Conan O’Brien was in the middle of taping his show Monday night when news broke that Robin Williams had passed away. Tough as it was to both process and react to the news in the moment — and on tape — the host, Andy Richter and guest Will Arnett each took a second at the end of Conan to pay tribute to the actor.
“As funny as he was — he’s truly one of the all-time greats — he was even better as a person,” said Arnett, who appeared alongside Williams in the 2006 movie RV. “He was even more fantastic — just the loveliest, sweetest, one of the kindest guys that I’ve ever worked with. Just such a soft, warm, emotionally sweet guy, and it’s a major, major loss for everybody.”
“We are thinking of Robin’s family,” O’Brien added. “We’re thinking about everybody who he touched around the world, throughout his life. We’re thinking about Robin tonight. There’s really not much else to say.” Though somewhat surreal to watch, especially O’Brien’s attempt to find the right words to close out the show, it’s nonetheless an immediate and heartfelt moment that captures how much Williams meant to all three, both as a performer and person.
Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California Monday night of an apparent suicide, though an investigation is still pending. Williams had checked himself into a rehab facility last month in an effort to stay sober, and upon his passing, his publicist admitted the comedian had recently been battling a severe bout of depression.
Outpourings of grief came from all corners of the globe, from Hollywood to the White House, with President Barack Obama tweeting, “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny … and everything in between. But he was one of a kind.”