Conan O’Brien admitted on Tuesday’s show that he didn’t know Robin Williams personally. He only knew the late actor and comedian professionally, and as a frequent guest on O’Brien’s myriad late-night talk shows. But it was through that relationship that he decided Robin Williams was “the best talk show guest in the world.”
See video: Conan O’Brien Salutes Robin Williams
News of Williams’ death by apparent suicide broke during the taping of O’Brien’s show on Monday. He and guest Will Arnett said a few words at the time, but by Tuesday night’s show, he and his team had crafted something more.
O’Brien and sidekick Andy Richter talked about the generous spirit of Williams, as well as his ability to make people laugh. O’Brien particularly remembered an outrageous “Mardi Gras”-looking bicycle Williams had bought for him as a gift while O’Brien was going through a tough time — he hinted it might have been around the time of his ouster from “The Tonight Show” — and the fact that Williams seemed delighted at the idea that O’Brien would look ridiculous were he to ride it.
It was that spirit of fun that O’Brien remembered about Williams, and could appreciate. O’Brien reiterated what a great guest Williams was for talk shows, as the late comedian was completely unpredictable and filled with manic energy.
He then presented a compilation of some of his favorite moments shared with Williams as a guest on all of O’Brien’s late night talk shows, including “Late Night,” “The Tonight Show” and “Conan.” In one, many years ago, O’Brien had already decided that Williams was “the best talk show guest in the world.”