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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2012
There is a reason more people watched the Grammys this year than did the Oscars last year: The Oscar telecast has truly come to suck. Sunday night's 84th Annual Academy Awards was actually painful to watch. I cannot think of any major TV franchise that has become so disconnected from cultural relevancy as the Oscar telecast has in recent years. And this one with Billy Crystal was truly pathetic. As I listened to Crystal doing schtick from Las Vegas circa 1960, I wondered if in 1917 Russia the czar had a comedian like Crystal working the palace in St. Petersburg, telling tired jokes from the 19th Century to keep those inside the crumbling walls of privilege distracted from the Bolsheviks in the streets who were about the change the world.
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NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2012
There is a reason more people watched the Grammys this year than did the Oscars last year: The Oscar telecast has truly come to suck. Sunday night's 84th Annual Academy Awards was actually painful to watch. I cannot think of any major TV franchise that has become so disconnected from cultural relevancy as the Oscar telecast has in recent years. And this one with Billy Crystal was truly pathetic. As I listened to Crystal doing schtick from Las Vegas circa 1960, I wondered if in 1917 Russia the czar had a comedian like Crystal working the palace in St. Petersburg, telling tired jokes from the 19th Century to keep those inside the crumbling walls of privilege distracted from the Bolsheviks in the streets who were about the change the world.
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FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone | June 6, 1991
Billy Crystal was watching a television show about ''fantasy vacations'' when he had what he called an epiphany. ''You ever had an epiphany?,'' he asked. ''I have them all the time.''Epiphany has several meanings. One is ''the sudden, almost divine understanding of a particular subject.'' That was the kind Crystal had.''I literally wrote down 'City Slickers' as I watched the show,'' he said. ''I put it down as the title of my next film, and I went so far as to write Jack Palance's name down.
SPORTS
By BILL ORDINE | March 14, 2008
Some baseball purists might sneeringly refer to comedian Billy Crystal's plate appearance during a New York Yankees-Pittsburgh Pirates spring training game yesterday as a fantasy camp for the elite, but I can't get upset about it. It's spring training, after all. Crystal -- a lifelong Yankees fan who used poignant baseball references in City Slickers and directed the movie 61* about the 1961 season when Roger Maris hit, of course, 61 home runs -- struck...
FEATURES
By Michael Hill | July 18, 1991
A FEW YEARS back, HBO took a chance on a young heavyweight fighter, signing a multimillion-dollar deal to telecast his fights. That was Mike Tyson. It paid off in millions of new subscribers.Earlier, in 1979, just a few years after HBO came on the air, itook a chance on a young comedian, giving him a special. That was Billy Crystal, who has gone on to produce several specials for the premium cable network, including last season's highly regarded ''Midnight Train to Moscow."Unlike Tyson, who has forsaken HBO for what he sees as the more lucrative world of pay-per-view, Crystal, who has become a pretty big movie star, as the current "City Slickers" attests, is sticking with the channel that gave him a chance way back when.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | June 7, 1991
New York - He'll do anything.Just ask him."Do Jerry Lewis as Kevin Costner."Billy Crystal knits up his puckish face in a nanosecond's worth of concentration, and then out it comes, in one dithering rush of comic energy, his face loose as the classic Jerry-the-idiot's, forming a moron's perfect O-ring of a mouth around that adenoidal, whining voice that drools "Dances with Wuu-uuu-uuu-llllves!"And then he's back to being Billy.It's a throwaway, so fast you had to be looking to catch it, brushed aside with a simple, modest "No, really," but it's convulsively, destructively hilarious.
FEATURES
By David J. Fox and David J. Fox,Los Angeles Times | February 8, 1994
Whoopi Goldberg has been named host of this year's Academy Awards show, ending a difficult search to replace its previous popular emcee, Billy Crystal.Once Mr. Crystal declined to front this year's event for a fifth straight year, one of the biggest guessing games in Hollywood was who producer Gil Cates would call upon. Mr. Cates was mum and would not confirm reports that such entertainers as Bette Midler, Johnny Carson, Tom Hanks and Steve Martin had also declined.Through her publicist, Ms. Goldberg said Sunday she is "thrilled about my date with Oscar.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | March 22, 1996
Once again, for those of you not watching basketball on CBS . . ."Muppets Tonight" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) Billy Crystal and Miss Piggy star in a slightly revised version of "When Harry Met Sally . . ." Miss Piggy or Meg Ryan? Hmm, tough call. ABC."Homicide: Life on the Street" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) In a repeat from earlier this season, Pembleton (Andre Braugher) takes a special interest in a 14-year-old boy accused of killing another boy. Meanwhile, Munch (Richard Belzer)
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | March 31, 1992
This is hard to believe -- an Oscar telecast with nothing to really complain about during its prime-time portion. What are people going to talk about this morning?If Billy Crystal had the flu last night, maybe he should get sick jTC more often. Crystal was funny, smart and smooth as host of the show. Following a pointless opening montage of Hollywood Past that bode ill for the evening, Crystal came on stage and turned it around in minutes with a clever parody of the traditional opening musical number.
SPORTS
By BILL ORDINE | March 14, 2008
Some baseball purists might sneeringly refer to comedian Billy Crystal's plate appearance during a New York Yankees-Pittsburgh Pirates spring training game yesterday as a fantasy camp for the elite, but I can't get upset about it. It's spring training, after all. Crystal -- a lifelong Yankees fan who used poignant baseball references in City Slickers and directed the movie 61* about the 1961 season when Roger Maris hit, of course, 61 home runs -- struck...
NEWS
By NORINE SCHILLER and NORINE SCHILLER,SUN REPORTER | February 12, 2006
Rick was one of the few straight men in America who had no problem admitting he liked show tunes. In fact, he loved them. He would sit there in the office all day and sing. He had a good voice, and a rotating repertoire, so he didn't repeat himself. I didn't mind. I like show tunes. It was like sitting next to a radio. Occasionally, though, he would burst forth with lyrics that were completely inappropriate for his gender, and for tender ears. That funny, blue line from A Chorus Line would shock us all into laughter.
FEATURES
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | January 6, 2006
HOLLYWOOD -- He's made himself the nation's most trusted source for fake news and written a best-selling book of fake history. But this much is real: Jon Stewart, the Emmy-winning star of Comedy Central's mock newscast The Daily Show, is going Hollywood - as host of the 78th annual Academy Awards. The 43-year-old comedian will make his first appearance as host of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards show, which will be broadcast on ABC on March 5, the academy said yesterday in an e-mail statement.
FEATURES
By Terry Lawson and Terry Lawson,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | December 3, 2002
Billy Crystal has made a good living out of reading situations and finding the humor and irony in them. He figured he and Meg Ryan would make the sort of utterly mismatched couple people would root for in When Harry Met Sally ..., and he figured it would be funny to put a nice Jewish boy in chaps in City Slickers. But if you had told him four years ago that he and Robert De Niro would be a comic team ... "I would have told you that you were completely outta your mind," says Crystal, who's re-teamed with De Niro in Analyze That, the anticipated sequel to the 1999 smash Analyze This.
SPORTS
By Philip Hersh and Philip Hersh,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 3, 2002
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Billy Crystal live trumped Robin Williams on tape. Given that many U.S. Olympic Committee voters likely made up their minds based on yesterday's presentations, Crystal's appearance before the USOC board of directors epitomized the star-studded show New York used to beat San Francisco in the contest to become U.S. bid city for the 2012 Summer Olympics. New York's production trumped San Francisco's in every way, including the appearance of Donald Trump himself in an ingenious film created to show its Olympic bid was supported by everyone from real estate tycoons to taxi drivers.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | April 28, 2001
If you are a baby boomer guy who grew up reading Sport magazine, who fell asleep listening to voices from the faraway kingdom of major-league baseball on your bedside radio, "61*" is going to be the died-and-gone-to-heaven viewing delight of the TV year for you tonight. But even if you're not from that particular demographic, don't miss this HBO movie from Billy Crystal. It's one terrific film. "61*" tells the story of New York Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle as they chased Babe Ruth's home run record during the 1961 season.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 4, 2000
Midway through "American Movie," a filmmaker named Mark Borchardt and his girlfriend are watching the 1997 Oscars telecast. While Billy Crystal gives asinine lip-service to the "year of the independents," when "unusual films, risky plots, great direction" were the order of the day, Borchardt looks at the television uncomprehendingly, as if Crystal were speaking Urdu. It's difficult to imagine someone more independent and less a part of Crystal's universe than Mark Borchardt, the star and tenacious moral center of Chris Smith's giddily inspiring documentary.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | April 28, 2001
If you are a baby boomer guy who grew up reading Sport magazine, who fell asleep listening to voices from the faraway kingdom of major-league baseball on your bedside radio, "61*" is going to be the died-and-gone-to-heaven viewing delight of the TV year for you tonight. But even if you're not from that particular demographic, don't miss this HBO movie from Billy Crystal. It's one terrific film. "61*" tells the story of New York Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle as they chased Babe Ruth's home run record during the 1961 season.
SPORTS
By Ray Frager | January 15, 1991
It was a mah-velous weekend for Jon Miller.The Baltimore Orioles announcer learned that a lot of people, including actor-comedian Billy Crystal and the folks who give out cable television's ACE awards, like his work. Miller received an ACE in Los Angeles for his play-by-play on ESPN's major-league baseball telecasts."The whole thing was kind of unexpected, both winning and being nominated," Miller said yesterday.Miller said he was trying to be cool while waiting for the announcement of the play-by-play award, but "all of a sudden, there was a feeling in the pit of my stomach, 'God, I hope I don't lose.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN STAFF | March 5, 1999
"Analyze This," the new movie from comedy expert Harold Ramis ("Groundhog Day," "Ghostbusters"), would be worth celebrating if only for its centerpiece, Robert De Niro doing a hilariously dead-on impersonation of himself.But a gem like De Niro's performance can only be set off by the proper setting, which makes "Analyze This" such a rare find: a well-conceptualized comedy that actually achieves what it sets out to do, in about 100 minutes.No bells, no whistles, no errant bodily fluids making their way to the leading lady's hair, "Analyze This" gets its laughs the honest way: with a generous amount of mugging, several inside movie jokes, some giddy sight gags and lots of undemanding humor along the way.Mostly, though, the laughs in "Analyze This" are for De Niro, who plays a gangster named Paul Vitti.
FEATURES
By Beth Pinsker and Beth Pinsker,DALLAS MORNING NEWS | April 10, 1998
What kind of encore does Billy Crystal have up his sleeve after last spring's disappointing "Father's Day"? The equally disappointing "My Giant," which doesn't even boast the high energy of a co-star such as Robin Williams. Instead, the movie hinges on Washington Wizards center Gheorghe Muresan, a 7-foot-7 Romanian shot-blocker who should have been left to practice his more developed talents.Acting is simply not his thing. Certainly, acting in English is beyond his large grasp.Crystal is Sammy, a fast-talking agent with a lousy track record, a broken marriage and a son who's learning not to count on him. His one last client is on a film set in Eastern Europe.
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