Robin WilliamsRobin Williams committed suicide yesterday. I'm sure you've already heard that.
I didn't have any particular affection for him, at least not in the last two decades, but he was a charismatic energy explosion, and when he was good, he was brilliant. And he seemed like a good person, which I care more and more about as the years pass.
His sad passing made me think about comedians and the unique weight that they carry. Truly brilliant comedy makes us squirm. Uncomfortable laughter is often at the very core of truly great comedy, and while it just makes us discomfited, I can only imagine what it does to the person who creates such a moment. Comedians have a unique ability to see deeply into very dark places, and this vision seems to carry with it a heavy, heavy burden.