Its Not Your Fault

Its Not Your Fault
A perspective into the genius mind of Robin Williams

‘Its not your fault,’ a famous line in the film Good Will Hunting where a therapist finally makes a breakthrough with his young and troubled patient. The patient played by one of the writers of the film Matt Damon and the therapist was portrayed by comedian Robin Williams. I categorize him as comedian immediately because that was his main profession but despite his hilarious skills as a comedian he was also a brilliant dramatic actor. Why am I telling you this when everyone knows who this iconic man is? Yes you know this about him. However there were many things that the camera did not let us in on his life.

The cameras stop rolling and America’s favorite funny man goes home to his family to what seems like a normal life. No…he wasn’t normal therefore there was no real normal life for him. Yes he did have a wife and kids but with the creative and genius mind like his nothing is ever really normal. For years he suffered in silence withs severe depression which sadly led to his demise. The man who once insisted that everyone live every day to the fullest and to spend every moment happy when behind that infectious smile was pain. After his death just about all his fans realized that he was trying to warn us….make your life spectacular.

Again this is something that everyone knows…but there are many things that we don’t know. I could stay up all night writing about it if i could. At a very early age growing up with The Three Stooges I had a passion for comedic relief even though I never pursued comedy as a career. I became a filmmaker with a focus in comedy, mainly slapstick a more old fashioned form of comedic relief. As I got older and wrote comedy pieces myself I decided to make a documentary, which Im still working on called ‘Vaudeville: A Drama.’ Vaudeville and drama? I know right, it makes no sense. Being a huge fan of The Three Stooges I was shocked when I discovered that Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp may have been in comedy shorts for most of their career but off screen their lives were anything but funny. I then learned that many of my favorite actor/comedians had somewhat sad and troubled personal lives…Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Larry Storch, Ken Berry, Bob Crane, Leo Gorcey, Jackie Gleeson…the list goes on. I became fascinated with the fact that these people were able to be so funny while battling severe mental and physical challenges at home, (drinking, drugs, marital problems, affairs, miscarriages, stillborns, racism, porn addictions, family deaths, etc.)

Now Im able to understand a little more as to why Robin Williams truly excelled all the other.

Many fans were crushed when they learned that his early death was suicide. Myself like many others looked up to him as someone who was able to get through those bad times…so when he passed I thought that there was the possibility that I wouldn’t make it either. Then it became clear what he was trying to convey to us over the years…make your life spectacular,

I once hated him for doing what he did when he knew he had so many people who loved him. Now today though if I were to come face to face with him Id be able to look at him in the eye with complete understanding, relation, and sympathy in saying…….

‘Its not your fault.’anigif_enhanced-16874-1408070815-2_previewrobin-williamswhat-dreams-may-come-02

What I Learned Sitting On The Porch With Andy Griffith

This past Halloween I was quite ill and spent several days in bed unable to do much. In between fever spells and naps I watched some of my favorite shows such as F Troop, Emergency, Adam 12, Bonanza, Carol Burnette, and Andy Griffith just to name a few. I saw a particular Andy Griffith episode that caught my attention. In this episode after supper Andy and Barney sat outside on the porch to digest their food. Andy got a great idea to run to the drug store for some ice cream to have with their coffee. Just as he and Barney were leaving Aunt Dee came out and asked the boys why they had to ‘run’ to the drug store? Whats the rush? Why couldn’t they just simply stroll to the drug store instead of run? It was then that Andy and Barney sat back down and relaxed for a bit.

Its so sad to see that families today really take time to sit down to eat together let alone relax together after supper. Its not just quality supper time that people are missing out on anymore. Its everything in general that were missing out on. We all know that saying ‘stop and smell the roses’ . . .well no one is stopping or slowing down anymore. If we all continue to rush the way we are we are going to miss out on everything that we’ve been waiting for. I’ve said this before in many blogs. . .life is short. . .life is fleeting  and if we don’t take time to sit on the porch after supper  we are truly missing out. If we don’t take that leisure in the stroll to the drug store we are missing out. Its already begun. Yet another fault with my generation is the inability to savor time, cherish people, and be content with this short yet beautiful life.

I already knew about this. I take time to enjoy my life for I know all too well that this life is fleeting. However watching that Andy Griffith show cleared everything up more than ever.

 

Enjoy this day for we will never have it again. singalongs-porch-andygriffithshow-secretsofabelle

I Know You Can Hear me: The Story of Leo and Bernard Gorcey of The Bowery Boys

“He was killed in an auto accident. I t wasn’t a natural death. He made a mistake and hit a bus head on. And that was it. . . .he was gone.” – Leo Gorcey speaking of his fathers death in an 1968 interview.

Leo Gorcey is best known for his leading role in The Bowery Boys, The East Side Kids, and The Dead End Kids as Mugsy (in most of the films). Mugsy was a non nonsense hustler whose gang consisted of childhood friends. Though he may seem tough on the outside, on the inside yhe was all heart. As is the rest of the comedic gang, always loyal and always caring  but always getting themselves into trouble.

 

Gorcey himself was more than a pretty face on screen. Not only was he a star comedian, he was a writer, owned his own production company (Monogram Films), and was a down to earth family man. His father was also an actor/comedian having come from vaudeville as well as Broadway. His name was Bernard Gorcey and besides recognizing him from a Charlie Chaplin film he was a regular in the Bowery Boys films. Whether it be a brief cameo or a large supporting role Bernard soon became a familiar face in the popular franchise. No matter what role he played he was always known for the ‘little guy, big mouth’ attitude that audiences loved. (He stood at 4’10.) Being in these films was also wonderful for him in terms of his personal life for he got to work with his sons Leo and David Gorcey (also a Bowery boy) on a daily basis.

 

Sadly, all happy tales to tend to come to an abrupt and unforeseen ending. On August 31, 1955 Bernard made the biggest mistake of his life that not only ended his film and stage career but his time with his family. He turned down La Brea in Los Angeles (a one way road) and came head on with a bus. Just like that movie goers, vaudeville, and Broadway audiences alike lost one of their beloved performers. Now if audiences were sad, one can only imagine how the studio felt. . .how the Bowery Boys felt. . .and how the Gorceys felt. Matter of the fact this was something that no one knew at the time but this tragic event would take Leo down further than he even expected. For Leo life went on as it always will, he continued to run his studio, make hit films, and take care of his family. Deep down though the absence of his father who was his more than his on screen partner but as well as his off screen best friend continued to affect him no matter how much time went on. He began to drink outside of social events and late night sedatives. One thing led to another over the next few years he went through several divorces, his off screen friendship with his on screen partner Huntz Hall was estranged over media rights and spotlight wishes, and even worse the sweetest Bowery Boy and cherished friend Bobby Jordan passed away. Cause of death was complications due to alcoholism. At this point he had given up hope of putting the bottle down. Everyone who knew Leo could tell you that he was one of the strongest people they had ever met. . .and yet he was loosing this battle. Though he wasn’t ever going to give up (and he never did) he was in fact loosing the battle.

 

He sold the studio and moved his family out to the country in hopes to find a more peaceful lifestyle. When asked about this drastic decision he simply replied while always keeping his sense of humor in tact and with a slight chuckle,

The  cows don’t lie to me out here. Friends lie, producers lie, wives lie, but the cows don’t lie.”

 

Unfortunately like all great comedians a sense of humor covers up the pain burning on the inside. His father was still gone, his memory was still there, and the drinking continued. When the pain from the absence of Bernard went away the drinking would stop.

 

The pain never went away.

The drinking never stopped.

The day before Leos 52nd Birthday his liver gave out.

That’s when the pain finally went away.

For that day, June 2 1969, Leo was reunited with his father.

 

David Gorcey the surviving Gorcey of the Bowery Boys founded a halfway house to help recovering alcoholics in memoriam of his big brother.

 

On August 31st 1955 Bernard Gorcey was in an accident that ended his life. It also took the life of his son Leo even though he wasn’t in the car with him. He died years later after suffering for so long. This accident killed both the father and the son of one of History’s greatest comedy teams.

wp-1465246832704.jpgwp-1465248244836.jpgwp-1465248239672.jpg

wp-1465248248812.png
Bobby Jordan is 2 from the left.

Rest In Peace

Bernard Gorcey

January 9, 1886 – September 11, 1955

Leo Bernard Gorcey

June 3, 1917- June 2, 1969