Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro Reunite Backstage on Broadway, 20 Years After 'Analyze That'

Billy Crystal is currently starring on Broadway in Mr. Saturday Night, the musical stage adaptation of his 1992 film of the same name

Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal (co-stars in the 1999 film "Analyze This") pose backstage at the hit musical "Mr. Saturday Night" on Broadway at The Nederlander Theater on July 6, 2022 in New York City.
Photo: Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro were back together on Wednesday night, this time away from the big screen.

The two actors — who costarred together in 1999's Analyze This and 2002's Analyze That — caught up at New York City's Nederlander Theatre, where Crystal is currently starring on Broadway in the musical adaptation of his 1992 comedy, Mr. Saturday Night.

De Niro, 78, stopped backstage to see Crystal, 74, after the musical wrapped.

According to a source on the scene, the two embraced, Crystal jokingly telling De Niro, "I didn't think you'd be up for a musical!"

"I love musicals," De Niro told Crystal, according to the source. He then went on to praise his performance, teasing as both laughed, "You sing! And you sounded good!"

Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal pose backstage at the hit musical "Mr. Saturday Night" on Broadway at The Nederlander Theater on July 6, 2022 in New York City.
Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Mr. Saturday Night tells the story of fictional Buddy Young Jr., a successful comedian in the early days of television who gets a second chance at fame 40 years after his career flamed out. The story finds Buddy finally addressing the family he fractured along the way on his road to success.

Crystal first played Young on HBO and later Saturday Night Live, before starring as the character in Mr. Saturday Night.

The musical features a score from three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Bridges of Madison County) and lyrics by Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody). Crystal, who directed the 1992 film, penned the book alongside Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel.

In addition to Crystal, Randy Graff, David Paymer, Shoshana Bean, Chasten Harmon, Jordan Gelber, Brian Gonzales, and Mylinda Hull star.

"These are characters… that I know very well," Crystal said in May on The View, of Buddy. "The Alan Kings and the Buddy Hacketts, it's a very specific kind of guy, and I love them. I grew up watching them."

He decided to adapt it into a musical thanks to a suggestion from Mel Brooks in 2005.

"The fact that the film at the time did not do well, it always stuck in my craw a little bit because I was really proud of the movie," Crystal said. "It took us about six years to put it all together... The show is joyous, moving, and hilarious. The music is fantastic."

Mr. Saturday Night
Matthew Murphy

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Stepping back into the role of Buddy was particularly powerful for Crystal.

"It is a thrill to play him live because ... he's hilarious, he's moody, he says things that are inappropriate, and I get to do him live in front of the audience," the star said.

​"To be able to do something like this character who I first started in 1984, then did different in kind of forms, and then did the film in [1992], now? All of these years later?" Crystal added. "To do it live, in front of people, is amazing. It's truly amazing."

The biggest difference? "When we did the film, I needed five hours of makeup at least every day," he remembered. "Now I just show up! That's the great thing about it."

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