I know, he wasn’t gay. But Robin Williams, the actor and comedian who tragically took his own life in his Northern California home Monday, was extremely liberal and gay-friendly, and a welcome face for decades on the streets and in the restaurants of San Francisco the hometown he famously referred to as “a very large asylum.”
Williams was legendary in the comedy scene, both in the Bay Area and across the country, and he was most known for the manic, free-associative style complete with many, many impressions, and voices that became his trademark.
As Meryl Streep put it on the Today show, “It’s hard to imagine such unstoppable energy being stopped.”
NakedSword’s Tim Valenti remembers Williams from the early 1980s, when, as an S.F. resident in search of a good time, he used to come in to the famed Upper Haight gay club the I-Beam, where Valenti worked. “He was so cool,” Valenti says. “He would just have so much fun with everyone.”
Below we bring you a handful of Williams’ most glorious, gayest moments on stage and screen… and Twitter.
Here’s Williams talking about homosexuality and the Catholic church from his ‘Weapons of Self Destruction’ tour, which aired on HBO in 2009:
From the same 2009 comedy special, his segment on Viagra:
Here he is in some behind-the-scenes footage from 1991’s Alladin, in which he’s recording the voice of the genie.
Here he is discussing the gay penguins, from 2011.
This is a recent clip, from 2012, in which he appeared on Ellen wearing a fucked up suit that had a bunch of threads hanging off it. It was fashion-forward, maybe?
Here he is with Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin (right) and Maupin’s husband on set in New York in recent years.
How is it possible that I won't see this face again? pic.twitter.com/iztzmPqMe9
— Armistead Maupin (@ArmisteadMaupin) August 12, 2014
And here, obviously, is Williams in his great some may even say restrained performance in The Birdcage, doing Fosse. And Martha Graham.