Following last year’s disastrous choice of pairing an overly-cheery Anne Hathaway and a totally checked-out James Franco as hosts, the academy has decided to go back to comedy veterans for next year’s ceremony: “Saturday Night Live” alum Eddie Murphy will host the next Academy Awards.
Word leaked over the weekend that Murphy was the choice for producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer, and by Tuesday afternoon, the deal was done.
“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” Ratner said in a statement. “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.”
Last year, 37.4 million people watched the Hathaway-Franco-hosted debacle, which was four million fewer than had watched the previous Oscar ceremony — hosted by “SNL” vet Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.
The Oscars will air Feb. 26, 2012 on ABC.