O'Brien and actor Arnett, who co-starred with Williams in the 2006 film RV, were filming the closing moments of the usually-upbeat show, when reports started breaking that the Oscar winning actor had been found dead from an apparent suicide.
After taking a moment's break to digest the news, talk show host O'Brien made the shocking announcement to his studio audience, and explained the situation to viewers at home.
“This is unusual, and upsetting, but we got some news while we were taping the show, that Robin Williams has passed away," a visibly shaken O'Brien relayed. "We tape these shows a few hours early, and by the time you see this now on TV, I’m sure that you’ll know. I’m sorry to anybody in our studio audience that I’m breaking this news [to]. This is absolutely shocking and horrifying, and so upsetting on every level."
A somber O'Brien went on to explain that few details were known at that time, but they felt they had to acknowledge the tragic situation on air.
Williams' former co-star Arnett then spoke a few words. "As funny as he was, he’s truly one of the all-time greats, he was even better as a person,” the Arrested Development actor said. “He was even more fantastic, just the loveliest, sweetest, one of the kindest guys that I’ve ever worked with. Just such a soft, warm, emotionally sweet guy, and it’s a major, major loss for everybody and our hearts go out to his family."
Clearly still in shock, Conan drew the show to a close in a very subdued way. "We're just processing this information literally right at this moment," the show host concluded. "We're thinking of Robin's family, everybody who he touched, and we're thinking about Robin tonight. God Bless Robin Williams." See Robin's amazing career through the years.
Click on the link above to watch the moving tribute.