Growing up with Mork
I normally just shrug my shoulders and carry on when I read about a celebrity death.
But when I heard about the death of Robin Williams, my heart started to hurt just a little bit. I never met the man, but I feel a connection none the less.
I grew up with Mork.
Mork and Mindy is the first sitcom I can remember. I was 8 years old when the show started – the age when pop culture really started to become a part of my life.
I completely understood Mork – the alien, sometimes isolated and grossly misunderstood visitor. The awkward conversations, the innocent naive questions, the wholehearted friendship with Mindy.
Robin Williams taught me that humour is a great coping mechanism.
Mork and Mindy was the first couple I watched evolve from awkward roommates to platonic friends to comfortable marriage. Their relationship was a much better example for me than the one my own parents were providing.
When Mork and Mindy finally got married, I was a pre-pubescent 11 year old whose own parents were close to finally closing the books on a bitter 8-year separation.
I was naturally drawn to a family whose dysfunction was funny, whose child was an adult with wonder-filled eyes, whose absurd domestic situation was so far removed from my own and yet, people thought it normal.
At the time, I had no idea the show was spiraling into the bottom third of the ratings. I simply looked forward to my weekly dose of laughter and camaraderie in what was mostly a lonely life.
Robin, thank you for providing light to so many, even when you were surrounded by your own darkness.