William Edward Crystal (born March 14, 1948) is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, and television host from New York City. He starred on the sitcom Soap and in the movies When Harry Met Sally..., City Slickers, Analyze This, and Monsters, Inc.. He has hosted the Academy Awards Ceremonies nine times, beginning in 1990 and most recently in 2012.
Crystal was a cast member on the long-running NBC sketch show, Saturday Night Live, during its final season with Dick Ebersol as showrunner (1984 to 1985)note , though he originally was going to be a performer during the show's first episode back in 1975 (and ended up getting replaced by Andy Kaufman and his famous Mighty Mouse lip-syncing piece). Crystal is also one in two cast members (joining Michael McKean) to have hosted SNL before officially joining the cast. His notable recurring characters include Buddy Young, Jr. (an insult comic who's more "insulting" than "comic"), Al Minkman (a scam artist, often paired with Christopher Guest as his brother, Herb), Lew Goldman (a Jewish-American Weekend Updatenote correspondent), and Willie (a security guard who confides in his friend, Frankienote , about painful situations, often commenting, "I hate when that happens!"). His notable celebrity impressionsnote include Princenote , Fernando Lamas (one of Crystal's most known impressions), Haing S. Ngor, Muhammad Ali (in a sitcom parody of Kate & Allie called Kate & Ali, where it's Katharine Hepburnnote and Muhammad Ali), Howard Cosell, John F. Kennedy, and Sammy Davis Jr. (another of Crystal's most known impressions, and probably the most unrecognizable. See here).
His daughter, Jennifer Crystal Foley, is an actress in her own right.
Put those tropes back where they came from, or so help me...!
- Soap (1977-1981): Jodie Dallas.
- Animalympics (1980): Rugs Turkell/Joey Gongolong/Art Antica
- This is Spın̈al Tap (1984): Morty the Mime.
- Saturday Night Live (1984-1985): Various characters.
- Running Scared (1986): Danny Constanzo.
- The Princess Bride (1987): Miracle Max.
- Throw Momma from the Train (1987): Larry Donner.
- When Harry Met Sally... (1989): Harry Burns.
- City Slickers (1991): Mitch Robbins.
- Mr. Saturday Night (1992): Buddy Young, Jr. (also made his directorial debut)
- Hamlet (1996): First Gravedigger.
- Fathers Day (1997): Jack Lawrence.
- Deconstructing Harry (1997): Larry.
- Analyze This (1999): Dr. Ben Sobel.
- America's Sweethearts (2001): Lee Phillips.
- Monsters, Inc. (2001–present): Michael "Mike" Wazowski.
- Monsters, Inc. (2001)
- Monsters University (2013)
- Monsters at Work (2021)
- 61* (2001) (director only)
- Howl's Moving Castle (2004): Calcifer
- Untogether (2018): David
- Standing Up Falling Down (2019)
- Here Today (2021): Charlie Burnz (also directed, produced and co-wrote)