Billy Crystal Replaces Eddie Murphy for Oscars: What Hollywood is Saying

Billy Crystal - Performs the opening act as host of the 70th Academy Awards - P - 1983
AFP/Getty Images

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.

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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.

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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. 

Kirstie Alley
YAY!!! Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars!!! YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!

Neil Patrick Harris
Break a leg, @BillyCrystal. The Oscars are lucky to have you.

Arsenio Hall
Ahem! My Oscar seats are NOT gonna be real good, this year now that Billy Crystal is hosting! #aarrrrggg

Neal Brennan
Thank-you for listening to us, Oscar! Billy Crystal is the perfect combination of Betty White and the Muppets.

: Pumped for Billy Crystal's return?” I was telling someone yesterday that would be the great move. Been 2 long

Zelda Williams
To all you Billy Crystal naysayers, turn off reality TV, watch some grown up movies and look up his previous Oscar hosting gigs. #BestChoice

Was really looking forward to Eddie Murphy hosting the Oscars, but happy to hear that old school Billy Crystal is back! He's one of the best

Jen Kirkman
I can't believe Gaddafi didn't live to see Billy Crystal take the reigns of the Oscars again. Life is so sick.

Chris Gorham
Kids, he's the guy from City Slicker...never mind. Yay! RT @HuffingtonPost: Billy Crystal is hosting the Oscars

Piers Morgan
Already hilarious RT @BillyCrystal Doing the Oscars so young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions.

Yeah! Glad they stuck with a Long Island kid to host the Oscars. Congrats Billy! They and we are lucky to have u back!

Billy Crystal to host Oscars. I've gone from not excited about the Oscars, to very excited about the Oscars.

Just b/c Billy Crystal's hosting, doesn't mean the Muppets won't make an appearance!

All hope is not lost! "I wouldn't count the Muppets out" says Disney CEO Robert Iger #muppetoscars