The entertainment industry lost an icon, but I didn’t realize how much an icon until I watched the new HBO documentary Come Inside My Mind.
It has been almost four years since Robin Williams tragic passing. I grew up with him as the family comedian who played the Genie in Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire and even was even in a children’s documentary about Dr. Suess. As I got older and saw his performance at the Met in 1986, I realized he was actually insanely funny and not always family friendly. Then I started to appreciate his true acting talent in things like Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings and Good Will Hunting; just to name a few. Those however are just the tip of the iceberg with this man as the documentary proved.
"It explores every period of his life to create a portrait not just of a career, but of a person." – @sfchronicle#RobinWilliamsDoc premieres in two hours on @HBO.https://t.co/o1zzbwTXOw
— HBO Documentaries (@HBODocs) July 16, 2018
From the beginning, HBO goes into detail; details only hardcore fans would know, like the two brothers he had in three different families or that he had a lonely and quiet childhood, but his mother was rather funny. His comedy was actually inspired by Jonathon Winters and it was used to bond with his father. That his original divorce wasn’t as messy as tabloids would say and he didn’t just run off with the nanny. Chris Reeves, Superman himself was actually Robin’s son’s godfather? This was all new to me and rather interesting.
The documentary chronicles his career rather well. From a local college to Julliard and bartending at comedy clubs to getting just a few minutes on stage, they talk about it all. They delve into the breakthrough that was Mork and Mindy — a show created by a child’s whim. They touch on how at first he put off other young comics that would grow to be icons — like David Letterman and Jay Leno. I think many people knew about how crazy he was with partying early on, but learning more about the death of Jim Belusi was also an eye opener and how it affected Williams was interesting. From all of that to his rise to fame and becoming a household name, appearing on national magazine covers, not stone gets left unturned.
What really caught me though was the human side of Robin.
Comedy was an addiction, he had to hear that laugh. The candid and frank interviews do show a glimpse into a brilliant and troubled soul. The Robin behind closed doors was quite different from the man on stage. At one point he even complains about being filmed at home —which seemed to be his safe place. They did a great job of showing the various stages of his life and career, but not too much that it became long and boring. Also not too brief as to leave the viewer confused as to what the segment was about. The show kept things very classy while touching on troubled mental state and his death.
It isn’t trashy, going over things in great and unneeded details. I watch a lot of documentaries and I will say this one is a cut above many. For anyone with any interest in Robin, anyone wanting a glimpse into a real life in show business or just anyone wanting to watch two good hours of television, I would check this one out. A 10/10
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