Conan O’Brien is known for his jocular, care-free persona that never once fades during his show. But last night, the tragic news of Robin Williams’ death shook O’Brien, sidekick Andy Richter, and guest Will Arnett into a solemn, heartfelt tribute to one of the most dynamic actors the world has ever seen.

A clearly emotional O’Brien explained to viewers who were not already aware that late night television tapes in the mid-afternoon, then airs that night. The news about Williams came down just as the show was wrapping up, allowing everyone to share their thoughts on this terrible loss.

“He was an amazingly kind and generous person,” said Richter, “and it's got to be a terrible time for his family, and our thoughts go out to them.”

Arnett added that “As funny as he was—he’s truly one of the all-time greats—he was even better as a person. 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.”

O’Brien concluded the show with the most succinct, fitting tribute of all:

“God Bless Robin Williams.”

[via The Concourse]