Robin Williams was a vastly important part of my growing-up years. Each night as a baby and toddler I watched Hook, with a rattle on each ankle and my body covered in sticky melted Popsicle. Visiting Grammy consisted of many traditions; one of the most important being a viewing of Mrs. Doubtfire. Aladdin was on quite often, and I played Disney’s Math Quest with Aladdin for far longer than I care to admit. I saw Night at the Museum just for Robin Williams. I have the episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio with Robin Williams on tape because I know it will always, always make me laugh. My old next-door neighbor, a former music business exec, talked about how getting lunch with Robin Williams was one of the “kookiest things ever” (and this was a guy who dealt with Mick Jagger in his heyday). For my eighteenth birthday, I was surprised with tickets to go see the comedian live. That was the first time that I actually hurt myself laughing: I was doubled over, laugh-crying, my ribs hitting the ground as I curled up in the fetal position. The line that got me after two hours of stand up and getting him to come back for an encore? “The definition of pornography is quite simple: Erotic is using a feather, pornography is using the entire chicken.”
It’s been 65 years since Robin McLaurin Williams first blessed this planet with his presence, and it seems that all of us across the globe miss him. The Rainbow Tunnel from the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County is in the process of being named the Robin Williams Tunnel to honor the many years he lived there, as well as his signature Mork suspenders. I know several families (mine included) that celebrate Robin Williams’ birthday at their home with movies, laughter, and love. For us at Sweatpants & Coffee to commemorate his wonderful life (and ease us of some of the pain of life without him), we’ve assembled our favorite Robin Williams quotes from movies, standup, and everyday life. Some are heartwarming, some are insightful, but nearly all of them will give you a good solid belly laugh.
Genie: I’m free. I’m free! Quick! Quick! Wish for something outrageous! Say, “I, I want the Nile.” Wish for the Nile. Try that!
Aladdin: Uh… I wish for the Nile.
Genie: No way! [laughs] Oh, does that feel good!
- As Genie in Aladdin
“Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you’re making too much money.” – A Night At the Met
“Comedy is acting out optimism.”
“Goooooooood morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test! This is rock and roll! Time to rock it from the Delta to the D.M.Z.!” – as Adrain Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam
“ If I was gonna be Swee’Pea’s mother, I should’ve at least let Olive be his father. Or vice versa. I ain’t man enough to be no mother.” – as Popeye
“I think, therefore you is.” – King of the Moon in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
“I’m a hip old granny that can hip hop, bebop, dance ‘til ya drop and yo yo, make a wicked cup of cocoa.” – Mrs. Doubtfire
“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 make sure you have a back up profession like welding.’” – accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – John Keating, Dead Poets Society
“If Heaven exists…to know that there’s laughter; that would be a great thing.” – Inside the Actor’s Studio
“Smile, my boy. It’s sunrise.” – as Teddy Roosevelt in Night at the Musem: Secret of the Tomb. (Also the last words Robin Williams spoke on camera.)
“Okra is the closest thing to nylon I’ve ever eaten. It’s like they bred cotton with a green bean. Okra tastes like snot. The more you cook it, the more it turns to string.”
“Yesterday I bought my first pair of American shoes. They were made in Italy.” – Vladimir Ivanoff in Moscow on the Hudson
“You do an eclectic celebration of the dance! You do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna! …But you keep it all inside.” – as Armand in The Birdcage
“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; a harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.” – as Wizard in August Rush
“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” – as Patch Adams
“You walk into their room. My son has four screens going simultaneously. He’s got a game on here, he’s playing a movie over here, he’s also downloading, he’s texting, he’s got all this stuff going, and people go “that’s ADD.” And I go, “bullshit, he’s multitasking. Fuck off.’” – Himself in Weapons of Self Destruction
“You’re a… you’re a complex Freudian hallucination having something to do with my mother and I don’t know why you have wings, but you have very lovely legs and you’re a very nice tiny person and what am I saying, I don’t know who my mother was; I’m an orphan and I’ve never taken drugs because I missed the sixties, I was an accountant.” – Peter Banning in Hook