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A year ago, Robin Williams stood on the stage to remember one of his mentors, Jonathan Winters during the 2013 Emmys. This year, Williams was the one being remembered by his close friend and fellow comedy legend Billy Crystal.
It was an emotional moment, coming right after Sara Bareilles performed “Smile” during a slideshow of the other great stars and producers lost during the past year. When Williams’ face was shown on the screen, Crystal took the stage solo and spoke about the late Good Will Hunting star.
“He made us laugh...Hard,” a clearly shaken Crystal said to start his speech. “Every time you saw him on television, in movies, nightclubs, arenas, hospitals, homeless shelters, for our troops overseas and even in a dying girl’s living room for her last wish. He made us laugh big time.”
Crystal shared memories of Williams at family functions and gigs, giving a particularly hilarious anecdote about a time at a baseball game.
“As genius as he was onstage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine,” Crystal told the audience, notes EW. “It’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives. For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy.”
He said that we will always remember Williams, seeing him like the remains of dying bright stars in the sky. “And you’ll think to yourself, Robin Williams... what a concept.”
After that, the producers queued up Williams’ first appearance on the Tonight Show and a few other classic bits. It really was the “appropriate and meaningful” tribute we were promised.
image courtesy of Kristin Callahan/ACE/INFphoto.com