Billy Crystal Replaces Eddie Murphy for Oscars: What Hollywood is Saying
The eight-time Academy Awards host will return to the stage on Feb. 26 with producer Brian Grazer tapped to stand in for Brett Ratner.
In a predictably safe – and smart – move, the Academy has tapped eight-time Oscar host Billy Crystal to replace Eddie Murphy as the master of ceremonies during their 84th annual celebration.
Murphy’s exit as Oscars host came in the wake of Brett Ratner’s controversial resignation earlier this week. As The Hollywood Reporter first reported, Brian Grazer signed on to replace Ratner on Wednesday, joining Don Mischer as co-producers of the telecast.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, Grazer and Mischer said they wanted to emphasize comedy during the show. “We agree that some of the best shows were formed around comedy, whether it was Bob Hope or Johnny Carson. That’s just the direction that we believe in and we’re going to be staying in,” Grazer said.
Amid speculation and several jokes regarding Murphy’s Oscar replacement, Crystal announced the news via Twitter on Thursday afternoon. “Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions,” he wrote. “Looking forward to the show.”
Hollywood responded in kind, weighing in on the news on their Twitter profiles. Below, a sampling of the comments regarding Crystal’s ninth hosting gig.
YAY!!! Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars!!! YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!
Thank-you for listening to us, Oscar! Billy Crystal is the perfect combination of Betty White and the Muppets.
I can't believe Gaddafi didn't live to see Billy Crystal take the reigns of the Oscars again. Life is so sick.
Just b/c Billy Crystal's hosting, doesn't mean the Muppets won't make an appearance!