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Who do you turn to when you need an Oscar host in a pinch? After Brett Ratner made some dumb comments and resigned from producing the Oscars, his host, Eddie Murphy, left right along with him. Just hours later, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named Ratner’s Tower Heist producer, Brian Grazer, his successor as the telecast’s producer, and one more day later it has its host — Billy Crystal.
Crystal tweeted the news and the LA Times and Variety have confirmed with the Academy, though no official press release has been sent out. Here’s what Crystal wrote:
“Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.”
The comedian first hosted the Oscars in 1990 and did so for four consecutive years. He returned after a few years off in 1997, 1998 and 2000. His last hosting gig came in 2004 when The Return of the King won Best Picture. The 84th Academy Awards would mark Crystal’s ninth appearance as the ceremony’s emcee.
Crystal came out to a standing ovation in his brief appearance at his year’s ceremony when he was called on to honor longtime Oscar host Bob Hope. At that point, it was abundantly clear that not only did he have the respect and admiration of everyone in that room, but he also felt more comfortable on that stage than anyone else in the room. You can refresh your memory of his appearance below.
After James Franco and Anne Hathaway received much disapproval as this year’s hosts (though to be fair it was a lackluster ceremony), Crystal will pique the interest of anyone who watched an Oscar telecast between 1990 and 2004. Academy President Tom Sherak‘s first instinct would have been anyone’s first instinct in such a tight spot and fortunately Crystal said yes.