The outpouring of love and sympathy for Robin Williams continues.
E! News reports that Billy Crystal, long time comedian and close friend of Robin Williams, stopped by ABC’s The View to speak to host Whoopi Goldberg about the passing of Williams. Goldberg, Williams, and Crystal joined forces back in 1986 to form Comic Relief, a benefit to raise money for the homeless. The trio’s participation lasted for eight years.
During a one-on-one interview on the show, the 58-year-old co-host praised Crystal, 66, about his touching speech about the actor at the 2014 Emmy Awards. Crystal recalled being rendered speechless when he learned the devastating news that their “great, dear friend, fellow comedian and longtime Comic Relief fundraiser co-star had died at the age of 63 in his Northern California home on Aug. 11 of an apparent suicide.
“When it all happened, it was, you know, so breathtaking, and that’s why I tweeted then, I just wrote, ‘No words.”.Crystal said. “”Cause I didn’t have any. I just had pain.”
Williams and Crystal has known each other for many years. Williams appeared on Crystal’s The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour in 1982. Besides their performances with Goldberg on the Comic Relief stage, Williams and Crystal attended each other’s family functions and called each other on the phone.
Later that Friday evening, Crystal visited The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to share more stories of Williams. Rolling Stone reported that both comedians had a good story to tell.
Fallon began with a story about a group of comedians and actors (Williams, Martin Short, Rob Reiner, Jon Lovitz, Danny DeVito, and himself) on their way to the Kennedy Center to celebrate Crystal winning the Mark Twain for Humor in 2007. As they get to the Kennedy Center, everyone sees security people bring bomb-sniffing dogs on board, Upon seeing this, Fallon quotes Williams as saying, “Oh, I hope there’s no copies of my movies on this bus!” Fallon says, impersonating Williams. “Quick, everyone throw Popeye out the window!”
Crystal closes with some more reflections on Williams, whom he calls “the greatest mind I’ve ever been around – because it was so terrifyingly fast.” After reminiscing about their hours of late night phone calls filled with improvisation (“We were like two jazz musicians who got new horns”), Crystal offers an anecdote about Williams getting a stern response from presidential candidate Michael Dukakis during the second Comic Relief event in 1988.
As the three comedians were sitting watching Dukakis speak, Dukakis misspoke the name of the planet Uranus. Williams began to riff on whose *nus it was. Dukakis immediately turned and sternly towards Williams, and said, “This isn’t HBO!!”
Later, Williams turned to Crystal and said under his breath, “No way this mother****er wins.”
“He had the biggest set of b*lls ever on a stage,” Crystal says of Williams. “He was fearless.”