Like just about everyone plugged into media last night, Conan O’Brien was stunned to learn of Robin Williams’ death. But most of us processing the news didn’t have to do so while taping a late-night talk show.
That’s the unfortunate position O’Brien, co-host Andy Richter and guest Will Arnett were in Monday night, literally breaking the news about Williams’ passing to the studio audience and trying to come up with something — anything — to say in the wake of this tragic development.
Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the trio was able to express their sentiments on Williams and what kind of person he was so articulately and eloquently, given what each of them does for a living. But all three were clearly shaken by the news.
Not everyone had to share their thoughts in such a public forum (though so many of us felt the need to say something on social media last night), and perhaps O’Brien could have opted not to do so at the end of Monday’s show. Yet it was certainly nice that he did, and it turned out to be a touching tribute.