"He was a joy," Criss said on Conan last night when host Conan O'Brien began asking him how he and the cast are holding up after Monteith's death. "Wonderful guy."
"Obviously it's been a very rough time," Criss said. "When you start picking up the pieces after something as tragic as this, and it's funny that you say that, you don't know how to breach it, we're picking up the pieces now and there's two things you gotta remember. One, is he was a really funny guy, had a great sense of humor and he loved life. He always took care of his friends and wanted his friends to be happy. So it's only right that we, you know, try and start to smile again and laugh again. It's something that he would have wanted.
He continued, "Personal note, he will be severely missed, but I'm just so happy that a guy like him got to touch as many lives as he did while we were lucky enough to have him."
Criss' remembrance of Monteith came on the same day that the late actor's girlfriend Lea Michele headed back to the Glee set for her first day back at work. She tweeted, "First day of glee today..And at my first wardrobe fitting for Rachel Berry for Season Five! I've missed her so much."
Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on July 13 at the age of 31. Autopsy results showed that he passed away of an overdose, officially referred to as mixed drug toxicity, with heroin and alcohol being among the substances found in his body.