Last night’s Emmy Awards were filled with surprising kisses, some interesting upset victories, and, honestly, a lot of the same, as winners from past years continued their Emmy winning streaks with only a few new actors, writers, or series taking home prizes this year. However, no matter how you felt about Matthew McConaughey losing or Modern Family winning for the fifth straight year, there’s one undeniable thing that people can agree on, and that is the fact that Billy Crystal’s beautiful, touching tribute to Robin Williams was, undoubtedly, the best part of the Emmys last night.
Following a moving “In Memoriam” segment to the countless great actors, writers, and producers we lost this year, which featured an amazing performance of “Smile” by Sara Bareilles, Crystal took to the Emmy stage and gave a wonderful, heartfelt speech about his friend, calling him “the brightest star in the comedy galaxy.”
“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 Robin Williams. “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.”
Crystal then continued, sharing his own personal stories of the time he had spent with Robin Williams.
“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 said, retelling jokes and impressions that Williams had done of Crystal’s family and of an improvised comedy routine the two of them had performed while in the broadcast booth at a Mets game. “For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy.”
Crystal’s speech was followed by clips of some of Williams’ greatest comedic moments, ending with the late actor doing a skit in which he portrayed a conversation between himself and his son, his final words to the audience being, “You aren’t afraid, are you? Nah.”
Watch the moving Emmy tribute to Williams below.
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