Billy Crystal's 5 Best Oscar Hosting Moments (Video)

Billy Crystal
Courtesy of ABC

In another memorable segment, eight-time Oscar host Billy Crystal returned to the stage for the first time since 2004. The actor was welcomed back with a boisterous standing ovation, to which he joked, "Wow. So where was I..." Crystal then paid homage to legendary comedian Bob Hope, who hosted the Academy Awards eighteen times. A hologram of Hope was projected onto the podium while Crystal spoke about his admiration for his predecessor.

The newly announced host of the 2012 Academy Awards has hosted the telecast eight times, accumulating a collection of funny moments from movie montages to “What the Stars Are Thinking.”

With the sudden resignation of Academy Award producer Brett Ratner and the subsequent exit of planned host Eddie Murphy, it’s been a dramatic few days. On Thursday, it was announced that Billy Crystal would replace Murphy as host of the 2012 telecast.

Crystal has plenty of hosting experience under his belt. He has hosted the show a whopping eight times, topped only by Bob Hope, who hosted 18 times.

PHOTOS: Oscar Show Moments

Before Crystal takes the stage for his ninth hosting gig on February 26 at the 84th Academy Awards, let’s take a look back at five of the most memorable moments from his past experiences leading the show:

PHOTOS: Oscar Hosts Through the Years

1992: As Hannibal Lecter
Crystal took the stage wrapped up in his best Hannibal Lecter fashion during the opening sequence for the 64th Academy Awards. Crystal walked over to Anthony Hopkins and said, "I'm having some of the Academy over for dinner. Care to join me?" The Silence of the Lambs took home the top prize, and many still remember Crystal’s entrance as a winning moment of that year’s show. Watch the clip here.

1992: "The Prince of Tides" Parody
While plenty of hosts have broken out into song over the years, Crystal’s ode to Barbra Streisand at the 1992 telecast is one of the most memorable. No need for flashy special effects, or costume changes – just Crystal and a smart ode to Prince of Tides, which was nominated for seven awards that year.

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2000: Opening Montage
The Academy Awards love a good montage, and the 2000 show had one of the best. The opening sequence featured Crystal traveling through film history. The host had a chat with Al Pacino in Taxi Driver, a discussion with Marlon Brando in The Godfather and dropped by to check in on The Exorcist.


2000, 2004: “What the Stars Are Thinking”
One of Crystal’s funniest hosting bits is the “What the Stars Are Thinking” gag, which he debuted at the 2000 show and brought it back in 2004. “You know a lot of people want to know what the stars are thinking about during the show, and I’ve done this show a number of times and I can tell you looking into everyone one of these faces, what they’re thinking,” said Crystal. As the camera zooms in on an actor in the audience, Crystal voices what their thoughts could be.

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2004: The Return of the Host
After 2000, Crystal did not return to host for three years. In 2004, the opening sequence of the telecast featured Crystal is a video montage with many of that year’s most prominent film. The clip acted as a faux-trailer for a film about a man returning to host the Oscars. Crystal was dropped into scenes from Lord of the Rings, Monster, Finding Nemo and Something’s Gotta Give, among others. There was also a major appearance by Jack Nicholson and his magic sunglasses.