Williams' humor was acerbic but never bullying — he was savage and affectionate at the same time, spacey yet humane. Consider him telling a San Francisco audience in 1982: "I have good news for you: While you've been here this evening, groups of gay men have broken into your home and redecorated it. You'll come back to your house going, Austrian drapes?"Bonus link
It's hard to overstate how bizarre this gag seemed in the Eighties — a gay joke that wasn't a homophobic putdown. It wasn't even a joke about sex. It was edgy — you had to know a thing or two about gay stereotypes to get it. But the humor was in the blasé way Williams challenged you to keep up with his sense of anything-goes tolerance. He made people laugh at their own prejudices and hang-ups. Compare this to the anti-gay jokes that stars like Eddie Murphy were doing at the time, and you can get a sense of why people were genuinely shocked by Robin Williams. The world wanted more of him, much more. And that's why the world is grieving for him today."
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