comedic abilities allowed for his later dramatic career to succeed.
Though the man has left some memorable performances, none is more significant than his role as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin. Not only are his wonderful impersonations perfectly augmented by the animation, but it paved the way for many a copy cat hack (see Quest for Camelot, which apes Genie’s pop culture jokes without the talent.) Along with Quentin Tarantino, the Genie character made pop culture references the new vogue in film. This trend still lingers, a false phantom of Williams’ greatness that perhaps only in death to we again realize.