Robin Williams’ largely improvised Armed Forces Radio Service madcap broadcasts provide the troops with some much needed levity and distraction from obsessing that each second that passes in this alien land may very well be their last. But the powers that be, particularly uptight Sergeant Major Phillip Dickerson (J. T Walsh, who’s the CO of this kind of dickishness), insist the boat not be rocked and protocol is carried out. This is the United States Marine Corp, don’t you know, not a circus. What we know is that laughter is about more than releasing endorphins and boosting the immune system; it’s the ultimate skeleton key. And Robin Williams was the ultimate liberator.
Words: Ash Verjee