David Bruce: The Kindest People: Be Excellent to Each Other (Volume 6) (Free PDF)

Memories of Robin Williams

Comedian/actor Robin Williams died on 11 August 2014. Many Redditors shared memories of him, including some memories about his good deeds:

1) flying_d wrote, “My Dad is a pilot and told me a story a few years back about meeting Robin Williams on one of his flights. He was actually commuting on a connect flight to Minneapolis from where he would be starting his trip from and happened to be sitting next to none other than Robin Williams’ wife (Robin was sitting a few seats ahead of him). My dad got up a short while into the flight and asked him if he wanted to switch seats with him so that he could be with his wife. According to my dad, Robin Williams responded with a friendly smile and said, ‘No, it’s okay. I feel a bit like wandering around right now anyway.’ He got up, shook my dad’s hand, and then proceeded to go say hey to other passengers for a bit. My dad said he was one of the friendliest guys he had ever met.”

2) bonyponyride wrote, “I met Robin in 1992 when I was 11 years old. The pool scene in Mrs. Doubtfire was filmed at the pool where I used to swim as a kid.

“One night I was with a friend at the pool and we thought we saw Robin swimming. We kept a close eye on him from 100 feet away, trying to figure out if it was actually him. The man stood up at the edge of the pool and looked over at us. It was him! We waved. He was wearing swimming paddles on his hands, so he immediately went into character, clapped the paddles together, barked at us like a seal and waved back.

“He got out of the pool and walked over to us, where we gushed to him about our favorite films of his. Then he signed a couple autographs, we thanked him for his time, and he went off to the locker room. I’ll never forget that moment. What a cool and hilarious dude.”

3) EbidColeslawToo wrote, “Mrs. Doubtfire came out right after my parents got divorced.

“I remember seeing it in the theatre with my brother and dad. Now, during any other movie, my dad would fall asleep …. But, I remember watching tears run down his cheek during Mrs. Doubtfire while he sat awake, wide-eyed for the whole movie (no doubt thinking about his own divorce and how much he loved his children).

“Even though I was only 7 at the time … I remember my father’s tears made me realize what a life-changing thing we were going through together.

“My father passed away 6 years after that — and watching Mrs. Doubtfire next to him in the theatre remains one of my favorite memories of him.”

4) asar5932 wrote, “When I was maybe 10 years old, I was in the lobby of a hotel in Baltimore and my dad tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to a guy standing in line. I turned and saw a short, hairy guy with a big backpack. When I realized who it was, I let out a gasp and made eye contact with Robin Williams. He then looked back at me and let out a gasp of his own. Small, insignificant story, but it makes me laugh thinking back to that.”

5) hibloodstevia wrote, “My favorite Robin Williams moment: He was asked by a reporter what he said to aspiring comedians who asked him if they should be a comedian.

“He flatly said, ‘I tell them no. Don’t do it.’

“When asked why he would say such a thing, he replied, ‘If they have the drive to make it, they’re not going to give a f[**]k about what I say. And if someone quits because I say that, then they weren’t going to make it anyway. I just saved that person from wasting their time.’”

Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve

Robin Williams was good friends with Christopher Reeve, famous for playing the character Superman in several movies, while they attended Juilliard and afterward. In his 25 September 2013 “Ask Me Anything” session with Reddit, someone asked him what was his best memory of Mr. Reeve. Mr. Williams responded, “Him being such a great friend to me at Juill[i]ard, literally feeding me because I don’t think I literally had money for food or my student loan hadn’t come in yet, and he would share his food with me. And then later after the accident [in which Mr. Reeve was paralyzed], just seeing him beaming and just seeing what he meant to so many people.” Redditor Gamegirlab commented about the 2014 repost of Mr. Williams’ AMA: “After his accident, Reeve required surgery to reattach his skull to his spine, ‘was frightening to contemplate. … I already knew that I had only a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the surgery. … Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent.’ The man announced that he was a proctologist and was going to perform a rectal exam on Reeve. It was Robin Williams, reprising his character from the film Nine Months. Reeve wrote: ‘For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay.’” As young adults studying acting at Juilliard in New York City, Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve promised that they would come to each other’s aid if either of them needed help. Of course, Mr. Williams became a famous comedian and actor, and Mr. Reeve became a famous actor. Mr. Reeve started competing in equestrian events, and he was severely injured in a fall at one of these competitions. Mr. Reeve had good insurance, but even good insurance may run out when an accident is severe, and Mr. Reeve’s accident was severe, putting him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and forcing him to rely on a breathing tube. Mr. Williams, as he had promised, came to Mr. Reeve’s aid, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for Mr. Reeve’s medical expenses and care. By the way, codskar commented, “My mother has a story of meeting you [Mr. Williams]. She was in a Hard Rock Cafe (57th St, roughly 1985) and found a snail in her salad. She tried to quietly alert the waiter — not wanting to make a scene. Apparently you jumped up from the table next to hers demanding that if she got a slug, you want[ed] one too, loud enough for the other customers to hear.”

“Jason … Could You Please Stop Having Cancer!”

On 23 March 2014, Redditor smores114 posted a photograph of comedian Jimmy Kimmel on Imgur with this caption: “My cousin was diagnosed with cancer a couple weeks ago. His good friend has a hookup who asks a tiny favor [for] my cousin.” The photograph shows Mr. Kimmel holding a sign that says, “Jason … Could You Please Stop Having Cancer!”

A Surprise for Mom and Dad

Timothy DeLaGhetto is a popular YouTube comedy star — he has 2.5 million subscribers. Having so many subscribers, he makes a fair amount of money from his YouTube videos. How much? Enough that in July 2014 he was able to give his parents $340,000 to pay off their mortgage. His real name is Tim Chantarangsu, and his parents, who own a restaurant, came to the United States from Thailand. He said, “Not a lot of people do what I do, especially as an Asian American guy. My comedy is pretty obscene and I’m pretty blunt with the jokes I make, so I stick out from the norm. I’ve built a pretty strong following of people who enjoy what I do. I try to have a strong message of positivity and spreading joy and love to the world.” Mr. Chantarangsu lives close to his parents in Paramount, California. He said, “I was going to college for my parents, but eventually I got to the point where I was doing all right at both — college and Internet stuff. I realized I needed to pick one if I wanted to excel at something, so I stopped going to school.” What if his mother wants him to return to school? He laughed and said, “I would tell her, ‘Do you want me to go back to school or pay your bills?’”

“You have Always been a Complete and Utter, Utter, UTTER Twat”

On 9 June 2014, British comedian Rik Mayall died at age 56. Redditor fertilestoat shared info about a good deed that Mr. Mayall performed: “My girlfriend’s sister sent a blank card to Rik Mayall, and asked him to sign it and send it back for her Dad’s 60th birthday. He went above and beyond, and made my father-in-law’s day.” Mr. Mayall wrote this note to fertilestoat’s girlfriend’s sister’s father:

“John,

“The whole world knows that you have always been a complete and utter, utter, UTTER twat — but now that you are an OLD complete and utter, utter, UTTER, incontinent, deaf, blind, doddering, dribbling, toothless, brainless, insane old TWAT!

“So I just thought, as we are both dangerous old bastards, that I’d wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You sad senile old git

“with love and violence

“Rik Mayall

“XXX”

“Which Celebrity Have You Met, and Were They as Nice/Rude as You Expected?”

On 10 February 2014, whereamitho asked on Reddit, “Which celebrity have you met, and were they as nice/rude as you expected?” As usual, Redditors had some good stories:

1) youllgetoverit wrote, “Threw up on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foot outside a restaurant. His response was an immediate: ‘It’s ok, kid. I throw up every time I eat here too.’ His wife then proceeded to run inside and grab me water and a bit of bread to settle my stomach. They were both incredibly nice about it all.”

TheMobHasSpoken commented, “Never been a fan, but this is seriously one of the nicest celebrity encounters I’ve ever heard. It’s hard to maintain your composure and come up with a witty (and kind) comeback, after someone has vomited on you.”

2) WampaStompa33 wrote, “My family and I met Tracy Morgan in the food court of some mall in San Francisco a few years ago. He was sitting in the corner with a few friends just hanging out, but when he got up to leave he walked right past our table. As he walked past, my brother (who was 17 and really into football at the time) said hi and Tracy stopped and talked with us for at least 5 minutes, asking my brother about how his football team was doing and what position he played, making jokes and all that. I didn’t really know what to expect but he was a super nice guy, and very friendly!”

3) CaptainJudaism wrote, “Robin Williams, very friendly and funny. More so than I expected honestly. I went to a dinner with my father and a couple of his co-workers at a fancy Italian restaurant when I was about 18, and about halfway through the meal a few of the co-workers got drunk and started to scream at the waiter in Italian. In response the waiter, and eventually a few other workers, joined in and were screaming back at the co-workers and then in between all of them came Robin Williams gesticulating wildly and screaming mock Italian at both sides until they calmed the hell down and started to laugh at Robin Williams and his antics instead. When everyone went back to their seats, I walked up to Robin Williams, thanked him for defusing the situation, and did the usual ‘I love your work; it’s amazing to meet you’ spiel and then he began to ask ME questions about my life, how I am, my age, what I wanted to do and was very friendly and caring. When I was walking away back to my dad, he stopped me and said words I try to live by: ‘Kid, take a good look at those suits. Don’t try to end up like them. If you need booze or drugs to enjoy your life to the fullest, then you’re doing it wrong.’”

4) hipsterraccoon wrote, “Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston are both awesome and amazing people. My brother was sick with brain cancer and in the hospital a lot, my mom had a friend who worked on the set of BB [Breaking Bad] and asked if there was any way one of the actors could call and talk to my bro as he was a huge fan and aspiring actor. Aaron called, and asked to talk to my brother, they chatted, my brother wasn’t feeling super great, but had a good conversation, even though afterwards he remembered all of the questions he originally wanted to ask. Towards the end of the conversation, Aaron said he was surprised that my brother didn’t ask to be called a bitch. They said goodbye and hung up. Aaron called back a few minutes later to ask for my brother’s twitter, then he gave a huge shout out and then called him a bitch, and he gained a bunch of followers and got a bunch of tweets wishing him better.

“Bryan Cranston called and they talked for a while, mainly about acting and Bryan’s experience as an actor and about my brother’s hopes and dreams as an actor and his own experience. Made my brother’s day.

“A couple weeks after the talk, we received a package in the mail, with the return name as B.C. My bro opened it up and inside was a BB season 5 premiere shirt, some of the stage meth used, an autographed headshot with a kind message on it, and a couple of other cool things. Put my brother in tears, and vlogged about it on his youtube channel about how amazing and kind it was.

“These two men made my brother’s life in the hospital so much better for him.”

5) matman88 wrote, “I once saw Doug Flutie walking into a Dick’s Sporting Goods. I said, ‘What’s up, Doug?’ and put my hand up for a high five. He said, ‘Hey, guys,’ gave me a high five and we went our separate ways. He was cool enough not to leave me hanging, so he’s all right in my book.”

6) Mongo1021 wrote, “We adopted my son from foster care when he was nine. When he was five, he was taken from his parents, who were homeless, addicted [to] drugs, and all that goes with that.

“Before we adopted him, he spent years bouncing from one crummy foster home to another.

“When the movie The Blind Side came out, it had a big emotional impact for my son, because in the movie, Oher was taken from his parents in a manner similar to what happened to my son.

“Two years ago, in November, I wrote to the Ravens, told the story about Robbie, and asked if they could send me something signed and personalized from Oher to my son. I should mention that my son is one of the top distance runners in the state.

“In time for Christmas, Oher’s book came in the mail, signed from Oher to my son.

“The present meant more to him than the iPhone we purchased for him.

“Then, in March, I got a call from Oher’s agent.

“The agent said that Michael was going to be in a nearby town, and Michael would like to meet Robbie. He was wondering if I could possibly bring my son to the signing event so that Michael could meet my son.

“So I took him of course. As soon as we walked in, Michael saw my son and told him to wait in the back until the event was over. After about an hour of singing books, Michael had a long and personal conversation with my son. They talked about how my son can overcome challenges like college sports, how to handle his biological parents, and how to use his past as fuel.

“We’re Ravens fans now. :).”

 

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