This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

Billy Crystal's Emmy 2014 Tribute To Robin Williams: 'What A Concept' (VIDEO)

The 2014 Emmy Awards was a night to honour some of television's finest actors, but between the makeout sessions, the red carpet and the golden statues, Hollywood also took a moment to remember its fallen stars.

The show's In Memoriam segment began with Sara Bareilles' take on "Smile," and paid tribute to a list of actors including James Garner, Paul Walker, Lauren Bacall and Philip Seymour Hoffman. But it was Billy Crystal's ode to Robin Williams that brought tears to everybody's eyes.

Set against a backdrop of Williams' face, Crystal, a longtime friend of the comedian, told the audience how difficult it was to accept Williams' death.

"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,” said Crystal.

Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, Calif. on Aug. 11. Soon after, Emmy producer Don Mischer announced Crystal would helm the tribute for the "Mork and Mindy" star.

Crystal also shared some of his fondest memories of the 63-year-old in his speech, including one about when the two of them, and Whoopi Goldberg, went to a baseball game.

"I asked him 'What's your favourite team?' and he responded, 'the San Franciscos.' He was a little lost in the baseball conversation, so I got an idea and said, 'You know, Tim, we have a great Russian baseball player with us.' I looked over and his eyes got all bright, his ears perked up, like he was a little dog inside all day and his master came home and 'Hey, want to go for a walk?'

"So I said, 'Hey, what's baseball like in Russia?' and without missing a beat, Robin said, 'Well we only have one team: the Reds.'"

The two starred together in 1997's "Father's Day," and became close friends through their work with the "Comic Relief" charity.

"For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy," said Crystal.

"But while some of the brightest of our celestial bodies are actually [extinct] now, their energy long since cooled ... miraculously, because they float in the heavens so far away from us now, their beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever. And the glow will be so bright it'll warm your heart, it'll make your eyes glisten and you'll think to yourselves, 'Robin Williams, what a concept.'"


Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact