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David Letterman and Robin Williams, circa late seventies (YouTube)
David Letterman and Robin Williams, circa late seventies (YouTube)

Now Trending: David Letterman delivers moving TV tribute to Robin Williams Add to ...

LOOKING BACK

David Letterman has remembered his friend and comedy colleague Robin Williams with an emotional tribute.

As reported by E! News, the first order of business on The Late Show with David Letterman when the program returned from summer break on Monday night was the host addressing the death of Williams, who took his own life last week.

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You can watch Letterman’s complete 10-minute homage to Williams here.

Letterman began by telling viewers that he had been friends with Williams for 38 years – dating all the way back to the days when both men were aspiring comics trying to make their name at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles.

“In those days, we were working for free drinks,” said Letterman. “What you would do is you would go on stage, you would do your little skits, and you would come off stage. And if there was a new guy coming on, you’d want to stick around and make fun of the new guy, because we were all worried that somebody else was coming in who was really funny.”

And when Williams arrived on the L.A. comedy scene in the late seventies, he was a complete unknown.

“For some reason in the beginning he was introduced as being from Scotland,” recalled Letterman. “They said he was Scottish. So now we’re stumped.”

But once the Juilliard-trained Williams began riffing, however, it was game over.

“All of a sudden he comes up on stage and you know what it is,” said Letterman. “It’s like nothing we had ever seen before – nothing we had ever imagined before. We go home at night and are writing our little jokes about stuff, and this guy comes in and we’re like morning dew. This guy’s a hurricane.”

Right around the same time, Williams was booked for a guest spot on the ABC sitcom Happy Days, which in turn led to him being cast in the starring role on the spinoff series Mork & Mindy.

As everyone knows, Mork & Mindy launched Williams’ career into the stratosphere, although he routinely reconvened with Letterman for guest appearances on Late Night with David Letterman (1982 – 1993) and The Late Show (1993 – present).

Letterman estimates that he interviewed Williams on more than 50 occasions. You can watch one of Williams’ more memorable Late Night sit downs here.

“He was always so gracious and we would talk about the old times, and never did he act like, ‘Oh, I knew you guys were scared because I was so good.’ It was just a pleasure to know the guy.”

During the course of his tribute, Letterman introduced a highlight reel of Williams’ appearances on Late Night and The Late Show.

Letterman also conceded that he was unaware of his friend’s long time struggles with depression.

“I am sorry I – like everybody else – had no idea that the man was in pain and that the man was suffering,” he said.

But in the final tally, Letterman confirmed his personal respect and admiration for his departed friend. “It was just a pleasure to know the guy,” said Letterman. “He was a gentleman and delightful.”

SMALL-SCREEN NEO

Keanu Reeves will appear in his first TV series in the near future. The Matrix star has inked a deal to star in Rain, an hour-long action drama based on the best-selling book series by Barry Eisler. The premise will cast Reeves as John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American contract killer whose specialty is taking out targets and making it look like an accident. Reeves, 49, will also hold rank as executive producer on the series, which has yet to find a broadcast outlet.

Source: Deadline

TRUE LOVE

Portia de Rossi went all out to mark her six-year wedding anniversary with Ellen DeGeneres. On Monday, DeGeneres tweeted a photo of her and de Rossi smiling beneath a giant “six” written by a skywriter along with the comment, “Look what my wife did for our wedding anniversary.” The couple previously marked their anniversary date with skywriting for their marriage’s first five years but skipped last year for reasons unknown.

Source: People

PLACE YOUR BETS

Vegas oddsmakers are predicting a big night for Breaking Bad and Orange is the New Black at next Monday’s 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. According to syndicated gambling columnist Benjamin Eckstein, Breaking Bad is favoured one-to-five to win in the category of outstanding drama series, with fellow nominee True Detective ranked at five-to-one odds. Ecsktein also predicts that the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black will be the surprise winner for outstanding comedy with three-to-two odds.

Source: Variety

FAMILY PLAN

They’re baa-aack. TLC has announced that single mom Kate Gosselin and her expansive brood will return in fresh outings of the reality series Kate Plus 8 for broadcast later this year. The new episodes will follow the family on their recent New England vacation and focus on the kids (Cara, Mady, Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel) as they prepare for the new school year. Originally launched as Jon & Kate Plus 8, the program changed direction and underwent a title change when Jon and Kate Gosselin divorced in 2009 after 10 years of marriage.

Source: People

FRESH BLOOD

The Strain will return for a second season next summer. FX announced Tuesday that the series merging vampires and bio-terrorism from producers Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse has received a 13-episode renewal order. Since launching in early July, The Strain has earned solid U.S. ratings and averaged 4.5-million viewers for each new episode. “I am thrilled!” said del Toro in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Another season to spread the virus.”

Source: EW

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