Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers both taped their Monday broadcasts before news broke of the apparent suicide of Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams. And so they each took a moment at the top of their broadcasts on Tuesday night to remember the influential performer.
Fallon was visibly emotional as he talked about Williams, encouraging his viewers to seek out Williams’ stand-up on YouTube to see what made him so great.
“He was funny and he was fast and he would weave in and out of characters, he would get Shakespearean,” Fallon said, erupting into a brief impression of Williams’ frantic performance style. “You would cry laughing and you would think, I am never going to see anyone like this human ever … He was like the Muhammad Ali of comedy.”
He played a short clip of Williams’ first-ever “Tonight Show” appearance, which saw the comedian quickly abandon the seat next to then-host Johnny Carson to run around the studio, interacting with the crew and audience as he created comedy on the fly.
Fallon followed the clip by standing on top of his desk in homage to “Dead Poets Society,” saying, “O Captain, my Captain. You will be missed.”
On “Late Night,” Meyers spoke about the influence of Williams’ stand-up comedy on him as a young man working at a video store, as well as the power of his dramatic work in films like the aforementioned “Poets” and “Good Will Hunting.”
“The saddest part of this was Robin was battling depression,” Meyers added. “If there’s anything we can do to honor his memory, I would hope it would be to use this opportunity to educate us more about this terrible affliction.”