Billy Crystal yesterday joined the chorus of people who have been clamoring for Billy Crystal to once again host the Oscars. For the love of god, can we please let him have the job already so we can all get on with our lives?
At a recent screening of "City Slickers," Crystal confessed to feeling itchy to resume Oscar hosting duties following his cameo at the 2011 gala. What followed was a master class in lobbying via the press:
"It got to be too much after a while and the sameness in my life. 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."
He first had to admit that it was he broke up with Oscar, not the other way around. But then, when he'd realized his mistake, Oscar had "moved on," so what could Billy do but remember the good times they'd had together and sit by the phone waiting for Oscar's call? Well princess has waited long enough thank you!
Brett Ratner, who somehow landed the job of producing next year's broadcast, responded with his own brilliant piece of spin.
“I didn’t see what Billy said," Ratner told Deadline. "I’m really focused on finishing my film Tower Heist right now. I was told by the Academy that I don’t have to make a decision until mid-September.”
Not only did Ratner manage to kick the can down the road with an unassailable excuse, but he managed to plug his next film and he told us when he'd have an answer. Well here's your answer, Brett: "We'd love to have Billy back. We're currently in talks and look forward to making an official announcement in the coming week or two."
Ratner's choice as producer has everyone puzzled (even Ratner himself joked that he thought he was getting booted from the Academy when they called him in), with perhaps the best endorsements coming from Nikki Finke, who said, "This could turn out to be the worst idea or the best idea. I say give the guy a chance. Let's face it: that interminable and horrible awards ceremony certainly couldn't get any worse." Fairly or not, everyone expects Ratner to fail miserably, but if he were to bring Crystal back into the fold, he'd be all but bulletproof. If the show ends up stinking, he can just shrug his shoulders and say, "Hey, I gave everyone what they wanted—it didn’t work." And if he nails it, he can look over at Billy, laugh, and say, "See, folks, it's just not that hard."
But until someone has the courage to give Billy his old job back, we're all gonna have to listen to how much better the Oscars used to be. And if Ratner really wants to make that show swing, he'll cut it down to 2 hours and 30 minutes.