After a tumultuous week for the Academy—losing next year's planned Oscars' producer to a scandal involving homophobic slurs; host Eddie Murphy stepped down a day later—things appear to be back on track for next year's Oscars' telecast: The Academy announced yesterday that Billy Crystal will return this year to host his ninth ceremony.
In an Academy press release Thursday, Crystal said, "Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage. I am thrilled to be back there. Actually, I am doing this so that the young woman in my pharmacy will stop asking me my name when I pick up my prescriptions."
Crystal has hosted the Oscars eight previous times, last emceeing the show in 2004. For those of us who grew up watching Billy Crystal host, this is a very exciting, welcome announcement, especially after last year's unfortunate hosting performances by Anne Hathaway and James Franco.
One can't help but wonder, though, whether Crystal thought about how he will write a medley that could include up to 10 best picture nominees before accepting the gig! For anyone who has never seen Billy's famous Oscar medleys and film parodies, here is one of my favorites, from the 1998 telecast: