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Billy Crystal to host 2012 Oscars

November 10, 2011 |  2:15 pm

Billy-crystal
This post has been corrected; please see bottom for details.

Billy Crystal tweeted Thursday, in what some construed as a joke, "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." Now, two sources familiar with the 2012 Oscars telecast who were not authorized to talk publicly confirmed that  Crystal would host, replacing the recently departed Eddie Murphy.

A spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and  Sciences did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

At age 63, Crystal would be the oldest solo host of the show since Bob Hope in 1978.

Crystal, who has hosted some of Oscars' most successful modern telecasts, had been a popular public choice since Murphy departed Wednesday. The chorus first began when Crystal appeared on the 2011 show presenting a tribute to Hope.

During an August appearance at the Aero theater in Santa Monica, Crystal admitted that he got "itchy" after last winter's cameo on the Oscars and that he'd be ready to talk about a return to the global stage of the gala.

 "It got to be too much after a while and the sameness in my life," he said. "That's why I pulled back. And then when I thought I might want to do it again, they were on to other people. It's always fun. It's really hard, but maybe one or two more times? I don't know. They know where I am."

Crystal, at the Santa Monica event, elaborated on the stress and pleasures of the one-of-a-kind Oscars gig.

"I so appreciate that you like when we do it," he said. "And I had a good time doing them. I did eight of them. And it takes a long time. I sort of stopped doing it -- I would do it in patches -- and then fortunately, I was doing other things that I wanted to do. [It takes a long time] in order to do the things we did -- and [those things] change the way a host was working on the show. We started doing the medley with Mark [Shaiman], and then those got really funny. Then we entered the films, you know, cutting into the nominated movies, and that started taking a really long time. I was working four or five months just on the Oscars."

The 84th Academy Awards will be broadcast live by ABC on Feb. 26 from the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

{For the Record, Nov. 10, 2:37 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said Billy Crystal would be the oldest Oscars host since 1978. He would be the oldest solo host since that year; co-hosting the 2010 show with Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin was 64.]

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-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Billy Crystal mimics the Oscar statues at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after it was announced that he would host the 76th Academy Awards. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.


 
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