Billy Crystal is going to host the 2012 Oscars.
"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," tweeted Crystal earlier Thursday, thus ending a day's speculation following Eddie Murphy having recused himself from the assignment.
Crystal has hosted the show eight times in the past and is generally considered the best MC the Oscars have seen this side of Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. He hosted each year from 1990 to 1993, and returned for the '96, '97, '99 and 2004 broadcasts.
This all came about, of course, thanks to Brett Ratner's unspeakably boorish behavior while doing press for "Tower Heist." People were puzzled when it was originally announced that he would be producing the Oscars, but nobody suspected he would fail this quickly.
First he made a racist crack while lying about bedding Olivia Munn, and followed that up days later by using a gay slur during a talkback at a "Tower Heist" screening. After a few days of outrage, Ratner wisely apologized and stepped down as the producer of the Oscars broadcast, and was quickly followed out the door by Eddie Murphy, who'd been tapped to host the show.
Brain Grazer was named Wednesday as the show's new producer, and his hiring was immediately followed by rumors that he would reach out to Crystal.
This could not be more of a no-lose proposition for Crystal who gets the job everyone wanted him to have, but now gets to take it on as a hero coming to the rescue of a show that was falling apart months before it even came together.
(We might add that this comes three months after we begged the Academy to give the Oscars hosting gig to Crystal.)