After last year’s Oscar-hosting debacle – when Anne Hathaway desperately tried to pique interest in the show, while a lazy James Franco tiredly read from the teleprompter, the Academy Awards will return to its roots – in the form of Billy Crystal.
After the media crapped all over last year’s show, which had been trumpeted as a “younger, hipper” Oscars, the Academy is heading back to the comforting arms of the eight-time Oscar emcee.
“Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions,” Crystal had tweeted in an effort to poke fun at the battle of old vs. new. “Looking forward to the show.”
Meanwhile, EW talked to Executive Producer Don Mischer about what went wrong with last year’s show, and how he hopes that going “old school” via Crystal will somehow appeal to both audiences.
“There have been many wonderful hosts of the Oscars, but when you look at the big three it’s really Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and Billy Crystal,” Mischer said. “Having worked with Billy and knowing Billy through the years, he brings a kind of confidence to what he does that I’ve always found appealing as a host.”
Crystal had previously hosted the Oscars in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2004. Crystal replaced Eddie Murphy, who resigned from the high-profile gig in the wake of Brett Ratner’s decision to step down as producer. Ratner found that he often had his foot inserted directly into his mouth, which didn’t bode well for the Academy.
Although the Academy is going back to its roots, there are still opportunities to freshen up the long-running show – and this year the Oscars will feature a performance by Cirque du Soleil, which will pay tribute to cinema via a stunning acrobatic stage show.
With the 84th Academy Awards right around the corner, the anticipation of watching Billy Crystal host again is beginning to get the social networking feeds in a frenzy. Think you know who will be taking home Oscar gold? Spice up the show by engaging in some Oscar betting with Sports Interaction.
Grazer added, “Like so many others, I’ve been eager to see Billy host again. It’s very gratifying that he agreed to do it with Don and me at the helm.”