Eddie Murphy Set to Officially Host the Oscars
09.06.11 by Ryan
Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Eddie Murphy might be tapped to host the 84th Oscar ceremony, and it seemed likely as Murphy's Tower Heist director Brett Ratner would now be producing the broadcast. Ratner made it official by announcing Murphy as the host in a press release revealed by Deadline.
Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever. With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances — especially on stage — I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show [fellow producer] Don [Mischer]and I want to produce in February.
When word got around that Murphy was the possible host, outlets consulted Twitter, where the public response wasn't exactly positive — though perhaps those who found the news negative missed this year's debacle hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Their names were unsurprisingly missing in Murphy's comments about taking over the Oscars from past hosts.
I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from [Bob] Hope and [Johnny] Carson to [Billy] Crystal, [Steve] Martin and [Whoopi] Goldberg, among others. I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.
While talking to MTV, Ratner described the new Oscars host as a "film historian", likely one of the reasons Ratner chose Murphy to host the show.
Eddie's not just a comedic genius. He's more of a film historian and a student of cinema than I am or anybody out there. I can name any movie, it doesn't matter what era, and he will instantly quote lines from every movie. He's a brilliant mimic as you know; he'll play characters of every movie that I can come up with. He's such a fan of the movie business and movies and movie stars, all of that, is just exciting to him. To have hours and hours of debates about actors and his stories, especially with Richard Pryor, are some of the greatest stories I've ever heard.
Considering the underwhelming response to last year's Oscar ceremony, Murphy will have to combat viewer cynicism, even if the bar has been set relatively low. The 84th Academy Awards show will debut on Sunday, February 26, 2012, while Ratner and Murphy's collaboration in Tower Heist can be seen on November 4th.