Watch Conan O’Brien break the news of Robin Williams’s death to his live audience


“This is unusual and upsetting,” began the final segment of Conan O’Brien’s show on Monday. Then, the talk show host had the unenviable job of informing his audience that Robin Williams had died. Williams, 63, was found dead in his California home on Monday.

“We got some news. We got some news during the show that Robin Williams has passed away,” he continued. You can hear the audience gasp in the clip. “I’m sorry to anyone in our studio audience that I’m breaking this news, this is absolutely shocking, and horrifying, and so upsetting on every level,” he said. “I know that everybody here, we’ve all worked with Robin over the years.”

Although the show taped just as the news of Williams’s death broke, it aired several hours later. So O’Brien, Andy Richter, and guest Will Arnett had a brief, impromptu discussion of Williams’s kindness and significance as they were all still clearly processing the news.

“He was an amazingly kind and generous person, and it’s got to be a terrible time for his family, and our thoughts go out to them,” Richter said. Arnett acknowledged Williams’s astonishing career as an actor and comedian, but noted something about Williams that many who knew him have said over the past 24 hours: “He was even better as a person. He was even more fantastic…one of the sweetest kindest guys that I’ve ever worked with.”

“We’re thinking about Robin tonight. There’s really not much else to say.” Conan said before ending the show.

Abby Ohlheiser is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.
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