Billy Crystal is kind of an acquired taste as a comedian. He’s funny, don’t get me wrong, but his brand of funny really needs to tickle your funny bone in a certain way or it might be that he won’t make you laugh as hard. In a world that is eventually going back to physical humor his more cerebral and sarcastic approach seems a little antiquated at times largely because people are no longer used to thinking for themselves, and those that are able tend to lord it over others at times. Pessimistic as that might be if you deny it then you’re one of those that can’t see past your own sense of humor to see what others are genuinely amused by. Billy Crystal is a funny guy and a great actor, but his level of comedy is something that you have to work into at times.
Here are a few roles that prove that he’s a talented man.
5. Monsters Inc.-Mike
Mike is one of the monsters that’s not incredibly scary and it can be seen how much this bugs him throughout the movie even as he tries to keep his chin up and just be who he is. His sarcasm and biting wit are definitely all Crystal as he goes from one scene to another doing whatever it takes to get through his day and be seen as a vital part of the team that consists of him and Sully.
4. Analyze This-Dr. Ben Sobel
So in this film he gets a little more physical but to be honest it’s for a pretty good reason, he’s trying to save his butt and his client’s at the same time. Otherwise it’s the same kind of thing you expect from Crystal. His looks and his use of the right words at the right time do for comedy what it might take slapstick at least half a movie to really convey. That’s why he’s so great.
3. Throw Momma From The Train-Larry
Billy Crystal’s wit is what gets him along in a lot of movies since he can use it at will and it’s usually picked up pretty easily by the actors he’s working with. Few if any have ever really seemed to have such a problem that they couldn’t work with him, at least as far as we’ve seen onscreen. His talent is usually more than enough to carry the movie and to get people on board.
2. City Slickers-Mitch Robbins
Putting Crystal in with a guy like Jack Palance while still keeping guys like Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby is just an awesome idea. It received mixed feelings by some people but overall was well-liked and provided a healthy back and forth balance while Palance’s character was still in the film. Since Crystal really isn’t a tough guy character it was a breath of fresh air to see him interact with one.
1. When Harry Met Sally-Harry Burns
This is probably considered to be on of his most iconic and classic roles ever and to be quite honest I can see why. It’s kind of what really set off his run as one of the most sarcastic and witty guys in Hollywood. It raised the bar on comedy and even to this day is seen as a measuring stick for many movies.
Billy Crystal is a comedic legend, without dispute.