News just broke a few minutes ago that no one’s favorite comedian, Billy Crystal, has been picked to host next year’s Academy Awards after the departure of producer Brett Ratner and subsequently, host Eddie Murphy. In the past day or so, a grassroots movement sprang up with the purpose of having The Muppets host the Oscars. Sure, it’s stupid. The Muppets are puppets, and the only reasons they’re occupying real estate in anyone’s brain right now is because they have a movie coming out in a few weeks.
Nonetheless, they’re not only a more inspired choice than Billy Crystal, but a better one. With Billy Crystal, we will get effectively, the same ceremony we did in 1990. And 1991. And 1992. And 1993. Then again in 1997. Then in 1998. Once again in 2000. Then once more in 2004.
Billy Crystal has hosted eight times. We know what we’ll be in for. We’re going to get 10,000 Bruce Vilanch-penned jokes about Helen Mirren being a slut, or Samuel L. Jackson asking out Dakota Fanning. They will be moderately funny, very familiar, and ultimately unremarkable.
With The Muppets, we could get watered-down, mass-marketed puppet humor. Or we could see Miss Piggy make a joke about Eddie Murphy banging out a tranny. Or we could see Beaker get handsy with Jude Law to the point Law has to awkwardly tell a puppet to stop grabbing him.
That last one probably wouldn’t happen with Billy Crystal, but if someone could guarantee it, I’d be fine with Crystal hosting.
David Gest called. He wants his visage back!
Crystals last feature-length film in which he was more than a voice was in 2002. Boo! And it was Analyze That. BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
With the criticism of the Oscars last year, everyone was expecting the tightasses at the Academy to swing back the other way. I mean, after Nipplegate, the following year’s Superbowl halftime show was Paul McCartney. Well, people didn’t count on the human wild card that is AMPAS president Tom Sherak. He went with Eddie Murphy, and people were actually talking about the Oscars seven months before they occurred.
Well, with the fallout from Brett Ratner’s exit, it would be easy to say “screw it” and unfreeze Billy Crystal for 24 hours to host. But it would be wildly counterproductive to the Academy’s stated cause of reaching out to a younger generation. Hiring Crystal says, “We tried young people last year. It didn’t work. We’re going back to what people like until all the people that like it die.”