Billy Crystal tribute to Robin Williams a heartfelt highlight at Emmys

Billy Crystal honored his “greatest friend,” Robin Williams, in a poignant tribute that was a highlight of the 2014 Emmy Awards on Monday night.

Crystal, who had been silent since the death of Williams two weeks ago at age 63, managed to be upbeat, but the emotion was just below the surface.

“He made us laugh big time,” Crystal said. “I spent many happy hours with Robin on stage. I kept thinking if I could put a saddle on him and stay on for eight seconds I was going to be OK. …

Crystal told the rapt audience, “For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy.” Before Crystal’s tribute, Sara Bareilles sang Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” during the “In Memoriam” segment that included nods to Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Garner, Lauren Bacall, Don Pardo and Eli Wallach.

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