Jimmy Fallon fought back tears as he remembered Robin Williams on NBC's The Tonight Show Tuesday. "We, like all of you were shaken up a bit last night when we learned that genius comedian and actor Robin Williams passed away. He was one in a kind," the emotional host said. "He was one in a million."
"He's, like, unbelievable. If you ever saw this guy's stand-up, you wouldn't even...if you don't know his stand-up, you should YouTube it right now and just watch it. He's just amazing," he said. "He was funny and he was fast and he would weave in and out of characters. He would get Shakespearean." Fallon then did his best Williams impersonation. "You would watch him and you would cry laughing, and you would think, 'I'm never going to see anyone like this human ever.' It's just amazing," he said. "His brain was always thinking 10 steps ahead of what he was saying. He was like the Mohammed Ali of comedy."
Fallon then showed a clip of Williams' first-ever Tonight Show appearance with Johnny Carson. The 39-year-old comedian concluded his touching tribute to the 63-year-old actor by standing on his desk and riffing off a key scene in Dead Poets Society: "Oh captain, my captain, you will be missed," Fallon said.
Conan O'Brien, who broke the news of Williams' death to his studio audience Monday, said, "It's an impossible thing to process." As such, the TBS host added that it "felt appropriate" to take a moment to honor Williams. "[He was] such a funny, fantastic guy. Everybody knows that side of him. What I think a lot of people don't know—and you're starting to hear all these stories coming out now—is how crazily generous [he was]. He was so generous," O'Brien said of the Patch Adams actor. "Such a nice person."
O'Brien called Williams "the best talk show guest ever, probably."
"Just as a quick example of what he was like, a bunch of years ago...I went through, publicly, a kind of bump in the road and I was feeling a little low. Out of the blue, Robin Williams buys me a bicycle. It sounds like a silly thing. He was the first person to buy me a bicycle since my parents bought me a bicycle—when I was 35. But I was kind of low and Robin loved to ride, and I loved to ride, and he bought me a bicycle," O'Brien recalled. "But this is so Robin Williams: he bought me this bicycle and he had it delivered to my house and it was the most absurd bicycle you've ever seen...it was bright orange and it was bright green and it had shamrocks on it. So, I called Robin up to just say, 'Who does that?' I didn't know him well enough to justify this kind of [gift]. So, I called him up and I just said, 'Robin, I'm floored by this bike.' And all he would say is, 'Well, I know you ride and I know you would use it. Does it look ridiculous? Does it really look ridiculous?' I said, 'Yeah,' and he went, 'Good. Do you really look stupid riding it?' And I said, 'Yeah, I'm gonna look really stupid.' He's like, 'Well, then that's good then.'"
"He had just that amazing spirit of fun—the generosity, but also the fun," O'Brien said.
O'Brien concluded the segment by sharing highlights from his interviews with Williams.
Seth Meyers also honored the Hook star on NBC's Late Night Tuesday. He began by offering his condolences to Williams' family. "I worked in a video store when I was growing up and I used to take out his stand-up albums all the time and he brought me a great amount of joy. As I got older, films like Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting seemed to...be exactly what I was feeling at those times," he said. "The saddest part of this is Robin was battling depression, and 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. We just want to say that we miss Robin, but we're also very lucky to have had him at all."
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