“Before we get into the show: We, like all of you, we were shaken up a bit last night, when we learned that genius comedian/actor Robin Williams passed away,” Fallon said with some difficulty at the top of tonight’s broadcast. “He was one of a kind — he was one in a million. He introduced a clip of Williams’ first appearance on The Tonight Show when Johnny Carson was its host. After the video, Fallon joined the growing group of Williams fans paying tribute to the actor by standing on a desk, reciting a bit of Walt Whitman’s poem, Oh Captain, My Captain! — a nod to an early Williams film, Dead Poets Society:
After Fallon’s program wrapped, Seth Meyers also spent a moment toward the top of his NBC late night show sending condolences to Williams’ family.
“The saddest part of this is Williams was battling depression, and if there is 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,’ he said. “So we just want to say that we miss Robin, but we’re also very lucky to have had him at all. So thank you to Robin Williams, I guess.”