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In Extremely Narrow Defense of Billy Crystal

Since it seems to come up every couple of years (as it did here [1]), Billy Crystal wore the Mets cap in the 1991 film City Slickers not because he was an unprincipled high-profile frontrunner in the Spike Lee [2] vein, but because the Mets promoted and pledged a large sum of money to Comic Relief [3] in 1990. I’m not fully certain whether the Mets made the cap a condition of their support of the charity [4] Crystal helped spearhead or if it was Crystal’s way of acknowledging their contribution. As celebrity Yankees fans go, he was always pretty steady in his public allegiance to the dark side, even during the period when it wasn’t quite so fashionable. (His insistence on doing Phil Rizzuto impressions during his visit to the Channel 9 booth on May 11, 1990 — Comic Relief Night at Shea — was his Francesa-like [5] tell that he couldn’t behave himself properly on somebody else’s psychic or actual turf for the five minutes if it wasn’t all about his team.)

Though I always enjoy spotting a Mets cap in a major motion picture, no matter how cloying the major motion picture, I can’t help but note that shortly after City Slickers came out, the Mets’ longtime winning ways dissipated almost immediately [6]. #blamebillycrystal

Also, Ken Burns’s Baseball [7] may have been the only time since the “Fernando” bit began getting on my nerves that I’ve been able to tolerate Billy Crystal whatsoever, even in the mourning of the Giant-Dodger departure. He seemed to be speaking from the heart as a baseball fan as opposed to reminding you how funny and wonderful he is (lest those watching him not infer that he’s funny and wonderful on their own).

Otherwise, sure: most days’ Worst Person…in the World! [8]