Billy Crystal Says He Wasn't Called to Emcee Oscars, Is Excited About Host-Less Show

The actor also joined James Corden in a 'When Harry Met Sally' parody during his appearance on Tuesday's episode of 'The Late Late Show.'
Terence Patrick/CBS
Sarah Chalke and Billy Crystal flank James Corden

CBS' The Late Late Show host James Corden on Tuesday referred to Billy Crystal as the "most beloved" Oscars host ever, but the actor said that he wasn't asked to host the 2019 ceremony after Kevin Hart dropped out of the role.

"No one called, but that's fine," said Crystal during his visit.

He has hosted the awards show nine times, most recently in 2012.

And even though the awards ceremony will proceed without a host, the Academy confirmed on Tuesday, Crystal is excited about the show.

"They have very creative producers. I know some really funny people who are doing it," he said about the upcoming ceremony. "I think it can work great, though I do like the fact that when I was there, or when Ellen [DeGeneres] or any of the other successful hosts, that you're there to comment on something that happens.

"When you're the host, you want something bad to happen," he continued. "It's exciting for the audience. The last time that I remember there was no host was the infamous Rob Lowe Snow White thing."

Crystal was referring to the 1989 ceremony, in which Lowe performed an opening number that included a parody of "Proud Mary" with Snow White.

"I followed that year. I was a presenter and then the next year I started hosting," said Crystal. "God knows we want it to be great. I wish everyone luck, and I think it will be fun."

Crystal also joined Corden for a When Harry Met Sally parody, titled "When Billy Met James," during the show. The two gave a talk-show host twist to the famous "I'll have what she's having" scene, in which Sally (Meg Ryan) shows Harry (Crystal) how women fake orgasms.

The parody opened with an exterior shot of a diner. The two men were then seen enjoying sandwiches.

"Don’t get me wrong, Billy. I love hosting a talk show. I do," said Corden. "It's just it can be tough sometimes, you know, because some guests, frankly, they think they're more interesting than they actually are."

Crystal responded that he was experienced as a talk show guest, so Corden had nothing to worry about before his appearance.

Then the pair launched into an almost line-for-line reenactment of the When Harry Met Sally scene with "women" replaced with "talk show hosts."

But instead of faking an orgasm like Ryan's character, Corden began to laugh at Crystal to show that it's easy to feign interest in what a guest has to say. The host gave Crystal a number of compliments as he continued to laugh.

"You gotta stop, stop, stop," said Corden as he hit his hands against the table. The outburst caused many of the diner's customers to stop what they were doing and stare at the hysterical host.

"Billy Crystal, everybody. We'll be right back," he announced before he quickly calmed down and continued to pick at his food.

The camera then cut to fellow customer Jay Leno, who said, "I'll have what he's having."