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Oscar Wants to Party All the Time: Eddie Murphy to Host Academy Awards

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In one of the most stunning news flashes since the shooting of Buckwheat, Eddie Murphy has been announced as the host of the next Academy Awards broadcast, next Feb. 26 on ABC.

Murphy was apparently recruited as Oscar host by awards co-producer Brett Ratner, who directed him in the forthcoming movie Tower Heist. Murphy will join past hosts such as SNL alum Billy Crystal and SNL fellow traveler Steve Martin, both of whom Murphy acknowledged in his statement: “I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others.”

My reaction on hearing the news. I—well, I’m not sure I have one. Obviously I know Murphy as a tremendously inventive comic actor and standup, both of which often lend themselves to the job. Of course, that was before the long, Norbit- and Daddy Day Care-inflected recent section of his IMDB entry. Today, honestly, I’m just not entirely sure what exactly to expect from an Eddie Murphy-hosted awards show.

Which, conversely, is part of the reason I’m now very curious to see it, and not just because it gave me an excuse to embed his Rick James collaboration, above. Are you excited? And if so, are you a Murphy fan by way of SNL or Shrek?