Video: The return of Robin Williams

To cleanse the palate, this guy was already sort of famous for celebrity impersonations. In a week or so, as this homage to Williams circulates on social media, it’ll be safe to drop the “sort of.”

Watch it twice, once with your eyes open and once with them closed. Eyes-open is amazing: Costa not only resembles Williams, he’s got the squint and that memorable toothless smile down pat. Eyes-closed is better, though, because it lets you focus on the voice. And the voice is uncanny, a miraculous recreation. The only difference I sensed, and it was a small difference, is a bit of a lisp. Other than that, perfection. And his decision to quick-cut between Williams in various roles instead of impersonating him in one role at length was smart. It’s a way to capture some of that famous, otherwise unreproducible, manic energy.

This impression would be difficult under any circumstances. A few months removed from his suicide, it’s twice as difficult because of the temptation towards mawkishness. How do you make it affecting without being maudlin? Here’s how.