Salute is an affectionate farewell tribute from the faculty and staff of the Tisch School of the Arts to the graduating class.

Unlike typical graduation ceremonies, where students are called to the stage individually, Salute instead celebrates our students’ achievements through live performances. The show features words of wisdom from our dean, a distinguished keynote speaker, a member of the graduating class, and department chairs. The Tisch Salute to the Class of 2024 took place on Friday, May 17th at 11AM at Radio City Music Hall.

Highlights from Salute 2024

HONORED SPEAKER: Billy Crystal '70 (BFA, Film & TV), Hon. '16, Dean's Council

Photo: Bonnie Schiffman
Photo: Bonnie Schiffman

Tony and Emmy Award winning comedian, actor, producer, writer, and director BILLY CRYSTAL is known around the world as the star of such feature films as When Harry Met Sally…, City Slickers, and Analyze This; as a cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, which earned him his first Emmy nomination; and as the acclaimed nine-time host of the Academy Awards®. Crystal has hosted the GRAMMY® Awards three times and earned 5 Emmys for his work as host, writer and producer on both shows. Crystal won his 6th Emmy for the HBO Comedy Special Billy Crystal: Midnight Train to Moscow. In 2023, he was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor, the highest honor The United States gives for the arts.

Crystal, alongside Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg, served as co-host of Comic Relief’s televised fundraising events on HBO. Through specials broadcast between 1986 and 2008, Comic Relief raised $75 million dollars to help supply medical aid to the homeless. Crystal was the 2007 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and is a New York Times best-selling author of 5 books. In 2004, Crystal made his Broadway debut with the original production of his one-man show 700 Sundays, for which he won a Tony Award. The Broadway production was released as an HBO special, garnering 4 Emmy Nominations. In 2022, Crystal returned to Broadway with Mr. Saturday Night, a musical adaptation of the 1992 classic film Mr. Saturday Night. The show got rave reviews and received 5 Tony nominations including Best Musical; Best Leading Actor in a Musical for Crystal; and Best Book of a Musical which was written by Crystal, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel; and one GRAMMY nomination for Best Musical Theatre Album which featured 8 songs sung by Crystal. 

Crystal recently completed production on a limited series for Apple TV+, “Before,” a psychological thriller which co-stars Judith Light and Rosie Perez. He lives in Los Angeles and New York with Janice, his wife of 53 years. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Lindsay, and four grandchildren, Ella, Dylan, Hudson, and Griffin.