Alumni share memories of Robin Williams

By Rita Buettner  |  Photo courtesy of Reagan Warfield

Loyola magazine invited a few alumni who are comedians to reflect on Robin Williams and his contributions.

An Unforgettable Meeting

Reagan Warfield poses with Robin Williams after his performance at the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Awards in 2001.

“Growing up, I always admired Robin Williams and quoted his Dead Poets Society character, John Keating, in my high school graduation speech. Three years later, I had the chance to meet him after the 2001 Mark Twain Awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in D.C., where Robin was honoring his friend Whoopi Goldberg.

“I don’t recall what we talked about before taking a photo, but I remember him being incredibly gracious and uncharacteristically soft-spoken. He had no need to give up any of his time to a 21-year-old college kid, but I will not forget it anytime soon. It’s truly impressive how pervasive his talent was, touching so many lives in a positive way. While I mourn his passing, I appreciate the gifts he had and shared with so many people.”

Reagan Warfield, ’02, morning show host for Baltimore’s Mix 106.5 and affiliate faculty for Loyola

Grateful that Joy Won Out

“I remember seeing him perform live in D.C. with Reagan Warfield back in 2004 and going from laughing hysterically to just being in awe. You almost didn’t want to laugh because you would miss something because his delivery was so rapid fire.

“They say that comedy comes from tragedy, and I think that’s true in a lot of cases; but I think it’s more born out of a need to oppose pain by creating laughter, which is to say, to create joy. To me, Robin Williams wasn’t just a comedian. He was a force. He had this manic, fast-paced unprecedented energy inside of him that, luckily for us, he was able to control, focus and blast out into the world so we could have joy and forget about our pain for a little while. But imagine what that must have been like inside him? That level of frenetic energy constantly working inside of you. He battled it all his life and finally lost control of that force inside and whatever pain he felt inside ultimately took over. We should all be grateful that the joy won out as long as it did.”

Larry Noto, ’98, director of marketing and sales for the National Aquarium in Baltimore,
former radio and television Emmy-nominated personality and producer,
and a comedian who has entertained audiences in major clubs in New York City, Las Vegas,
Washington, D.C., California, and Baltimore, opening for some of the biggest names in the business,
including Brad Garrett, Lewis Black, Richard Lewis, Brian Regan, and Bob Saget

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