As news of comic legend Robin Williams’ death spread across the globe, area comedians expressed sorrow.
Aaron Phillips, a comedian for about 18 months, counts Williams among his influences.
The 29-year-old said he is purposely stayed off social media after learning of the actor/comedian’s death Monday because he did not want to read any sick jokes about the icon.
“It is sad to hear how much of his off-the-wall stuff was influenced by drugs. He had some demons,” Phillips said.
The suicide things is a total shock.”
Sheriff’s officials in Marin County, Calif., near San Francisco said the preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, according to the Associated Press.
Williams’ wife, Susan Schneide,r issued a statement Monday evening saying the actor suffered from depression.
Comedian Joanne Casale Viskup, known to WHIO radio listeners as Christina Casale, called Williams a genius who will be remembered partly for his charitable causes and unforgettable roles. Many of those roles were nearly totally improvised.
“I grew up with him from ‘Mork and Mindy’ through his movies and saw him make that switch from comedy to drama,” she said. “He was a tremendous influence on so many comedians. My thoughts go to his wife and children.”
The 63-year-old’s most memorable movies include “The Birdcage,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Popeye,” “Jumanji,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Aladdin” and “Good Will Hunting.”
WHIO Radio’s Larry Hansgen, a comedian, said Williams influenced him to take the stage.
He called the star’s humor other worldly.
“These are people who function at the level that most people can’t relate to. We see them and think ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ ” Hansgen said. “I don’t think zany. I don’t think goofy. I think really, really so quick and so smart.”
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