Monday’s episode of Conan ended on an unusually somber note. The cause: During the course of taping that evening’s show, Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, and their guest Will Arnett got word of Robin Williams’ unexpected death.
“We tape these shows a few hours early, and by the time you see this now on TV, I’m sure that you’ll know. I’m sorry to anybody in our studio audience that I’m breaking this news—this is absolutely shocking and horrifying, and so upsetting on every level,” a visibly shaken O’Brien explained at the end of the show.
He and his cohort then took an opportunity to briefly salute their comrade. The most moving words came from Arnett, who worked with Williams in the 2006 film RV.
“As funny as he was—he’s truly one of the all-time greats—he was even better as a person,” the Arrested Development star said. “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.”
An emotional O’Brien followed Arnett, summing up the situation: “We’re just processing this information literally right at this moment, and so we are thinking of Robin’s family. 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.”
Then he ended the show with a simple message: “God bless Robin Williams.”