Robin Williams death shakes local comedy community

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The news about Robin Williams death sent shockwaves through the local comedy community.

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"We are devastated. This guy was literally a pioneer in comedy," comedian Will Watkins said.

Watkins is a comedian at West Palm Beach Improv in City Place.

He grew up watching Williams.

"He was controlled chaos. He was like lightning in a bottle. He choreographed anarchy if that makes sense," Watkins said.

One of Williams biggest hits was The Birdcage which was shot in South Florida.

"I grew up on his movies and all of his characters. His energy really influenced me," comedian Jordan Garnett said.

It is Williams energy Improv General Manager Casey Currier says made him so universal.

"He was able to do it clean and didn't have to be raunch to make everyone laugh," Currier said.

Williams media representative says the comedian has been battling depression.

Sadly, that is no surprise to fellow comedians.

"There is the expression 'tears of a clown.' You never see a clown cry. He is always putting on a happy face and entertaining everyone and making sure everyone else is happy where at the same time they are having the worst inner conflict you could ever imagine," Watkins said.

Despite the way his life ended, comedians at the Improve are positive Williams comedy will endure.

"He will live on forever. He influenced comedy to where it will never go back," Watkins said.

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