A mischievous Robert De Niro playfully teased Billy Crystal about his age, making a light-hearted joke that referenced President Joe Biden during the 46th annual Kennedy Center Honors held this Sunday.
The When Harry Met Sally... star was one of the five honourees at the glittering gala in Washington, D.C., where De Niro roasted him with a gag about the 75-year-old actor's age, playfully ribbing the US President, who was also among the audience.
"You're only 75," De Niro quipped during his turn on stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. "That means you're just about six years away from being the perfect age to be elected president."
Seated a few spots away from Crystal, Joe Biden, 81, grinned and humorously wagged his finger at De Niro. The President even joked about Crystal's likability in his own speech, suggesting that the actor could defeat him at the ballot box: "He promised me he's not going to primary me. He could win."
Crystal received accolades from colleagues and friends, including director Rob Reiner, his When Harry Met Sally... co-star Meg Ryan, Whoopi Goldberg and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who performed an original song in his honour.
The stage was set with a replica of the diner featured in a notably spicy scene from Crystal and Ryan's hit movie. Ryan shared about her co-star, "The scene came really naturally to me, and I have Billy to thank for that. I've never been around anyone who made faking an orgasm easier".
Other honourees on the night included rapper and actress Queen Latifah, opera star Renée Fleming, Bee Gees legend Barry Gibb and singer-songwriter Dionne Warwick.
Warwick was feted by Debbie Allen, Cynthia Erivo and Ego Nwodim, while Fleming received tributes from pals Christine Baranski and Sigourney Weaver.
Queen Latifah was honoured with performances from Yo-Yo, MC Lyte and Monie Love, with rapper Missy Elliott sharing about her friend's determination to succeed: "[Queen Latifah] was saying, 'You will respect me. I won't just set the bar. I am the bar'".
Gibb's tribute included musical numbers by Michael Bublé, Little Big Town, Ben Platt and Ariana DeBose.