Billy Crystal looks back on his life
Billy Crystal looks back on his life and career in “Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?” He writes in such a relaxed style that the reading experience feels more like he's talking about his life and thoughts over a friendly cup of coffee.
The book includes essays about his age or sex, and these sections are clearly designed to be funny. The 65-year-old comedian delivers numerous chuckles and flat-out belly laughs.
Crystal reflects on growing up, meeting his wife and getting his start in comedy. He provides behind-the-scenes material for some of his biggest career achievements, including the film “When Harry Met Sally ...” and the TV series “Soap.” The personal anecdotes resonate, and reading about the ups and downs of his life is inspiring. Just when he gets close to being maudlin, another humorous essay pops up to lighten the mood.
The memoir set off a million-dollar bidding war among publishers last spring that was finally won by Henry Holt and Co.
One of the themes running throughout his stories is his age, and it seems, at times, that he feels like everything is coming to an end soon. But here is a man who pursued his dreams, achieved them and exceeded beyond even his lofty expectations.
He's set to star in a film comedy directed by Frank Oz and this fall will return to Broadway with his one-man show about his childhood and his father, “700 Sundays.”
Turning 65 was all the inspiration he needed to write the memoir.
“All of my really dear friends who are the same age are pretty much saying the same thing, which is basically, ‘Wow. Jeez. This is really happening,'” he says. “You go through stages — first day of school, ‘It's a bar mitzvah,' ‘a wedding.' ‘You know who died?' ”
Crystal is both a typical baby boomer, baseball fan and political liberal who brags about his grandchildren and can't believe that he's a grandfather and a VIP who seems to have lived out every childhood fantasy — a star of movies, television and the stage, befriended by Muhammad Ali and Mickey Mantle, adored by Sophia Loren. During one Oscar show, Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty stopped by his dressing room to compliment him. Beatty and Bill Clinton turned up backstage after a performance of “700 Sundays.”
Crystal has the charisma, humor and down-home charm that fans have loved over the years. And the love for his family clearly shines through the words, as well.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sewickley-based writer encourages young readers to unearth the truth
- Salary board approves raises for non-union employees