Watch David Letterman’s Touching Tribute to Robin Williams

On Monday night’s “Late Show,” David Letterman paid tribute to Robin Williams, who died last week while the latenight program was in reruns.

The host dedicated a 10-minute segment to Williams, recalling their earliest interactions at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles when both stand-up comedians were just starting their careers. Letterman noted that Williams’ performance was like “nothing we’d ever seen before… we’re like morning dew, he comes in like a hurricane. The longer he was on stage, the worse we feel about ourselves, because it’s not stopping. And then he finishes, and I thought, ‘oh, that’s it, they’re gonna have to put an end to showbusiness, because what can happen after this?'”

As well as reminiscing about his disastrous guest appearance on Williams’ “Mork and Mindy,” Letterman ran a clip package of some of the star’s appearances on his show, before ending on a subdued note.

“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,” he said. “But what a guy.”

SEE ALSO: Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers Remember Robin Williams During Latenight Shows

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  1. Tim says:

    The best tribute to the best comedian of this generation. Thank you Dave for giving an incredible tribute to an unbelievable person!

  2. He was a gifted actor who brought a rare emotional integrity to his serious roles, but with the possible exception of Richard Pryor, Robin Williams must be deemed the greatest stand up comedian who ever lived. He told awful truths in such an incisive yet good-natured way (especially about the sorry lot of political misleaders who foisted themselves on the American body politic in the late 20th and early 21st centuries), that one had to laugh along with him at the absurdities of our age.

    In July 2002 in New York City, 10 months after 9/11, as the run-up to the Iraq War was beginning, in the prime of his life and career, Williams put his truth-telling free-spirited anarchistic comic genius on display in a performance that to my knowledge has never been surpassed for its trenchant social content and pure hilarity. Perhaps the internet will make it unnecessary to put it in a time capsule. By virtue of the link above, it will hopefully always be there to remind future generations of Americans that the domestic and world scenes are never so dark that it is not better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

    Although, tragically, Williams could not do for himself what he did for his countrymen (including our soldiers he later selflessly performed for in USO shows when the same misleaders he skewered nihilistically sent our volunteer soldiers into the infernal Iraq war) his suicide should not (as one musician callously suggested in a column this week) cause us to lessen our appreciation of his genius and the public legacy of warmth, humanism, laughter and joy he left behind.

    To slightly amend Shakespeare’s phrase: “He was a man, take him for all in all, [we] shall not look upon his like again.”

    Eric C. Jacobson
    Public Interest Lawyer

  3. Gregory says:

    Such a giving being. Just seeing the way he wanted to spread his own success with others. What a shame. I wish someone was there I help him through his challenging times. This was beautiful. Thank you.

    I made a tribute as well, take a listen, I spent 3 days on 19 minutes…

  4. rivercrossinghope says:

    What a lovely tribute to a very uniquely talented gentleman. For some reason..I think of ‘About Schmidt’… Our hearts are very sad…but, Robin Williams will live on, no doubt! Our prayers being lifted for his family and friends….

  5. rhea says:

    Very touching and well suited tribute for a great man who touched the lives of many people around the Globe!
    Writer at :

  6. Cosmic Candy Galllop- Leibow says:

    Most Humble & Gracious Thanks
    ………. In this day & Age . Maybe ALL the hard Working Folks In Heaven Needed Him More at these Most Trialing Times ( to help keep THEIR INSANITY intact)…….. afterall Robin concurred that ” LAUGHTER IS the Best Medicine” ….{{{{ <3 }}}} He Will Never Be Forgotten Not Only as a Comedian. But as an Incredible HUMANTARIAN!!! A Friend to ALL From Grown Ups to Kids to even Animals . Just ask KOKO!!!!! {{{{{ <3 }}}}} Thank You Robin . What Dreams May Come…. WE shall All See One another Soon!!!!!!!

  7. Robin Williams you were warm, gentle, expressive, nurturing, and brilliant. Never allow me to forget You!!…

  8. Mr. Letterman, Hi I would like to say thank you for such a beautiful tributie, To a very gifted man. Robin was and will alway be one of the best. I love him like a brother. The whole world lost a very special man. We love you Robin God speed and Rest in peace. Thanks much for all the fun always Jim

  9. Norman Wallerstein says:

    This was one of the kindest and most meaningful tributes I’ve ever seen on TV. David Letterman’s anecdotes about their relationship made this segment even more special and so personal for Dave and his audience. The short video spoke volumes about Robin’s genius as a performer.

  10. Connie Colvin says:

    I knew Dave would do something for Robin, it brought me to sobs. It was wonderful, and so touching. Dave has had terrible depression himself, so I am sure if he had known, he would have contacted Robin. Losing Robin has cut me to the bone… I wish I could have stopped him, or someone could have, we have lost a giant and will never be the same. Love to Dave for the tribute and to Robin, wherever he might be, forever.

  11. Melissa Gray says:

    That brought tears, I can not believe as soon as Dave showed the clip from Mork & Mindy I said to my self “Seen it”.
    I am so thankful for all the laughs and smiles. T.V. and Movies can become such a big part of our lives we feel as if we know the actors personal, But Robin William really gave of him-self in so many parts it is hard not to feel that you knew him.

  12. vanessa says:

    Thank you for posting this video. I love watching David Letterman every night but last night I was really tired. Watching this clip and a tribute to the late Robin Williams was beautiful, funny and sad (w/some tears). He will be truly missed! Robin Williams touched every soul! RIP.

    San Francisco, CA

  13. Ted says:

    You are such a class act David Letterman.

  14. Ken from Toronto says:

    The Ed Sullivan Theatre always seemed to be a good venue for Williams…his appearances on Letterman were always inspired. One sensed a genuine mutual respect between host and guest. I was very moved by Letterman’s memorial last night. He’s a class act.

  15. Teresa Whitt says:

    This is the first time that I’ve been able to cry about Robin Williams. Davids montage at the end, and seeing how happy he was, and all the laughing, just frankly brought tears to my eyes. How sad many of us will be, in the realization, that he is not physically here with us, and we must go on without Robins continuous wit, and charm. I want to buy everything that he’s done and sit and have myself a “Robin Day”. I want to laugh as well as cry, at the best comic genius there ever was, on this planet. Rest in Peace Robin, the heavens have gained a great man.

  16. irishmary24 says:

    The emotion on David Letterman’s face was so touching. His words also reflected what all Robin William’s fans feel. If we could have been able to do something… It seems the one who is smiling most is the one whose heartbreak is the deepest. Loved the tribute. Thanks, Dave.

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