It's still hard to believe that comedic legend Robin Williams, the star of classics like Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, and Patch Adams, is no longer with us. Friends, family, and fans alike are all mourning the death of the late Williams, and the tributes to his talent keep pouring in from across Hollywood to pay respect to the irreplaceable actor. The most recent: David Letterman paid tribute to Robin Williams on Late Night With David Letterman last night, and it was perfect.
Letterman and Williams were good friends for decades (38 years, to be exact), so Letterman's kind words about Williams — outlining that there will never be another like him — truly come from the heart.
"It’s like nothing we had never seen before, nothing we had ever imagined before. We go home at night and are writing our little jokes about stuff, and this guy comes in and we're like morning dew—this guy's like a hurricane. And now, the longer he's on stage, the worse we feel about ourselves. Because it's not stopping," Letterman said of seeing Williams perform stand-up for the first time at LA's Comedy Store (where many comedians got their start) in 1970. "And then he finishes and I thought, 'Oh that’s it, they’re gonna have to put an end to showbusiness because what could happen after this?'… We didn’t approach him because we were afraid of him. Honest to God you thought, 'Holy crap, there goes my chance in show business because of this guy.'"
The tribute is 10 minutes long in full — in other words, a whole segment on Late Show — and concludes with a touching montage of Williams' various appearances on Late Show. As Letterman says: "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." What a guy, indeed.