Robin Williams was a great actor – his performance in Dead Poets Society won me over for reading poetry when not a single teacher could do it (and I had some pretty amazing teachers).  Even if I don’t rank it as highly as I used to, this is still one of my favorite films to watch and one of my absolute favorite endings (which is saying a lot given how much I can’t stand Ethan Hawke).  It moves me like few other scenes in film history do, partially because of the music, partially because I had a teacher that meant that much to me (she was my teacher at the time the film came out) and partially because of Williams’ heart-felt performance and how much his character really loves poetry.  It’s one of many great performances (I would say his best is The Fisher King).

But, he was an even better comedian – possibly my favorite stand-up ever.  And the clip below highlights it.  It’s not from his peak years.  But it’s great recent material and the ending is appropriate.  I had a friend in college who pointed out to me how much Robin Williams looks like Bono.  In 1997, I saw Bono from about 15 feet away at the U2 concert in Eugene, when he came down the runway.  In 2007, I saw Robin Williams from about 15 feet away when he came into Borders on a Friday night, about 15 minutes before Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward did.  It’s mostly in the nose, but they really did look a lot alike.

The world is a lot less funny today.

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