Billy Crystal says he ate cannabis gummies in order to relax...

 Billy Crystal says he ate cannabis gummies in order to relax enough to undergo an MRI recently. Credit: Getty Images for SiriusxM / Vivien Killilea

Long Beach native Billy Crystal described his recent experience with edible marijuana gummies and a subsequent culinary hankering on Wednesday's edition of NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

"I've been working out as much as I can," the 73-year-old comedy star said via remote video, "so I did something with my right hip. So it was just a strange pain, so I was worried, because I don't want to join that 'yeah, I got a new hip' club. So the doctor says, 'Listen, I think the best thing is to put you in the MRI tube, and, you know, let's take a good look at your soft tissue.' So I said, 'Fine, but I'm 73, so everything is soft at this point."

After describing putting on a hospital gown and all the other usual preparation for patients placed inside a magnetic resonance imaging chamber — in which a magnetic field together with radio-frequency currents painlessly creates images of designated areas in a procedure lasting 15 to 90 minutes — Crystal revealed and then riffed, "I'm very claustrophobic — which is why I was [ born] a month premature."

He went on to say, "I'm really nervous, so to make a long story short, when I was alone I swallowed four [marijuana] edibles [in standard gummy-candy form] ... Because the guy at the cannabis place said — because there's a section for seniors, you know — so he said, 'Two will make you feel good.' So I said, 'Well, I really want to feel fabulous.' So he said to have four. … So I swallowed the four" and got onto the movable platform that placed him inside machine's open-ended tube.

Saying he put on headsets to help drown out the typically loud noise of the machine — choosing the late jazz pianist Bill Evans — Crystal added, "They give you this thing to squeeze so in case you get into trouble, you just squeeze it and ... [the radiologist] says, 'What can I do and I'll get you out of there,' right? So about a half-hour in I got really hungry" — a classic indicator of what pot-smokers call "the munchies."

"And so I squeeze the thing, [and] he goes, 'Are you OK, Mr. Crystal?' I said, 'Yeah, yeah. Is there a Taco Bell, like, nearby?' He said no. OK, all right, all right. Now 40 minutes in I squeezed it again, and he goes, 'You OK?' 'Yeah, yeah. I'm thinking if Postmates, would they deliver? … I'm thinking gumbo or Nutella French toast. Something like that."

No such food delivery was arranged, and the six-time Emmy Award winner says he nodded off. Then after the MRI was concluded, "They take me out and I walk out of the building and someone says, 'Um, sir, you're still in your gown. And your ... [rear end] is hanging out.' I said, 'Oh, geez.' So," he added, laughing, "I come back in, I got dressed and I went to a Taco Bell and had a Nacho Fry Box."

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