In just one segment last night, David Letterman reminded us that not only was Robin Williams a wonderful guy and one of the funniest people to ever live, but that Dave may be one of the greatest late-night hosts of all time.
It may be strange to clump the two together, but what Dave did as a tribute to his longtime friend last night was masterful. There were moments where he wanted to make you laugh, and then there were moments where it was hard not to cry. There are so few occasions where Letterman lets his guard down in front of an audience, and he did that briefly Monday (his first night on the air since Williams passed away) explaining how the two of them first came up in the comedy circuit, and how Letterman, Jay Leno, and many of the other contemporaries at that time were intimidated by how great he was and how quick he managed to become a success.
You get to see a clip in here of the time that Dave appeared on “Mork & Mindy” (which Robin set up to give him time on TV), and also the near-fifty times that he appeared on Letterman’s various shows over the years. The two were friends, and while Dave makes it clear he never knew that he was “suffering” before his death, you can see him flustered after showing a package of some of Robin’s best moments on the show.
As Letterman’s time on CBS gets closer to an end, we do hope that there are more opportunities for him to wax poetic about his times coming up and what it meant to be a comic in the 1970s and 80s. But however good he is, he will always tell you that Robin was better. That’s part of Dave’s charm; not once will he ever admit to being funnier than anyone else.
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