from the Contra Costa Times

Appreciation: Robin Williams, not a faster brain on the planet

Actor and comedian Robin Williams performs on stage during ARF’s Stars to the Rescue XXII at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

Like most of America, I first saw Robin Williams playing Mork — the hyperactive, fast-talking, off-the-wall comedic alien on the ABC sitcom “Mork & Mindy” when I was a kid in the ’70s.

I loved him. All kids loved him … because it was like he was one of us.

It seemed while the rest of us grew older, he didn’t. Which is why, 36 years after storming into our family rooms like a sillier Steve Martin with his pants on fire, it’s mind-boggling he’s gone. Kids — even big ones — aren’t supposed to go before the rest of us.

Riffing on words and ideas, leaping with lightning speed from thought to idea to rant to epiphany, there wasn’t a faster brain on the planet. His intensity was mesmerizing. Denis Leary’s mouth was pedestrian compared to Williams’. It could be hard to keep up.

Add to that an absolute fearlessness to say whatever was on his mind, and the rare ability to find ridiculousness in almost any situation, no one could compare.

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