Robin Williams agonistes: The crisis of the genius genome
An eloquent piece by David Crippen on genius, comedy and the risks of retirement.
The true mastery of making someone laugh is as much an art form as Chopin, Van Gogh or Segovia. It’s a skill that cannot be learned and by & large cannot be imitated. It’s innate and those randomly chosen need no training, only discovery.
Some of the chosen are not so much inherently funny as they can deliver jokes written by someone else smoothly and they have an innate ability to work audiences. Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon. David Letterman had the gift for a while but burned out with time. All of them get rich and enjoy their lives. None have the frenetic “real” gift of Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, George Carlin, Craig Ferguson and Robin Williams.
Traditionally, the popular media describes genius in association with “divine madness”, wondering which comes first, the divinity or the madness. I…
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