Thursday, November 10, 2011

Billy Crystal to host the Oscars for 9th time

Billy Crystal will host the 84th Academy Awards.

"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 eight-time host announced on Thursday at 1:28 p.m. PT via Twitter.

While thousands of fans were hoping for a Muppets-hosted Oscars, Crystal, 63, decided to return once more to the Kodak Theatre stage. Fans can always relish in past Muppet appearances, beginning in 1980 at the 52nd Academy Awards. (Watch the video here.)

The announcement, which the Academy confirmed Thursday night around 6:30 p.m. PT, ends a hellish week for the motion picture organization.

Ex-Oscars co-producer Brett Ratner resigned on Tuesday after intense scrutiny for comments made while promoting his new film "Tower Heist," starring ex-Oscars host Eddie Murphy. Hired by Ratner, Murphy then stepped down as host on Wednesday. Later that day, Brian Grazer was named the new Oscars producer, joining Don Mischer. And Thursday, here we are: Crystal is hosting.

'Ahead of schedule'
Even after this tumultuous week, the Academy is still "weeks ahead of schedule," according to Academy President Tom Sherak.

“If this happened in January, I would be hiding under my desk,” Sherak told's Mike Fleming on Thursday, even before Crystal made the announcement. "The Academy isn’t panicked."

The Academy didn't announce James Franco and Anne Hathaway's appointment as co-hosts until Nov. 29 last year, which was 90 days before the show. In 2009, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were named co-hosts on Nov. 3. Hugh Jackman wasn't announced as host of 81st Academy Awards until Dec. 12, 2008.

To prepare for next year's Oscars, here is a video of Crystal's opening in 2004, the most recent Oscars he's hosted.

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