Crystal paid a moving tribute to his late friend at the Emmys
“What a concept!” – that’s how actor-filmmaker Billy Crystal wants the world to remember his late friend Robin Williams, to whom he paid a moving tribute at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony here Monday.
As part of the prestigious awards function’s ‘In Memoriam’ segment, Crystal, a tad tearful, shared some of his precious memories of Williams, who was found dead at his home in California Aug 11 after he committed suicide.
“He made us laugh, hard, everytime you saw him….television, movies, nightclubs, arenas…He made us laugh big time,” said Crystal, adding how he spent “many brilliant moments with Robin on stage”.
“His brilliance was astounding. His endless energy was thrilling. I used to think if I could put a saddle on him for eight seconds…I would do okay,” added Crystal, who hosted several Comic Relief benefit specials over the years with Williams and Whoopi Goldberg, as well as starred with Williams in the 1997 entertainer “Father’s Day”.
Crystal not just has professional, but also several personal memories of their camaraderie and of Williams’ comic timing. He shared some instances when Williams would come to his family functions and crack jokes with his relatives.
“As genius as he was on stage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine – supporting, protective, loving…it’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives,” Crystal said.
He went on to say: “For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in our comedy galaxy, but while some of the brightest of our celestial bodies are actually extinct now…they miraculously float in heaven, so far away from us now – their beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever and their glow will be so bright, it will warm your heart, make your eyes glisten and you’ll think to yourself, ‘Robin Williams, What a concept!'”
His touching tribute was followed by a video of a montage of Williams’ hilarious onscreen moments, which will keep him alive in the hearts of his fans for years to come.
Prior to the tribute to Williams, pop star Sara Bareilles sang a touching rendition of “Smile” as the Emmy Awards acknowledged late celebrities James Avery, Maya Angelou, Lauren Bacall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Casey Kasem, Don Pardo, Harold Ramis, Mickey Rooney, Elaine Stritch, Shirley Temple and more.