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Billy Crystal: ‘If I Never Made Another Movie, I’d Feel Bad But Not Terrible’

Comedy legend Billy Crystal says he’s so proud of his return to primetime television with FX’s “The Comedians,” he wouldn’t mind if he never made another movie.

“To be honest, this is a terrible thing to say,” Crystal told Variety. “I am so happy doing this show, if I never made another movie, I’d feel bad, but not terrible, because at this point of my life and my career, I get everything I want in this show.”

“I write a little bit, I produce a little bit, I have him,” Crystal added, sitting next to his co-star Josh Gad. “I have an amazing cast. They’re so good. They’re so unbelievable. I just think that it’s just like the perfect kind of thing right now.”

On the FX comedy’s panel at Sunday’s Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, Crystal said the quality of the show swayed him to head back to the smallscreen for the first time as a scripted series regular since ABC’s “Soap” wrapped in 1981. (Gad joked he was born “about 20 years” after that, but has seen the show.)

“I had no thought about doing anything, and then this show came,” Crystal said. “This is as smart as it gets.”

The show, which centers on a veteran comedian (Crystal) who’s paired with a younger funnyman (Gad) on a new latenight sketch series, puts the two leads in compromising, self-deprecating scenarios.

“I’ve been in front of people since 1974 or so,” Crystal said. “I think people have a certain assumption of me, they feel like they know me…but when we decided to play ourselves, it also came with the caveat [of making fun of themselves]. We draw a fine line. As an actor and a comedian, it’s fun to play with that, and it’s bold, and I love the challenge.”

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