Billy Crystal: Remembering Robin was 'the hardest thing I've ever done'

By admin
17 September 2014

Billy Crystal honoured the late star by leading an Emmy Awards tribute August 25. It came just two weeks after Robin was found dead of an apparent suicide on August 11 at the age of 63.

Billy Crystal honoured the late star by leading an Emmy Awards tribute August 25. It came just two weeks after Robin was found dead of an apparent suicide on August 11 at the age of 63.

'It was only two weeks to the day of the Emmys that everything had happened'

"I think it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do,” Billy told America’s Today Show Tuesday. “It was only two weeks to the day of the Emmys that everything had happened.”

The funnyman didn’t flinch at the prospect of paying tribute to his late friend. But the challenge of remembering Robin with laughter was difficult to say the least.

“They called me and said would you do it, and I said, 'Of course,'” Billy recalled. “But then came the task of doing it right and being sort of the spokesman for everybody in front of 17 million people.

“He was my closest friend, and to do it with some humour and only in a short period of time that I had to do it was difficult.”

Billy and Robin co-starred in 1997 film Father’s Day, but the When Harry Met Sally star remembers their friendship growing as they worked together on Comic Relief, a series of comedy specials raising money for the homeless. He fondly recalls how they travelled together to deliver checks to the charities in person.

“It was on those plane rides or the car rides, or being in those quiet moments, when we weren’t just doing comedy, we were talking as friends. And I think... as we got older, it got better and deeper and we talked about everything," he said. "Our phone calls would go late into the night."

Billy also said Robin did speak to him about his struggles with depression and addiction, leading the pair to talk “three or four times a day sometimes”.

“But the riffs were still great,” Billy said. “We’d go late into the night like two jazz musicians who just got new horns.”

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