Billy Crystal is an American actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer, director and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970’s and 1980’s for television roles as Jodie Dallas on the ABC sitcom Soap…..and as a cast member and frequent host of Saturday Night Live. He then became a Hollywood film star during the late 1980’s and 1990’s….while appearing in the box office successes including The Princess Bride and Throw Momma from the Train in 1987…..When Harry Met Sally in 1989…..City Slickers in 1991…..Mr. Saturday Night in 1992….Analyze This in 1999….and Parental Guidance in 2012…. while providing the voice of Mike Wazowski in the Monsters, Inc. films starting in 2001….plus, he will reprise his role in the upcoming Disney+ series Monsters at Work in 2021. For his work, he received numerous accolades, including six Primetime Emmy Awards…. a Tony Award…..a Mark Twain Prize ….. and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991. He has hosted the Academy Awards nine times, beginning in 1990 and most recently in 2012.
Comedy – 1982 – Rick Newman’s Catch A Rising Star Special – Billy Crystal Live On Stage
Crystal returned to New York City….where for four years he was part of a comedy trio with two friends…. who played colleges and coffee houses….while Crystal worked as a substitute teacher on Long Island. He later became a solo act and performed regularly at The Improv and Catch a Rising Star…..then in 1976, Crystal appeared on an episode of All in the Family…..plus he was on the dais for The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast of Muhammad Ali on February 19, 1976….where he did impressions of both Ali and sportscaster Howard Cosell. He was scheduled to appear on the first episode of NBC Saturday Night on October 11, 1975….as the show was later renamed Saturday Night Live on March 26, 1977….but his sketch was cut…..however, he did perform on episode 17 of that first season….whiole doing a monologue of an old jazz man capped by the line “Can you dig it? I knew that you could.” Crystal was a guest on the first and the last episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno….which concluded February 6, 2014….after 22 seasons on the air. Crystal also made game show appearances such as The Hollywood Squares, All Star Secrets and The $20,000 Pyramid. To this day, he holds the Pyramid franchise’s record for getting his contestant partner to the top of the pyramid in winner’s circle in the fastest time: 26 seconds.
Comedy – 1985 – Special – Billy Crystal “Fifteen Rounds” – A Tribute To Muhammad Ali
Crystal’s earliest prominent role was as Jodie Dallas on Soap….who was one of the first unambiguously gay characters in the cast of an American television series. He continued in the role during the series’s entire 1977–1981 run…..then in 1982, Billy Crystal hosted his own variety show, The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour on NBC….but when Crystal arrived to shoot the fifth episode, he learned the show had been canceled after only the first two aired. After hosting Saturday Night Live twice, on March 17, 1984 and the show’s ninth season finale on May 5….that is when he joined the regular cast for the 1984-85 season. His most famous recurring sketch was his parody of Fernando Lamas, a smarmy talk-show host whose catchphrase, “You look… mahvelous!”, became a media sensation. Also in the 1980’s, Crystal starred in an episode of Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre as the smartest of the three little pigs. In 1996, Crystal was the guest star of the third episode of Muppets Tonight and hosted three Grammy Awards Telecasts: the 29th Grammys; the 30th Grammys; and the 31st Grammys.
Comedy & Music – 1985 – Music Video – Billy Crystal Performs “You Look Marvelous”
In 2015, Crystal co-starred alongside Josh Gad on the FX comedy series The Comedians, which ran for just one season before being canceled. Crystal’s first film role was in Joan Rivers’ 1978 film Rabbit Test, the story of the “world’s first pregnant man.” Crystal appeared briefly in the Rob Reiner “rockumentary” This Is Spinal Tap in 1984 as Morty The Mime….who was a waiter dressed as a mime at one of Spinal Tap’s parties. He shared the scene with a then-unknown, non-speaking Dana Carvey….while stating famously that “Mime is money.” He later starred in the action comedy Running Scared in 1986….and was directed by Reiner again in The Princess Bride in 1987….then in a comedic supporting role as “Miracle Max”….as Reiner got Crystal to accept the part by saying, “How would you like to play Mel Brooks?” Reiner also allowed Crystal to ad-lib, and his parting shot, “Have fun storming the castle!” is a frequently-quoted line. Reiner directed Crystal for a third time in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally in 1989 ….in which Crystal starred alongside Meg Ryan….for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. The film has since become an iconic classic for the genre…..and is Crystal’s most celebrated film. Crystal then starred in the award-winning buddy comedy City Slickers in 1991,,,,,which proved very successful both commercially and critically….for which Crystal was nominated for his second Golden Globe. The film was followed by a sequel which was less successful…..then in 1992, he narrated Dr. Seuss Video Classics: Horton Hatches the Egg.