In the wake of Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy removing themselves from production and hosting duties respectively, Billy Crystal has saved the Academy’s bacon by agreeing to host the 2012 ceremony. Bryan Grazer has also been confirmed as co-producer, alongside Don Mischer.
Crystal, who has hosted eight previous Oscar nights, will be regarded as a safe pair of hands capable of steering the ceremony away from the kind of controversy attracted by Ratner’s un-PC outburst.
“Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions,” said Crystal via his Twitter feed. “Looking forward to the show.”
“Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage,” he continued in an official press release. “I am thrilled to be back there.”
“I’m thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar stage,” gushed Academy President Tom Sherak. “He’s a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs.”
It’s not quite the appointment we were hoping for (we really liked the whole Muppets idea), but the Academy were always likely to play safe after the controversy of the last week or so. You can see Billy do his thing when the 2012 Oscars take place on 26 February 2012.