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See Billy Crystal’s Emotional Reaction As Whoopi Goldberg Pays Tribute To Him And Remembers The Late Robin Williams In Wonderful Kennedy Honors Speech

Nearly a decade after the world bid farewell to the comedic genius Robin Williams, millions of fans, friends, and family still feel the void left by his absence. In a moving tribute during the 46th annual Kennedy Center Honors, Whoopi Goldberg emotionally honored her longtime friend and fellow comedian/actor, Billy Crystal. The poignant moment saw both Goldberg and the City Slickers actor holding back tears as she paid homage to the late great actor, funny man, and their mutual friend.

In the video shared on CBS’s official TikTok (embedded below), the 68-year-old co-host of The View takes center stage to honor the star of one of the greatest 80s movies, When Harry Meets Sally, as he was one of the night’s distinguished honorees. Emotions soared as the Oscar-winning actress, visibly moved, started reflecting on the trio’s shared history, poignantly acknowledging the absence of their dear friend:

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♬ original sound – CBS

In this heartfelt video, the star of Sister Act gestures towards the space beside her, which serves as a poignant reminder of where the Genie voice actor should have stood. Delivering a heartfelt speech directed at the 75-year-old Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, while holding back tears, draws the crowd’s attention to the trio’s incompleteness, stating:

I want to acknowledge the person who should also be standing here with me is our brother Robin.

Turning her focus back to the honoree, the Ghost star takes a moment to regain her composure. With sincerity in her voice, she continues:

You are my family, you’re my big brother, and you have no idea what an honor it is to see you get your due. I love you. You’re a mensch. You’re a national treasure. National treasure. Billy, congratulations.

Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robin Williams share a distinctive and rich history. Beyond their individual talents as comedians who’ve been great in dramatic roles, Crystal and Williams worked together on various projects over the years. Notable among these collaborations are their roles in Father’s Day (1997) and Deconstructing Harry (1997), along with an iconic guest appearance in a Friends episode. Goldberg rounded out the comedic trio who annually cohosted the Comic Relief charity specials in the 1980s and ‘90s and a one-off in 2006 benefitting the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, when Goldberg received the Mark Twain Prize in 2001, the funny men were present to honor their fellow comedian.

Ahead of the Kennedy Center Honors unfolding, Billy Crystal took a moment to reflect on the absence of his dear friend. The star of Throw Momma From The Train (one of Crystal’s most underrated and best movies) expressed a profound sense of loss, acknowledging the void left by the Mrs. Doubtfire star’s passing. He said:

I’m missing my friend Robin tonight, very much so, because of all of what we did together. I know that he would be here, and he is. So it’s special, and a lot of feelings for me tonight.

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Billy Crystal in City Slickers

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

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The Analyze This actor’s sentiments before the ceremony echoed the heartfelt tribute he paid to Robin Williams at the Emmy Awards shortly after the comedian’s passing in August 2014. At that time, he praised Williams for his comedic brilliance and for being an extraordinary friend, describing him as the “brightest star in the comedy galaxy” and highlighting his enduring impact on the lives of those who knew him.

It’s apparent that even a decade after his untimely death, the World’s Best Dad star’s absence is still felt by those who knew him best. What remains comforting though, is that Whoopi Goldberg and others continue to honor his memory in sweet ways. If you want to revisit some of the best Robin Williams movies, I suggest some of his dark comedies most don’t talk about, including Death to Smoochy. Of course, you can’t go wrong revisiting his work as everyone’s favorite wise-cracking Genie in Aladdin, which is available to stream with a Disney+ subscription.

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