A week after Robin Williams' untimely passing, David Letterman took his "Late Show" to pay tribute to his late friend and fellow actor. On Monday, August 18, the veteran CBS host dedicated 10 minutes of his show to remember the Academy Award winner.
"All of a sudden he comes up on the stage and - you know what it is - it's like nothing we had ever seen before, nothing we had ever imagined before," he recalled the first time he saw Williams onstage at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles.
Letterman, who said he knew Williams for 38 years, continued, "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?' Honest to God you thought, 'Holy crap, there goes my chance in show business because of this guy.' "
Letterman also said that Williams helped him land a guest spot on "Mork & Mindy". "Even to the detriment of the show, Robin was kind enough to invite me to come on because he thought, 'Why can't I spread this around and have some of my friends share in my success?' Which is exactly what he did," he said of the "Good Morning, Vietnam" star.
Claiming that Williams appeared on his late night chat shows "almost 50 times," he said two things would happen every time Williams was a guest. "One, I didn't have to do anything - all I had to do was sit here and watch the machine," he said. "And two, people would watch. If they knew Robin was on this show the viewership would go up because the wanted to see Robin."
He then played a clip of Williams' appearances on his shows. At the end of the segment, he looked emotional as saying, "What I will add here is beyond being a very talented man and a good friend and a gentlemen, I am sorry I, like everybody else, had no idea that the man was in pain and the man was suffering."