When news of Joan Rivers’ passing broke just a month after the world lost Robin Williams, I found myself in front of my television crying and laughing simultaneously as clip after clip of the legendary comedian scrolled across the screen. , in much the same way. I had more of Mr. Williams. Now Hollywood has lost another legend, Leonard Nimoy. My very precise grandmother (who has a tongue that could give Joan a run for her money – maybe that’s why I felt the attachment to the late comedian that I do) always used a phrase that goes something along the lines of “you can’t be sad for everyone because you yourself will have enough sadness in your own life. Although feeling rather cold, I couldn’t help but feel it. linger for the days after each star’s death news. I didn’t even know these people, but I was overwhelmed by a sense of loss that was all too real. Was I too dramatic? read dozens and dozens of comments on articles celebrating their lives, I found out that I was not alone or stupid. Hordes of people were in the same sad boat and kept repeating “I know I never knew them not really … “Yes, we don’t know celebrities on a personal level. nnel, but feel a sense of loss or sadness at their passing. nothing to be silly about.
Celebrities come with an assortment of adjectives attached to them: funny, talented, generous, selfish, stuck, rich, charitable, fake, real – the list goes on. For almost all famous people, there is a strange juxtaposition of descriptions. Sometimes what the general public assumes is true and sometimes it is false. The real truth is that despite what we’ve read or the rumors that have been circulating, we never really know who the ones in the spotlight are. The people who do it are the closest and dearest to them. Take Jeanne for example. The world knows her for her sarcastic remarks and twisted sense of humor. But how many people think of Joan and immediately imagine her as a humanitarian or as Joan, the loving mother and grandmother? What we all know, without a doubt, is that Joan was a source of entertainment (whether good or bad entertainment, it depends on the reader – I have a soft spot for the former). Much like Phillip Seymour Hoffman was, so was Robin and so were all of the other best in Hollywood that were taken from us this year. They were our hardworking artists and we were their loyal, crazy and affected audience.
When we analyze the sadness we feel and think “I didn’t know them”, we are absolutely right. We didn’t know them as our friends and family. But we knew their work, their art and no artist can deny the fact that their work is a very personal showcase. We weren’t regularly sitting down to dinner with Robin, but we regularly invite him into our lives through his amazing and unique work. We look to Hollywood and its diverse cast of gamers not just for entertainment, but for distraction, inspiration, a way to change a bad day and even when we are grappling with some of life’s toughest questions. . When Robin stepped into Mr. Keating’s shoes in Circle of Missing Poets, he wasn’t just a teacher in a prep school boys class, he was our teacher, begging that we all come out and find our own verse to add to life.
Celebrities and the different roles they play, be it as a singer, actor, writer, comedian, etc., make us react at some point. Whether they make you laugh, cry, or laugh until you cry, make you angry or annoy you, they elicit some sort of emotional reaction from you. So when you turn on the news or see on Facebook that they are suddenly gone, it is quite natural to feel a sense of shock or sadness. For decades, these people have been floating around on our radar somewhere. Their music transcends generational gaps, their comedy remains relevant, and the lessons their characters (and themselves as ordinary people) teach remain unforgettable. We feel a loss of their passing because it is a loss, a loss of potential wonderful things to come. The best way to deal with the loss we feel is to remember.
And that’s what we do. We log into our Facebook pages or Twitter feeds and it’s like everyone has come together to pay homage to a lost star. Favorite quotes are tweeted and screenshots of the scenes. We watch interview clips and recall our favorite movies or stand up routines and celebrate life in the past. Robin and Joan, two iconic comedians in their own right, made us laugh. In the days after their deaths, the two had family members who begged fans of the stars to keep laughing. They leave behind a legacy of their work; a gift to heal the sadness of fans everywhere. Billy Crystal said it best in his tribute to Robin at this year’s Golden Globes when he compared his good friend to a star who is exhausted, but whose light continues to reach us long after the event. Hollywood has provided us with a sea of stars whose lights continue to shine and shine long after they’ve left the stage.
You might not know them, but it’s okay to feel sad, wanting to spend a day watching classics like Flubber and Mrs. Doubtfire or dazzling reruns of Fashion font.
If a person like Leonard, Robin, or Joan can have an impact on all of the genre that comedy is or what it’s like to be a funny guy playing a serious role, they can impact you as that no one. The same goes for all celebrities, regardless of their area of focus. A life spent providing laughter, entertainment and inspiration to the world deserves a little of your sadness. And when the sadness passes, remember the light that still shines. ‘
Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore
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