Eddie Murphy Says Oscars 'Would Be a Little Quicker With Me Driving'; Reflects on Whitney Houston

10:34 PM PST 02/29/2012 by THR Staff
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Eddie Murphy

At a junket for his upcoming comedy "A Thousand Words," Murphy said that he was open to hosting the Academy Awards in the future.

Eddie Murphy may have exited as host of the 84th annual Academy Awards, but the comedian is still open to taking on the reins in the future.

At a press junket for A Thousand Words, in theaters March 9, the comedian told Extra that it's something he hasn't tackled yet.

"If they ask me again and it comes around, I'm totally open to do," Murphy said. "It's one of the few things that I haven't done as a comedian. So, yeah, one day."

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Murphy, who bowed out of the Oscars hosting gig shortly after Brett Ratner resigned as producer of telecast last November after making a series of ill-judged remarks, said that his replacement, Billy Crystal, did a "great job." But he did have one criticism.

"It would be a little quicker with me driving," Murphy said of the annual awards show.

When news broke that he was exiting as Oscars host, Murphy said in a statement at the time: "First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party's decision with regard to a change of producers for this year's Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I'm sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job."

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Murphy also reminisced about late singer Whitney Houston, who died at the age of 48 during Grammy weekend, and revealed whether or not he ever dated her.

"I was never dating Whitney Houston," he said. "She was a friend of mine. I may have gone to dinner with her a few times, but it was never like we were dating -- we were never boyfriend and girlfriend. We were very friendly acquaintances."

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