Monday night, David Letterman spent ten minutes at the top of his show remembering Robin Williams. The two comics had known each other for over 38 years.
The Late Show was on break in the days following Robin Williams’ death, according to E! Online, so when the show returned on Monday, Letterman paid his respects
Robin Williams died last week – the result of a suicide – and David Letterman said he, like the rest of the country, had been thinking a lot about it. Letterman said he first met Williams at the Comedy Store when the two of them were young comedians along with other such comics as Jay Leno, Elaine Boosler and Jimmy Walker. David recalled how he and his friend, George Miller, had finished their sets and stuck around to watch the “new guy,” Robin Williams.
“All of a sudden he comes up on stage, and, you know what it is. It’s… it’s like nothing we had ever seen before. Nothing we had ever imagined before. We would go home at night and be writing our little jokes about stuff, and this guy comes in, and we’re like ‘morning dew’ and he comes in like a hurricane. And now, the longer he’s on stage, the worse we feel about ourselves – because it’s not stopping.”
David Letterman said after Williams was on stage he thought they’d have to “end show business” because what more could anyone else do? David said they were actually afraid to talk to Robin at the beginning. Letterman then joked that a short time later, Robin Williams got a guest star gig on Happy Days and that gave over to Mork and Mindy, meaning Williams wasn’t at the Comedy Store every night… and then Letterman and the other comics, “could pretend that it never happened.”
It wasn’t until Letterman got the NBC version of his show that he really got to know Robin Williams, David said.
“He would come on to promote movies or concerts or whatever he was talking about, and he was always so gracious and we would talk about the old times, and never did he act like, ‘I knew you guys were so scared because I was so good.’ And it was just a pleasure to know the guy, and was a gentleman and delightful.”
David Letterman said that in the “old days,” Williams had asked Letterman to appear on the Mork and Mindy show, according to Mtv. Letterman said that Robin appeared on Dave’s show over fifty times.
“Two things would happen when Robin was on the program. One, I didn’t have to do anything. All I had to do was sit here and watch the machine. And two, people would watch. If they knew Robin was on this show, the viewership would go up because they wanted to see Robin.”
Letterman displayed a picture he has, “I will cherish this more now than I already have,” of himself with Richard Pryor, Mitzi Shore (the owner of the Comedy Store) and Robin Williams.
A short compilation of clips from Robin Williams’ appearances on David Letterman’s show was then played.
Letterman wrapped up the segment:
“Beyond being a very talented man, and a good friend, and a gentleman, I’m sorry like everyone else I had no idea that the man was in pain. That the man was suffering. But… what a guy. Robin Williams.”
Here’s the video from the remembering Robin Williams segment on David Letterman’s show:
image via KansasCity.com