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Billy Crystal hosted the Academy Awards for the ninth time Sunday.
After an opening video sequence in which Crystal dropped into some of the most memorable films of 2011, the host appeared onstage for his opening monologue. He cracked a few jokes about the Kodak bankruptcy and the economy before breaking into his signature Oscar song.
Read Crystal’s full opening monologue below:
Thank you, thank you. That was extremely loud and incredibly close. Extremely loud and incredibly close — that’s how my relatives are watching this show. This is my ninth time, ninth time hosting the Oscars. So tonight just call me war horse.
We’re here at the beautiful Chapter 11 theater to celebrate a Hollywood tradition that not only creates memories for the ages but also breeds resentment that lasts a lifetime. We’re part of a great industry, a great industry. Movies have always been able to provide entertainment whenever we need a place to get away from it all.
It’s like that great speech that James Earl Jones made in Field of Dreams. It’s that great speech when he talked about baseball. He said in that movie that baseball has always been there during good times and hard times, and just as people turn to baseball, the movies have always been there for us. They’re the place to go to laugh, to cry, to question, to text. So tonight, enjoy yourselves because nothing can take the sting of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues.
[Crystal breaks out into his signature Oscar opening song.]
“It’s a wonderful night for Oscar, Oscar, Oscar. Who will win?
You didn’t think I wasn’t gonna do this did you? We gotta hustle because the nine nominated films are …”
[Crystal then breaks into song for each of the nine nominated best picture films.]
The Artist: “He won’t talk, don’t ask him. He won’t talk, don’t ask him. If The Artist wins, he’ll say, ‘Merci beaucoup.’”
Moneyball: “Brad is a manager caught in a riddle… . They’re serving cupcakes after the show.”
Watch the full video above.
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