Eddie Murphy To Host Oscars: Yea Or Nay?

The producer of next year’s Academy Awards telecast wanted him — and he wanted to do it. Now, the paperwork is done and Eddie Murphy has been officially announced as the host of Hollywood’s biggest night, to air Feb. 26, 2012 on ABC.

As first reported by Deadline’s Nikki Finke, filmmaker-turned-Oscar showrunner Brett Ratner had one name and only one name on his short list to emcee the 84th Academy Awards. Murphy promptly reciprocated the interest and agreed to accept the gig.

That Murphy was tapped for the plum job only seems out of left field until you consider that Ratner has Tower Heist, a big-screen action-comedy starring the 1980s box office draw, hitting theaters in November. What’s more, Murphy has the DreamWorks dramedy A Thousand Words set for release on January 12, 2012, during the ramp-up to awards season.

As host, Murphy brings his legendary stand-up comedy skills and Saturday Night Live resume, as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, says Deadline. And even with Murphy at the helm, it is said that Billy Crystal, who recently expressed interest in hosting the Oscars again, will still be incorporated into the show in a significant way.