Emmys: Billy Crystal Honors Longtime Friend Robin Williams
Crystal eulogizes Robin Williams: "He was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy"
A tearful Billy Crystal toasted his longtime friend Robin Williams during the Emmys to cap off the show's "In Memoriam" segment.
"He made us laugh hard, every time you saw him on television, movies, nightclubs, arenas, hospitals, homeless shelters, for our troops overseas and even in a dying girl's living room," Crystal said of Williams in a carefully measured tribute. "The brilliance was astounding. The relentless energy was kind of thrilling. I used to think if I could just put a saddle on him and stay on for eight seconds, I was going to do okay."
"Well, as genius as he was onstage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine: supportive, protective, loving. It's very hard hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives," Crystal added, sharing personal stories of Williams' ante-upping banter with the former's own immigrant relatives in private moments. "For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy."
Though the best testament to Williams' manic and diverse comedic range was in the star's own words — as shown in a video montage of the comedian's clips and quips. After the montage, the lights faded and the photo of Williams receded into the dark.
Before Crystal took the stage, singer Sara Bareilles performed "Smile" as clips were shown of television luminaries who died in the past year, including James Garner, Shirley Temple, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ruby Dee, Meshach Taylor and many, many others, ending on a photo of Williams.
Williams died in his Tiburon, Calif., home of an apparent suicide on Aug. 11 at the age of 63. Many of the show's attendees wore green ribbons in a sartorial tribute to the actor, whose presence loomed large in the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Crystal and Williams co-starred in Ivan Reitman's 1997 comedy Father's Day. The pair also co-hosted the Comic Relief fundraisers with Whoopi Goldberg.
Click here to see the best and worst moments from Monday night's ceremony.
A complete list of winners can be found here.