Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Billy Crystal Revisits Katz’s Deli for First Time Since Filming ‘When Harry Met Sally’

Billy Crystal Revisits Katz’s Deli for First Time Since Filming ‘When Harry Met Sally’

Billy Crystal, along with Meg Ryan, gave Katz’s Deli a little recognition when they were filming When Harry Met Sally. It hit movie theaters in 1989. As far as Crystal is concerned, he loves the movie. But the actor-comedian had not been in Katz’s Deli since filming the Rob Reiner-directed movie.

That is, until just recently. Crystal, who is known as much for his acting as his humor, showed up at the deli. He sat down for a visit with Gayle King of CBS Mornings. That happened to be the first time he’d been in there since 1989. That’s pretty wild.

“It’s an amazing phenomenon that this has touched people, and this little piece of history here in New York City,” Crystal said. But he had some observations to share about the movie in the present moment. Where does it sit as far as he’s concerned right now?

Billy Crystal Shared His Observation on Love

“It’s actually more important as time goes by because people fall in love every day,” Crystal said, The Hollywood Reporter noted. “People fall out of love every day. People find each other, they lose each other every day. And new generations keep finding When Harry Met Sally. We’re forever young in that movie, and we represent them. They relate to us.”

Crystal also said that Reiner was the perfect director for the 1980s film. Why? Crystal said that he let the stars play while filming and added things as they went along.

But the funny man didn’t just bring himself to know the lines of the movie production. Nope. In one scene, Harry asks Sally out as they’re at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At that moment, Harry starts talking with a really weird, funny accent.

Sally and Harry’s visit to the deli is, well, iconic. Remember it? Sally starts making loud, fake orgasm sounds in the middle of the restaurant. But she said recently that her son, actor Jack Quaid, does happen to find that scene embarrassing.

Meg Ryan Looks Back At Filming Famous Scene

“We probably did that over and over and over again,” Ryan previously said of filming the scene right there. “It’s funny, my son just called me this morning, and he’s in New York staying at a hotel that’s right across the street from Katz’s Deli. My daughter was here, and everybody was on speaker, and they were like, ‘Mom, this is a very unique embarrassment.’”

Crystal added this movie to his list of accomplishments in show business. You might remember him from the movie, Mr. Saturday Night? Back in the 1970s, he found an inroad to the world of comedy through his spot-on jokes and impressions. Most famously, Crystal could do a dead-perfect impression of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. When he’d do Ali, Crystal also managed to bring up legendary ABC sportscaster Howard Cosell with another impression.

As for acting, Crystal managed to break through with a role on the ABC sitcom Soap. Years later, Crystal would spend a few years performing on Saturday Night Live. From Fernando Lamas to Sammy Davis Jr., his knack for comedy, timing, and impressions proved quite solid.