Robin Williams’ Old Friend Billy Crystal Delivers Heartbreaking Emmys Tribute

'Robin Williams, what a concept.'

The memory of comedian Robin Williams, whose death shocked the world earlier this month, loomed large over the annual fete honoring the best and brightest and most beloved in television, the Emmys.

At the awards ceremony Monday night (August 25), a special segment was set aside after the traditional In Memoriam montage, detailing the greats of the medium who passed since last year’s ceremony, for fellow comedian Billy Crystal to share a tribute to Williams.

As a giant photograph of Williams lit up an otherwise darkened stage, Crystal (whose friendship with his Comic Relief co-host spanned more than three decades) described Williams’ infective energy.

“I mean, the brilliance was astounding,” Crystal said. “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.”

He told of Williams coming to family gatherings and casual get-togethers, places out of the public eye where performers always have to be on. He was as funny off-stage as off, Crystal remembered. “He could be funny anywhere.”

Crystal’s speech was followed by a compilation of several late night appearances and stand up clips from Williams, ending with the image of the comedian waving while walking off-stage.

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