Billy's Back: Crystal To Step In For Murphy As Oscar Host
Sometimes, when one door closes, along comes a window for an icon's return.
With Eddie Murphy bowing out Wednesday from hosting the 84 Academy Awards Feb. 26 on ABC, producers started scrambling. A social media campaign started picking up steam for Muppet mega-swine Miss Piggy to oversee Hollywood's biggest night.
Unfortunately, a legend just so happened to have an opening.
People reports that for the ninth time - and the first since 2004 - legendary comedian, actor and, like Murphy, "Saturday Night Live" alum Billy Crystal will take the stage as the Oscar-night emcee.
Crystal himself tweeted the big news Thursday, as only he can.
"Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions," the comedian, 63, said. "Looking forward to the show."
Murphy's exit followed somewhat literally in the footsteps of pal and "Tower Heist" director Brett Ratner's own exit as the show's executive producer. Ratner had been catching heat after uttering a gay-male slur during a question-and-answer following a showing of "Tower Heist," which premiered last weekend and stars Murphy and Ben Stiller.
Still, Murphy kept his words on his way out the door soft and sweet.
“I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony,” Murphy said in a news release. “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.”
Following Ratner's exit, Brian Grazer has stepped in to produce the gala night.