John Means first met Robin Williams in 1979, when Means was a young musician turned comedian, new to the stand-up scene in San Francisco.
Means remembers, "Here's robin Williams, popping in and out of the clubs all the time. We just go, 'Man, if i can just be a quarter as funny as he is, we'll make a living.'"
During Means' first big break, Williams walked into the club, distracting the crowd.
Means says, "He jumped on stage with me and what do you do? Robin Williams is one of those quick brains and just said, 'play something!' we jammed for about 40 minutes, it was just a hoot!"
The two men remained friends throughout the years, running into each other at comedy jams and shows across the country. While Williams’ star continued to rise, means says he was always genuine.
Means says, "He had the greatest laugh because it was real, pure. There's no, there was nothing fake about the guy."
But behind the laugh, there was something much darker.
Means remembers, "He was one of those guys that was so manic, his lows must have been really low. And I wish, I wish he'd called or said something."
Means is also a long-time friend of Williams' personal assistant, Becky.
Means shares, "She found him. And that's the hardest part for me, to think about what she's going through. I did text her, just 'I love you.' and last night I got an 'I love you too.''
That love between friends is what means says will get them all through this terrible time. It’s a bond built out of laughter, and a mutual respect, shared with one of comedy's greatest talents.
"There's gonna be a big part of me missing right now. Again, he was our Jesus, we were all his disciples. I mean, he touched people everywhere he went. I've never met anybody who had that subtle power around people. People just love him."
Means says he hopes to attend a memorial for Williams and that several of his friends in the business will wear rainbow suspenders, a special tribute to Williams’ early days of fame on the "Mork and Mindy" show.
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