Eddie Murphy to Host Oscars

Eddie Murphy will host the 84th annual Academy Awards, producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today:

Eddie_murphy "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."

The ultra-early announcement appears to be geared toward boosting a cinematic return for Murphy, Deadline adds:

This is coming months earlier than normal because usually the Oscars host isn’t chosen or announced until January. But everyone is eager to get out the news now. I do know that Murphy’s Hollywood agency WME thinks it’d be a real coup for Murphy’s dormant career which is about to get a kick-start. That’s because the veteran comedian is starring in the Brett Ratner-directed and Imagine/Universal-produced Tower Heist action laugher with Ben Stiller that opens on November 4th and is receiving great buzz. So Murphy and Ratner already have a close relationship, and this would be a way for Brett to put his personal stamp on 2012′s broadcast. Plus Murphy is starring in the DreamWorks dramedy film A Thousand Words scheduled for release on January 12th.

Comments

  1. EnterTheGecko says

    Never watched the Oscars anyway. So no loss for me. Besides they nominate some of the most uninteresting movies. IMO Sigourney Weaver’s nod for her role in Aliens was last legit nod they had.

  2. Jonster says

    Just like with Will Smith, I put a mental check mark next to Murphy’s name when he came out with his “Raw” album in the 80s in which he performed a homophobic rants about girlfriends having gay friends “and then they come home and kiss you and you don’t know if they got AIDS on their lips.” Mind, he did this all in a red leather jumpsuit. When Will Smith was doing Six Degrees, in which he played a bi hustler, he made a point of stating, unasked, his opinion on homosexuality(“it’s wrong”). I knew they’d both be outed in the future, and they have been. Scratch a ‘phobe, etc. Too true sometimes.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    FERNLAPLANTE,

    he used to do a lot of anti-Gay jokes in his comedy routines. Also, he sometimes played Gay stereotypes (the empty-headed kind) in scenes in his movies. This is why it was so ironic that he has this sexual history with Transwomen (Pre-opt Transwomen with no intention of “opting”. In other words, they’re ding dings is a major part of his attraction to them).

    Shame…he used to be a comic genius. I enjoyed him on Saturday Night LIve.

  4. tom says

    In the 80’s, Eddie Murphy was third only to Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Kinnison as the biggest gay haters in Hollywood. Ironic that we now know Murphy is at least a closet bisexual. Along with that other 80’s star Tom Cruise (and his Top Gun co-star Kelly McGinnis who recently came out as a lesbian). Funny how things work out.

  5. Brian in Texas says

    I think this is a great choice. Eddie Murphy is hands down one of the greatest standup comedians of all time. This year’s telecast with Hathaway and Franco was an absolute disaster.

    RAW came out 25 yrs ago. That was a different time and people evolve. He also mocked italian-americans, women, africans, himself. He was an equal opportunity offender.

  6. Hollywood, CA says

    It’s not that I don’t think he’s funny, I just would rather see other current people host: Neil Patrick Harris, Kathy Griffin, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Michael Cera, Whitney Cummings (sp), and my #1 choice, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!

  7. justme says

    Jonster, Smith’s character was gay in “Six Degrees” (a favorite film of mine, although because of everything but him — I do have to mentally block out his performance in order to enjoy it), as was the real man that character was based on. There’s a single scene in the film where he has to kiss a man, and Smith refused to shoot it in any way that you could actually see that happening. Even so, the black women next to me in the NYC theatre I first saw the film still literally screamed in horror at the sight of him performing even an implied gay kiss.

    Several years ago, a straight male friend of mine was a cater waiter at an event Smith and his wife were at and Smith aggressively propositioned him, going so far as to try to give my friend a key to his hotel room.

    As for Murphy, I don’t watch every Oscars and I sure as hell won’t be watching this one.

    Sidenote: Texas sure is a funny place.

  8. Rowan says

    JUSTME

    The Smiths a hollywoods worst kept secret. As in where as Tom Cruise was always ‘on’, these two never hid their loves away from west Hollywood prying eyes. Mrs Smith was always taking her girlfriend to go pick up their children at school.

  9. Hue-Man says

    When 98% of the dreck you produce is unwatchable, why not have an unwatchable host of an unwatchable show? I’ll wait for the Youtube video of the D list wannabe drunkenly vomitting on one of the fossils in the front row.

  10. preposterous says

    I don’t agree that he was an “equal opportunity offender.” He was viciously homophobic. He was called on it at the time, and didn’t care. He finally issued a public apology a few years ago. Which I did not accept. It was too late. Eddie Murphy DID DAMAGE. How many suicides of gay youth did he help cause?

    Ditto the Beastie Boys. They apologized, too, relatively recently. But what they did was unforgivable, honestly.

    It’s possible the picking of Eddie Murphy was connected to an interest in diversity; if so, that’s an ethic I appreciate and respect. But Eddie Murphy does not at all deserve the honor.

  11. antisaint says

    I have no opinion about his standup in the 80’s. I just don’t see how he’s relevant enough in 2011 to be doing something like hosting the Oscars. I also don’t get the whole “banking on some movie no one has seen doing well enough to make him relevant” angle. Is his lovechild with Scary Spice gonna co-host?

  12. Bob R says

    I haven’t watched the Oscars since I was a teen and only watched then because we had one tv and that’s what the family watched.

    If I didn’t tune in for Franco as host, I sure as hell will avoid the broadcast with Murphy like the plague. Never a Murphy fan, nor a Will Smith fan for that matter.

  13. xtincta says

    Eddie Murphy apologized for his homophobic comments during his stand-up years ago. If you’re gonna still hold that against him then you should still hold a grudge against the Beastie Boys for almost naming one of their albums Don’t be a Faggot.

  14. Dr2239 says

    I have to agree with OS2GUY above. Does he call jews “k@#’s”?
    Does he call Latinos “sp1cs”? Does he call Chinese “ch1nks?”

    No. Not in any routine I’ve seen, where he has no problem calling gays “f@66ots.”

    This has got to be a joke.

  15. Brian says

    While Murphy’s “Delirious” may well have been the funniest stand-up show of the 80’s, he hasn’t actually been funny or relevant since.

    This blatant attempt by a sub-par director to promote what already appears to be a sub-par movie is just pathetic. The Academy Awards haven’t really been about what or who is the best in the film industry for at least 30 years and Murphy’s inclusion as host just proves that point.

  16. says

    Lord some of you queens just can’t let go…HUH? Complaining about his RAW Album and NOT CD…..Some of you proally was even born at that time.HMMMM doing alot of googling these days I see.And always must keep a grudge against an African American. JUST DON’T WATCH!

    So much for you being non prejudicial.

  17. r1_lad says

    You know what, if you can’t laugh then what’s the point. 38 years old and only just watched the alleged homophobic clips. Get a life if you can’t laugh – it’s too short. I for one, am gay and comfortable with it. Eddie Murphy just makes me laugh and as for the San Francisco police routine it made me laugh out loud! Laugh at yourself and stop taking things so f**king seriously.

  18. Peter Gregory says

    Personally I switch off the moment I see Eddie Murphy in ANY film- his obsession with gays is worrying and he’s camper than ANY of the most outrageous queens who drag up and do OTT stuff. Hi homophiobia actually incites hatred. He’s just a sad self-oppresed screwed up guy greedy for money by doing the hate thing and covering up his own sexuality.

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