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Billy Crystal confesses on TODAY: 'I lied' about being a robot maker

Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:33 AM ET

As an old-school disciplinarian grandpa in "Parental Guidance," Billy Crystal has to be a role model, of sorts, for his young grandkids. But on Tuesday, he showed he's a role model for his real-life grandchildren (he has "three and two-thirds"), by 'fessing up to TODAY's Savannah Guthrie: "I lied," he said.

As Crystal explained, he'd had a long day when he joined Guthrie (and co-star Bette Midler) at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting in November, and wasn't listening too clearly when she asked Midler about holiday gifts. Midler said she makes her own, crafty presents. "And I could barely hear anything. And I'm like so jet-lagged, and then you said, 'Billy, do you?' And I lied. I lied to you. I said I make 'unusual robots.'"

Not true, as it turns out, and he says he's had to dodge requests for schematics for his robots ever since. "I don't know why I said that!" he laughed. "I never made a robot.... My daughter called me, so hysterical on the phone: 'Where's my robot?'"

"I'm glad we cleared this up," Guthrie said with a laugh.

"I feel so much better," said Crystal.

Check out what other admissions Crystal made on the video.

"Parental Guidance" opens on Dec. 25, almost certainly without robots.

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