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Gene Wilder's Interview with Conan Shows Exactly Why He Was So Beloved

When a famous person dies, inevitably, the narrative spins to that person's legacy and the positive imprints left on the world. It's not for us to trample on graves.

But let this be clear: Gene Wilder was beloved and left an incredible amount of laughter and wonderfulness in his wake.

This decade-old clip, just uploaded to YouTube, comes from Conan O'Brien's now-defunct show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, but in it, the red-haired host demonstrates a clear reverence for Wilder. Anyone with a funny bone should. Wilder warmly discusses his legacy with children as Willy Wonka, how he fought to get in the tap-dancing scene in Young Frankenstein, and his irresistible chemistry with Richard Pryor.

His interview reveals a level of thought about comedy far deeper than slapstick -- along with a mind and presence the world won't be able to replace.
 

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Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News Editor. He fondly remembers watching Willa Wonka in kindergarten and Blazing Saddles with his dad. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.