The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canadian comics remember Robin Williams as influential stand-up icon

  • Print
This June 15, 2007 file photo shows actor and comedian Robin Williams posing to promote his film,

Enlarge Image

This June 15, 2007 file photo shows actor and comedian Robin Williams posing to promote his film, "License To Wed" in Santa Monica, Calif. Canadian comedians are mourning the death of American comic and actor Robin Williams as the loss of one of comedy's greats.Williams was pronounced dead at his home in California on Monday. He was 63. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Reed Saxon

TORONTO - Canadian comedians are mourning the death of American comic and actor Robin Williams as the loss of one of comedy's greats.

Williams was pronounced dead at his home in California on Monday. He was 63.

"Very sad to hear the news about Robin Williams. Big loss for not just the entertainment world but for the whole world," stand-up star Russell Peters said on Twitter.

"Sad to hear about Robin Williams. A very funny and lovely man," tweeted TV-comic Colin Mochrie.

Brent Butt tweeted he was "stunned" at the news and remembered how Williams would show up at Vancouver comic clubs and got the crowd roaring with laughter.

"He used to drop in & do spots @ UrbanWell & Punchlines in Vancouver. Big laugher, lots of fun."

Comic and TV actor Shaun Majumder said in an email that Williams helped mould his comedic instincts from a young age.

"There is no doubt that he was a huge influence on me in my early days as a comedian... in fact he was an impact on me well before I was a comedian or actor which made me the most annoying 7 year old on the planet."

Bruce Hills, the chief operating officer of the Just for Laughs international comedy festival in Montreal, calls Williams' death "so sad on so many fronts."

"Most importantly he leaves a wife and three kids behind but also millions of fans worldwide that will miss this very special artist, comedian and genuinely good person."

Stand-up comic Gerry Dee remembered Williams for his ability to start off as a touring comedian who then make it big as a Hollywood star.

"He did what we're all trying to do... take our stand up career into TV and movies. And he did it more than anyone and better than anyone. And he did it in drama, he did it in comedy," Dee said in an interview.

Dee said Williams was a courageous comic who put so many "out there" styles in his stage act, such as his machine-gun speaking and stream-of-consciousness delivery.

"He just took chances. And I think any comedian will tell you that's one of the hard parts of trying to be different. When you try to be different you fail a lot of times and you bail on it," he said.

"But he never bailed on it. He always stayed true to himself."

Stand-up Frank Spadone said it was a "sad day" for comedians everywhere.

"You've lost a very iconic, important person in your community," he said in an interview.

"He was inspirational. He was funny, the way he committed himself to the characters (he played). The way he did everything."

Spadone remembered catching Williams perform at a Toronto club while he shot a film in the city, and said the joint was packed with people for Williams' impromptu open-mic gig.

"That place was just buzzing because he was in the place. That's the kind of influence and that's the kind of respect and reputation he had," he said.

"Just everyone wanted to see him and be in the same room as him. And as a comic, everyone was just so excited that he was there."

Even Canadian political leaders were touched by the news of Williams‘ death.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted that he and his wife, Laureen, were "saddened to hear of the passing of Robin Williams."

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau tweeted that to him, the actor-comedian will ‘‘always be Mork.

"I will wear my rainbow suspenders and remember the great artist and man that he was,‘‘ wrote Trudeau.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne posted a tweet calling Williams a ‘‘brilliant talent lost.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark tweeted: "Robin Williams brought hours of joy to countless families — ours included. Rest in peace."

Police said Monday that a preliminary investigation indicated Williams death was a suicide due to asphyxia.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Lindor Reynolds speaks candidly about life with terminal cancer

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.
  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you get out and vote for a new mayor and council?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google