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Billy Crystal ACA Oral History, October 25, 2018.

Object Type: Folder


In his three-hour interview, Billy Crystal talks about his early life, and becoming interested in comedy at a young age. He describes attending NYU to study film, where he learned from Martin Scorsese, and met Christopher Guest. He recounts getting Buddy Morra to manage him, and his appearances on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' and 'All in the Family.' He recalls his disappointment at being bumped off the first broadcast of 'Saturday Night Live,' only to be picked up as a regular cast member on ABC’s 'Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell'. Crystal discusses playing the groundbreaking character of "Jodie Dallas" on 'Soap,' the first regular, gay character on a network series, and the show’s dealing with controversial subject matter on a weekly basis. He details his stint on the 1984-85 season of 'Saturday Night Live,' where he was part of a comedy all-star team selected by producer Dick Ebersol, which also included Martin Short, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer. He outlines his popular character "Fernando" from the show, whose catchphrase, "You look marvelous," swept the nation. He recalls his series of successful HBO stand-up comedy specials, and his huge success as a nine-time host of 'The Academy Awards.' Dan Pasternack conducted the interview in partnership with the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College on October 25, 2018 in North Hollywood, CA. Additional topics covered include: Advice, Creative Influences and Inspiration, Emmy Awards, Historic Events and Social Change, Pivotal Career Moments, Television Industry, Comedy Series, Daytime/Primetime Serials, Late Night, and Music Shows & Variety. Other shows mentioned during the interview include 'The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour,' 'Comic Relief Specials,' 'The Emmy Awards (Primetime and Daytime),' and 'The Grammys.'


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