Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Billy Crystal Roasts Donald Trump at Star-Studded Clinton Fundraiser

On Monday night, the stars of Broadway and Hollywood crammed into one midtown New York theater to headline a benefit concert for Hillary Clinton. Predictably enough, many Jews ended up in the show, from Joel Grey of “Cabret and “Chicago” fame, to Matthew Broderick of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” to the queen herself, Barbra Streisand. In between American classics from Broadway and elsewhere, master of ceremonies Billy Crystal managed to sneak in some great wisecracks.

Here are five of the best.

1. He’s a Loser

Donald Trump is notoriously sensitive about the size of his fortune, and he’s even sued people who question his billionaire status. Crystal went in for his mark. “Our goal tonight is simple: we need to raise more money than Donald Trump lost in 1995.” he said to the crowd, mocking the Republican’s record billion dollar loss that year. He also made a pun on the show “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” rechristening it in Trump’s honor “How to Succeed in Business Without Paying Your Taxes and Filing for Bankruptcy.”

2. Tomorrow Belongs to Him?

Since Trump’s rise, Nazi comparisons have become commonplace. Crystal riffed on that as Grey was about to launch into “Wilkommen,” a song from “Cabaret.” He said that the musical “is set in Germany in the late ‘30’s — or as Trump and Pence call it: ‘the good ol’ days.’”

3. He’s A Whiner

Trump is known to hate on anyone he perceives as an enemy, taking to his Twitter soapbox to savage them. Crystal mocked that tendency on Monday night. Crystal slammed Trump’s repeated threats to sue media outlets over less than flattering stories about him. “At one point Trump was the boy who cried Wolff Blitzer,” he said, referring to the CNN anchor.

4. He’s No Jack Kennedy

Crystal labeled Trump the anti-JFK, reversing the famous line from the 35th president’s inauguration, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what the country can do for me.”

5. “Because I’m a Star”

Crystal told the audience his badmouthing of Trump shouldn’t be looked down upon, citing Trump’s own excuse for sexual assaulting women. “I can say whatever I want, because I’m a star,” he said gamely.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon on [email protected]d.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.