TODAY

TODAY   |  September 09, 2013

Billy Crystal: I feel great at 65 years old

The legendary comedian has written a new book filled with funny and heartfelt moments from his life. He joins TODAY’s Matt Lauer to talk about his exploration of what it means to be 65.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> to comedian, actor, producer and great guy mr. billy crystal . he is out with a new book about his life, his career, and what it means to be 65. it's called still foolin em, where i've been, where am i going and where the hell are my keys.

>> it's been a long time.

>> i mean this as nothing but a compliment but i can't imagine you being 65.

>> yeah, neither can i. that's why i wrote the book.

>> you heard the question a thousand times, how old do you feel emotionally.

>> oh, 7, 8 at times.

>> a little more than that.

>> no, i'm there.

>> you really do?

>> yeah, but that's a good thing. because that's an assumption that 65 is done with, you're done. i feel better than i have in a long time.

>> but you're etched in my mind, you're etched in your 40s in my mind.

>> my 40s were difficult.

>> were they?

>> this is better time?

>> better time.

>> stereotypes. your memory starts to go.

>> i'm sorry.

>> not your hearing, your memory.

>> no, my memory is pretty good.

>> yeah --

>> but let me tell you something, al -- matt.

>> napping, do you just fall off in the middle of the day .

>> no.

>> are you not a good napper?

>> no, i'm not. i've never been a good napper. i'm an insomiac. i've been up since 1948 .

>> people as they get older tend to get annoyed more easily?

>> maybe that's true.

>> i think we have finally gotten one here.

>> yeah.

>> the notes that are falling off your lap. they're bothering me.

>> what else annoys you? you write about some of this in the book.

>> yeah.

>> the tsa regulations are not your favorite things.

>> no, i have gotten groped. i have gotten fondeled.

>> let's stick to the tsa, though. they bug you.

>> yeah, listen, i do a great job because we have been good but they get a little too familiar.

>> cell phones in restaurants.

>> the worst thing ever.

>> really?

>> besides the theater. when i was doing on broadway and we're coming back, we'll be here in november with a spot in minneapolis first, i'd be on stage and people would -- this is way before this started -- the texting thing started.

>> right and i start playing the first act and this woman is on the phone. so i started playing it to her and she looked up and she said have to go, he's looking at me.

>> did you ever just look at somebody and say put it away or i'll wait for you?

>> one show we had 12 rings late in the second act.

>> and people need to know . it's a very intense show.

>> and it gets -- especially ward the end and then they had personalized rings. so you'd hear, and it's the god father theme and you don't want to say to who ever that is, put that away. you don't know who it is.

>> no, i got to take this call, pal. i got to take this call. so it gets freaky.

>> you are such a good guest because you lead me into my whole next section of the interview which is about the great impersonations you do. for years we talked about this. the whole saturday night live thing. there had to be a time where you just got sick and tired of people coming up on the street and saying you love marvelous.

>> i guy did it outside when i did my tease.

>> now after all of these years is it a compliment again because the character was so important to people?

>> sure. and because of the youtube -- the youtube -- that's very 60s.

>> because of that internet thing.

>> yeah and the computers that the young people have, it lives on. so people see it. that's great.

>> i always loved your mohammed ali and the voice almost came to you accidentally.

>> it did. i was at the godfather. what i did before and watching marlin who was so incredible in it and i said i can do this so i started trying to do brando and i wasn't hitting it so it became ali.

>> i wanted to beat joe frazier . i wanted to be the greatest of all time. that's really how it happened.

>> the lightbulb went on.

>> i talk about so many great characters on tv and in the movies. i think the scene that will forever be associated with you is when harry met sally. tell me how the scene when she fakes an orgasm. was it on the page that way or was there a lot of improv in the shooting?

>> it started in the rehearsal where she said women fake orgasms and he was shocked and i said well they haven't faked one with me which became a line.

>> right.

>> so we were on the lower east side about the shoot the scene and we talked about it and in that rehearsal meg said i should i fake one. like in a public place.

>> like a restaurant with a lot of people.

>> a huge one.

>> yeah and then there should be an older woman that says waiter i'll have what she is having.

>> is that really how it happened?

>> that's exactly how it happened. rob is a great director. nora was great and meg was the perfect partner.

>> when you saw it on film and the audience reaction --

>> went crazy. i was sitting in the back. the first screening was in passadena and the funny part about it was in rehearsal before we shot it meg was a little nervous so the first orgasm was like so so. the second one was like you're married 12 years and then rob said no i want you to do it this way.

>> like newlywed.

>> and he sat down opposite me so now it looks like i'm on a date with him. and, matt, he has an orgasm that king kong would be jealous of. and his mother played i'll have what she's having. she was the woman. and the extras applaud and he said i shouldn't have done that. i said meg is fine. she's okay. he said no, i just had an orgasm in front of my mother.

>> you're a big yankee fan as i am. it has to be hard with the scandals. have you ever used performance enhancing drugs?

>> just this morning.

>> it worked.

>> yeah.

>> great to see you.

>> always great to have you here. you're going back to broadway with 700 sundays which i should mention i saw three times. very moving.

>> thank you.

>> means a lot to a lot of people. the book is still foolin em. thank