Billy Crystal, the former Oscars host, didn’t say a word when he spoke about the slap heard around the world.
Appearing on Bob Costas Back to the record On HBO Max, Krystal described Smith’s encounter with the infamous Chris Rock as “the most disturbing incident, for sure. It was an assault. I have experiences. I’ve hosted the Grammy Awards three times and thrown stuff.”
He continued: “In [Oscars] Pre-production, the amazing Jill Keats, we were going through – it was the product for six of the nine I did – we were going through the hangover and saying, ‘Maybe I should be there because something might happen there. If this guy wins, I have to follow that.’
Crystal emphasized that having a host brings an element of control to an event.
“I kind of set myself up to host the show, and really host the show, so you can tie it together. So, whenever I see shows that it’s a show without a host, yes, it’s faster, but there’s no one to take advantage of anything and give the audience the feeling that someone is in charge.”
Krystal remembered the time he was hosting the Grammy Awards. Comedian Jackie Mason made a flamboyant remark, then Little Richard followed suit with something similar. Crystal was sent to defuse the situation, which he did through a joke.
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