Robin Williams surely had a way with people but he also could evoke laughter in animals.
Robin Williams is one of those actors, who will forever be remembered and loved for generations to come. The characters he played years ago still makes us burst out in laughter. You will be surprised but the phenomenal actor even made animals smile and laugh. Koko, the gorilla had become popular after learning a version of the American Sign Language (ASL). The animal had a unique ability to communicate with her handlers, unlike other apes.
In 2001, the comedian and actor were invited to visit Koko. Though it might sound shocking, Williams and the gorilla immediately had a connection. Their interaction was even captured on video.
"I recently had a mind-altering experience communicating with a gorilla. Her name is Koko," said Williams at the time, according to Today. The meeting was even more special because Koko wasn't in her usual spirits before meeting the actor.
At the time, the gorilla was mourning the loss of her playmate, Michael, who died about six months earlier. Since then, Koko had been missing her friend and was not keeping well. But unexpectedly, meeting William's changed her life.
In the video, Williams is seen sitting on a chair, waiting for the gorilla to come. Then Koko comes into the room and sits on the floor next to Williams. He reaches out to the animal. Seeing her grabbing his hand, the Hollywood legend sits down next to her. The events that followed are just heartwarming. The duo starts laughing and playing, both curious about the other.
Koko, who seemed to be very comfortable with the actor, even grabs his glasses. Shen then goes through Williams' pockets and even his wallet.
According to Today, Koko's caregiver, Dr. Penny Patterson reflected on her meeting with the actor. He then stated, "Notice that Robin made Koko smile — something she hadn’t done for over six months, ever since her childhood gorilla companion, Michael, passed away at the age of 27."
He further appreciated the actor for his ability to connect with Koko instantly. “Robin’s ability to just ‘hang out’ with Koko, a gorilla, and in minutes become one of her closest friends, was extraordinary and unforgettable,” said Patterson. The caregiver further added, "But not only did Robin cheer up Koko, the effect was mutual, and Robin seemed transformed."
Later, the actor too commented on their interaction. "We shared something extraordinary - laughter. Koko understands spoken English and uses over 1,000 signs to share her feelings and thoughts about daily events, life, love, even death," said Williams, according to Today.
Their meeting was so special that Koko was distressed when she heard of Williams' death. When the gorilla overheard Patterson talk about the actor's demise, “She became extremely sad,” said Patterson, according to Today. Koko reportedly signed "cry."
However, this is not the first instance of the actor using his humor to make other's feel better. Famous TV host, Sharon Osbourne once talked about an incident she shared with Williams in 2002 during her battle with cancer.
Osbourne was shattered by the physical and mental pain of cancer. She was so heartbroken that she even decided to give up on chemotherapy. "Mum was lying in this bedroom that she had curtained off. It was pitch black. She hadn’t gotten out of bed for like a week. Mum’s dog had to go to the hospital because she was dehydrated. Mum was dehydrated. And we couldn’t get her to go back to finish the chemo," recalled her daughter Kelly, according to Metro.
When Osbourne's family saw that she had hit rock bottom, they decided to call Williams. "Dad said laughter is the best medicine. And organized for Robin to come over and make mum laugh. And he just dropped everything. Came over to the house. Got in bed with mum. I just remember sitting at the bottom of the stairs and we went from crying, not knowing what to do, to peeing ourselves laughing because we could hear mum upstairs in her room laughing with Robin," continued Kelly. Meeting with Williams changed Osbourne's mind. She decided to continue her battle with cancer.
"[He] was just one of the nicest, genuine people you could ever meet. Just such a good man. Good good man," said Osbourne with gratitude.