Is Eddie Murphy a Good Choice to Host the Oscars?

Eddie Murphy

It didn’t take long for a consensus to form about last year’s Oscars: They sucked, pure and simple. James Franco and Anne Hathaway were wildly miscast as a pair of schizoid co-presenters, and the telecast was marred by awful comedic bits (Franco in Marilyn drag), low-rent performances (those cloying school kids in yellow T-shirts), and various other cringeworthy missteps (Kirk Douglas’ very presence). The evening had the air of a slowly sinking cruise ship, which was probably not what the Academy had in mind for Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.

And so this year it's taking Oscar in another, drastic direction: The show is in the hands of Brett Ratner, a mainstream movie and music video director who commands little respect from his peers. Ratner has in turn coaxed one of the stars of Tower Heist, his upcoming comedy, into taking the hosting gig—none other than Eddie Murphy. And so, here’s the main question: Is this a good idea or a bad idea?

The fact that it’s even open to debate is a good sign for the awards show, which needs all the buzz it can get. Last year’s booking seemed a sure thing, and delivered a turkey for the ages. Certainly the uncertainty of a figure like Murphy, who’s evolved into a hugely private, sphinx-like figure in Hollywood, only works in the Oscars’ favor. Tower Heist looks to be Murphy’s effort to step away from the fat suit and recapture some of the magic of his classic buddy comedies of the 1980s. Could the Oscars gig also mark a return to Murphy’s standup comedy heights of the same era, when he could electrify thousands while armed with nothing but a microphone and a spotlight?

Mind you, Murphy’s standup, as captured in concert films like Delirious and Raw, was steeped in the kind of searingly homophobic material that would lead to media apology tours if he delivered it today. But again, that was a different man. No discussion of Murphy: Then and Now would be complete without mentioning an incident that took place in 1997, when police stopped him at 4:45 am in Hollywood and found a transsexual prostitute in his car. Murphy claimed he saw a pedestrian who looked “disjointed,” and was merely giving them a lift home. And perhaps that was true, but Murphy became a victim of the old “walks like a duck/talks like a duck” adage, and questions about his sexuality will forever swirl around him; two consecutive failed marriages (to women) and one knocking-up (of a Spice Girl) later, he still can’t shake the rumors.

And then there was the Oscar that got away. He was all but guaranteed the statuette for his turn in Dreamgirls, which instead went to Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine. Murphy was rumored to have stormed out of the ceremony after his name wasn’t called. Many swore the poor-sport showing meant Eddie and Oscar would never meet again.

Oh, how wrong they were. So back to that main question: Can he pull this off? Nobody knows. But the more I think about it, the more I want to find out if he can. It’s an inspired bit of stunt-casting. Kudos to Ratner, and best of luck to Muprhy. We’re pulling for you.

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This is sad. Oscar is desparate. Eddie is a has been hooker looker tranny lover who hasn't done anything meaningful in years. Oscar has been on the ropes ever since the Golden Globes stole the "show" with their January broadcast, a whole month before the Oscars are televised. "Who cares" is the attitude now ... now perhaps if Ophrah and Gayle would host and tease the audience by "almost" coming out of their closet, Oscar might get better ratings. Not more respect, mind you, just possibly better ratings !



What's Eddie gonna do ... come out insult the audience with his homophobic humor and act like Buckwheat ... like I said "desparate" ... this is 2012 now now 1984 ...
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As long as he, "got some ice cream and you don't got any..." then I will be happy. If you don't get the reference then you really don't know Eddie.



Yes he should host, as long as they air it at 11pm and lose the censorship lol
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Eddie Murphy is like meat and potatoes. Of course he's a good choice.
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If they use the same writers as last year then the awards show will be just as bad, no matter who is hosting.
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All he has to do is laugh and it cracks me up. Looking forward to seeing him in action.
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Along with other reasons, I wouldn't root for Murphy after ruining the movie of my favorite ride, The Haunted Mansion. I do hope Guillermo del Toro follows through and remakes the movie so its enjoyable.
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lol...it is Disney! Did you expect anything more?
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"Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever," said Ratner. http://bit.ly/njMHCK
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He certainly won't be the worst host to have hosted the Oscars, and I think he'll probably surprise us.
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Just another foul mouthed washed up actor. Just one of the resons I stopped watching the Academy Awards eight years ago.
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I just can't see him pulling off the Oscars. He can be hilarious - but it's usually stuff that the "Oscar types" would NOT appreciate.
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He has no business being on that stage. The problem last year was not Franco - it was the writing. He told them days before that it was bad and he was uncomfortable with it. He was right. The same bad writers with the same bad crap year after year. Eddie Murphy is not the answer. With all the good choices, this is insulting.
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I'm not impressed with this bit of stunt casting, and i'm not looking foward to this gig.
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Stunt casting? Really?
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As long as there are no fatsuits, impersonations, or cross dressing, this could work. He is one of the best standup comedians ever, so there should be no glitz, glamor, or show tunes, just give the man a microphone, and let's see if the "old" Eddie can make a resurgence.
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After Ann and James there's really no way to get any worse, eh? Good luck, Eddie.
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In 1988 yes, 2011 no
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ZZZZZZZZZZZZ, snort... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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Such an awful idea especially since it came from Brett Rattner. I don't know why the oscars doesn't just stick to what works. Good comedians. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Conan, etc. All of which absolutely killed it when they hosted. I also think that Seth Macfarlane will be a brilliant host. Someone who can insult everything and everyone like Ricky Gervais did....in a funny way.
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Gervais was funny as hell
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If Eddie from the 90's shows up it should be a good watch.
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He's not funny unless he uses the f word. Besides he's washed up!
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u can clean Eddie up but u can't clean his mouth up. If being such a good stand up comic means dropping the F bomb and ridiculing gay folks than he's "the bomb" as they say but if it's for his "intelligent humor" well, then Oscar loses again. And wasn't Eddie Murphy caught with a transvestite hooker in his past ? Yes, Oscar gets classy once again !
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he might be good, but it doesn't matter to me. i won't watch the Oscars or any other award show.
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I dont watch the oscars either, just dont care really
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Excellent choice. Showtime was Eddie's last movie I enjoyed. Hoping this means a new Beverly Hill Cop movie.
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Well, Eddie Murphy has made us laugh many times, so I think that he will do a good job.
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he could be very good, but he could also fall flat on his face, so its an interesting prospect
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He could be. Like jaynashvil said he can sometimes be pretty funny. Other times not so much
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I'm really not sure about him and I think this could go either very well or extremely bad. I do agree that Neil Patrick Harris would have been a much safer choice.
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I think that Eddie Murphy is still funny and has the potential to be a great host.
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Murphy as host is a tough call since the Eddie of today is such an enigma. The one who did The Nutty Professor shows he still knows funny. But we might get the lame Eddie who cant order coffee without being surrounded by his posse and cranks out crap like Norbit The Haunted Mansion, I Spy, Adventures of Pluto Nash, Meet Dave, Daddy Day Care, Dr. Dolittle I & II, just to name a dozen. The only thing I feel confident about is number of times he'll be bleeped during the telecast. Anybody want to start a pool on that one?
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If he can reinvent his funny, yes.



He has to do the old Murphy paired with PC hollywood of today. Good luck dude...
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I actually liked the Kirk Douglas presentation in the last Oscars, entertaining at least (disingenuous of you to suggest he shouldn't have even been there), but maybe that highlights how lacklustre the rest of the show was...



Can't see any reason why Eddie Murphy can't make a great host, best of luck to him.



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I think that neil patrick harris would have been a better choice. He was great when he hosted the emmys and tony's
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I don't think that he is the right person for the job but I hope him success and hopefully a turn for the better in his career. Everyone who attempts to host the Oscars is a winner, must be the hardest job in showbiz. I would like to see Bruce Willis host!
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I used to like Murphy quite a lot. Focus on: used to. I haven't found him funny for about a decade. I have my doubts about how he'll perform at the Oscars. He CAN be funny, but I'm inclined to think he'll be more than a bit lame and corny. He'll surely be better than Franco and Hathaway, though... right?
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a lot of 20 somethings today will be saying "who's Eddie Murphy" because he hasn't done anything of note for the last 20 years. And those who remember him will either love him or not watch ... completely polarizing. Get a Bob Hope look a like and Oscar might have a chance. Eddie is washed up ... but then again so is Oscar. So perhaps it is a good choice.
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