“He Came in Like a Hurricane”: Letterman Remembers the First Time He Met Robin Williams

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 19 2014 11:58 AM

Letterman Remembers the First Time He Met Robin Williams

screen_shot_20140819_at_11.48.58_am

In the wake of Robin Williams’ death last Monday, there’s been an outpouring of remembrances of the late comic, including from late night hosts Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. The Late Show was on break last week, but last night David Letterman, who knew Williams personally for nearly four decades, returned with one of the most heartwarming tributes yet. In it, he shared the charming story of how the two first met as amateur comedians and competitors at the legendary Comedy Store in Hollywood. Unsurprisingly, Letterman’s reaction to witnessing Williams in action for the first time is priceless: “They’re gonna have to put an end to show business because what can happen after this?”

Advertisement

Letterman went on to recount the time Williams invited him years later to guest-star on Mork & Mindy, a break he remembers fondly as a “double-edged sword” for being both a kind gesture and a show he had “no business being on.” You can watch a clip from that episode below.

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 1:04 PM Which States Should Secede From the Union?
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon Who Wasn’t
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.