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David Letterman took ten minutes out of Late Show last night to reminisce about his friendship with Robin Williams, going back to the very first time he saw him perform, through to the time Letterman guest starred on Mork and Mindy, and other memories.
According to EW, Late Show with David Letterman was on hiatus last week, so this is Letterman's first chance to address the death of Robin Williams on the show. The ten-minute tribute is substantially longer than most of the other tributes we saw last week, and watching it, I thought perhaps there was a slight benefit to Letterman having a bit more time to address the tragic loss of such a beloved comedian and actor and to feature the segment a week after we heard the news, when the sting of the tragedy wasn't quite so raw. Maybe time to process the loss did allow Letterman to be able to talk openly and fondly about the Robin Williams he knew, but the tribute was no less emotional by the end of the video.
Letterman talked about the first time he watched Robin Williams, comparing him to a hurricane on stage. From the sound of it, Letterman and the other comedians were both impressed and intimidated by Robin Williams' energetic style of entertaining. Letterman went on to speak about Williams' fast rise to fame and success after that, and shared a great snapshot, that shows Letterman with the late great Richard Pryor and Robin Williams. And Letterman noted that Williams was on his show fifty times over the course of his career.
The tone of Letterman's tribute was light but intimate, for the most part, and then they ran the montage of Robin Williams' appearances on Late Show over the years, and though most of what we saw were full of smiles and laughter, the brief sequence of clips brought fresh tears. I think it's the sight of Williams falling back laughing that did it. Rest in peace, Robin Williams.
If you haven't seen them yet, watch the tributes to Robin Williams from Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Conan O'Brien here. And you can check out the collection of great Robin Williams clips that we put together here. Check out some clips from Williams on Late Show on the next page...