By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — At the end of taping his show on Monday, Conan O’Brien stunned his studio audience when he broke the news that Robin Williams had died.
Audible gasps of shock can be heard and then there is total silence as O’Brien struggles to find the words to express what had just happened.
O’Brien apologized to his audience, but he said he felt is was important to acknowledge the death of the comedic pioneer and beloved actor.
“This is absolutely shocking and horrifying and so upsetting on every level. We’re at the end of the show and it felt like we needed to acknowledge,” O’Brien said.
“We are so very sorry that we have to report this,” O’Brien said.
At the time of the taping, reports that Williams, who grew up in suburban Chicago and was known as a class clown even then, had committed suicide were not yet known.
The footage is raw and emotional as O’Brien, co-host Andy Richter and guest Will Arnett appeared shocked and struggle to express their thoughts.
“God, bless Robin Williams,” O’Brien said as the show concluded.