We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Billy Crystal, Up Since 1948

NPR
Sunday, September 8, 2013

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Comedian Billy Crystal has long suffered from insomnia. He tells NPR's Scott Simon his mind is constantly racing, and jokes that he sleeps like a baby — he's up every two hours.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MR. SANDMAN")

THE CHORDETTES: (Singing) Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're talking this morning about sleep - why we do it, why we can't seem to get more of it.

Yesterday, WEEKEND EDITION's Scott Simon chatted with a comedian who has his own sleep troubles. Billy Crystal writes about them in his new book, "Still Fooling Them."

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Has insomnia been an important part of your life?

BILLY CRYSTAL: I've been up since 1948.

(LAUGHTER)

CRYSTAL: And I'll tell you why. My first seven days on the Earth, I must have broken sleep records. I'd 20 hours. I'd go 15, 16. But then...

SIMON: Yeah.

CRYSTAL: On the eighth day, somebody with bad breath and a beard grabbed my penis and cut the tip off. I've been up ever since.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: I hope that was a mohel.

CRYSTAL: I think somewhere in the back of my mind that I think someone's coming in to do that again.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MR. SANDMAN")

CRYSTAL: So, I'm always up and aware that there may be an intruder who's got a box cutter. I mean...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CRYSTAL: Yeah, so sleep has always been a strange thing for me. Dating all the way back, I've always, you know, I joke. I sleep like a baby. I'm up every two hours. But it's true, I'm a restless sleeper. My mind is always going. I'm always thinking what I need to do, what I haven't done, what I did do, what I didn't do as well as I could - I'm relentless that way with myself.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MR. SANDMAN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

View this story on npr.org

Sign up for ReCap

and never miss the top stories

Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

Check out a sample ReCap newsletter.