by Jeff Marshall

Jeff Marshall, humor

The Tears of a Clown

by Jeff Marshall

“Such a bitter irony – to spend a lifetime making us laugh only to end up breaking our hearts!”

Isn’t it fascinating how a man can impact our lives without even knowing our names, without having the ability to pick us out of a crowd, without even knowing that we exist? Like everyone else on planet earth, the last few days have been unusually difficult for me upon hearing of the death of Robin Williams – Robin Williams was a source of pure joy.

Fun Friday is tinged with a bit of sorrow in this edition of my weekly blog. And yet, through all the TV specials, reminiscences from friends and colleagues, and clips from a career that spanned 40 years, I find myself laughing, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.

Something tells me Mr. Williams wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

I am, have always been, and probably will always be a totally spastic nerd when it comes to entertainment and the arts. My brain is filled with so much useless knowledge and trivia when it comes to film and television – I’m like the love child of Albert Einstein and Billy Bush from ACCESS HOLLYWOOD!

That’s why when a tragedy occurs like the death of Robin Williams, I think I tend to take it harder than the average normal American leading the average normal life. Average and normal are two adjectives with which I’ve never been associated.

A good sense of humor is a treasure. I’m sure you’ve heard the old mantra – tragedy is easy, comedy is hard! Robin Williams made me laugh – pure and simple. He was one of a very small handful of performers whose mere presence, while not necessarily guaranteeing true art, would at least make the experience a heck of a lot more fun. I would gladly sit down and watch two hours of Robin Williams being interviewed over 98% of the movies I’ve seen. There was such joy in his unpredictability – you had no idea what he was going to do, what he was going to say… The most mundane question by the most lackluster interviewer could elicit a ten minute response that was sheer improvisational genius!

But bringing things back to reality, it makes me so sad to think he worked so hard to put a smile on our faces that he wasn’t sufficiently taking care of his own needs. He was the archetypal clown – laughing on the outside and crying on the inside.

It legitimately puts a concern in my heart that if the man who seemingly had everything – talent, money, success, adoration – saw fit to end his life in such a horrible way, what is John Q. Public on Elm Street in Everytown, USA going to think of his own life? If our idols can’t find happiness, what are we mere mortals to do?

That’s where the great joy of having a God that loves us unconditionally and unendingly comes into the equation.

That knowledge is all we need to get through even the toughest times in our lives. For that I am beyond eternally grateful!

My songwriting partner Andrew Hill and I wrote a song a couple years ago called BRAVE HEART. The words of this song came immediately to my mind when I heard about Robin Williams.

I’d like to share this song with you readers. Perhaps you or someone you know is going through a difficult time – maybe you’re feeling like you’ve reached the end of your rope in one or more areas of your life. My prayer for you today is that the words and music will provide you with a sense of peace and optimism that may be alluding you at this time.


Brave Heart by Marshall/Hill

So, I hope next Friday will be a true Fun Friday as usual. But for now, rent a Robin Williams movie, sit back, and enjoy the laughter – let’s appreciate the treasures he has left behind! You wicked, wicked monkey!!!