Veteran comic Billy Crystal has landed in New Zealand.

The 68-year-old of When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers fame, arrived at Auckland airport this afternoon ahead of his upcoming performances on Thursday and Friday nights.

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Crystal was greeted at the airport with an official powhiri which he was impressed by - particularly given the wet and windy weather.


"To be greeted by these naked people in this weather, it shows what a hearty group is here," he said.

Crystal says he loves New Zealand because of the "blends of people and cultures", and the "people down here are just amazing" - describing Kiwis as "joyous" and "respectful".

That, he says, is the reason he wanted to start his tour here.

The comedy icon stood respectfully throughout the powhiri before exchanging a hongi with those who greeted him and even had a go at a pukana.

Over the next two nights, he will appear in a "spontaneous, funny and unpredictable" show hosted by Andrew Denton.

The show, billed as an "evening of sit down with Billy Crystal", will take place at the Aotea Centre's ASB Theatre (July 21 and 22).