Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams. As real as it's going to be.

Look, over the next week or two there will be hundreds of thousands of words written about Robin Williams. There will be remembrances of all kinds. There will be mindless segments on every TV show that has an intern willing to write some copy. There will be countless think-pieces published about him. Robin Williams will be on magazine covers that will subtly evoke a sad clown.

And, most of the pieces written about him will focus on the deep and all too common connection between creativity and an inner life out of balance. There will also be some hand wringing and rhetorical questions about drugs, whiskey, heart attacks and the friends Williams kept in the early days.

Which is all well and good, but there’s so much more to him than all that. Really. Go to the source: the man speaking about himself. No, not clips of him putting on a dog and pony show for civilians like Barbara Walters… instead listen to the man having a real conversation. A conversation with the prickly, brilliant, and sometimes maddening Marc Maron.

Maron is a skilled interviewer and he’s no civilian. The hour he spends with Robin Williams is raw, contradictory and heart-breaking. If you’re actually curious about what was going on in there, this episode of WTF is a good place to start.