If I sat down and thought of who I wanted to host the Oscars, I don’t think Eddie Murphy would have popped into my mind. However, once I heard he was the front-runner for the post, I was actually rooting for him to get it.
If he’s on his game, Murphy can be great. In too many recent movies, Murphy has not seemed motivated, but a gig like this would seem to be a perfect vehicle to get him back to his comedic roots.
Plus, Murphy brings many positives to the role, including the ability to do standup (great for the opening monologue) and he’s terrific at impressions (great for the opening number).
There were safer choices, but Murphy has the chance to do something really noteworthy. Of course, there is the possiblity that he could fail — but I think watching Murphy fail would still be far more entertaining than what we got last year.
Check out the Academy’s official press release below:
Oscar® nominee Eddie Murphy, whose performing career spans movies, television and the stage, will host this year’s Academy Awards show on Feb. 26, 2012, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be Murphy’s first hosting stint on the Oscars®.
“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” said Ratner. “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 Don and I want to produce in February.”
Commented Mischer, “Eddie is a truly ground-breaking performer, whose amazingly diverse array of roles has won him a devoted audience of all ages. His quick wit and charisma will serve him very well as Oscar host.”
“I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others,” said Murphy. “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.”
Murphy began his career at the age of 15 as a stand-up comedian. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” becoming the show’s youngest cast member to that point, and bringing to life many of the show’s most memorable characters. His 1983 album “Eddie Murphy: Comedian” won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording. It included portions of his groundbreaking HBO special “Eddie Murphy Delirious.” In 1987, “Eddie Murphy Raw” was theatrically released and went on to gross over $50 million. Murphy made his feature film debut in 1982 with the classic “48 Hrs.” and would go on to star in such box-office hits as “Beverly Hills Cop” and the “The Nutty Professor” and “Shrek” franchises. All told, movies in which he has performed have earned in excess of $7 billion worldwide during their theatrical releases.
Murphy earned an Oscar nomination in 2006 for his supporting role in “Dreamgirls.”
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, Feb.26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
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