The late actor and comedian Robin Williams was given an emotional tribute at the Emmys by his friend and fellow comedian Billy Crystal, who called him “the brightest star in the comedy galaxy,” reports Deadline.com.
“It’s very hard to talk about him in the past, because he was so present, in all our lives,” Crystal said.
As previously reported, Williams committed suicide earlier this month at his home. His wife said he had been suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.
Deadline notes: “It was a tough tribute to pull off — being maybe the seventh or eighth TV tribute to Williams since he was found dead in his Bay Area home on Aug. 11. After Crystal finished speaking, viewers were shown several clips of Williams performances that already had been seen in other tributes, and a couple of new ones.”
There was some grumbling about the segment before the broadcast, with some noting that Williams was getting singled out but not TV pioneer Sid Caesar, the story notes. Executive producer Don Mischer had said the show was “working to give Robin Williams the proper and meaningful remembrance he so well deserves.”
The evening before, the MTV Video Music Awards aired a segment to commemorate Williams that was called “offensive” by some, given that the 23-second photo tribute ended abruptly and aired right before an ad break, which made it appear that the segment had been squeezed into the the ad break’s first spot, Deadline adds.
Here’s Crystal’s tribute to Williams at the Emmys: