Michael Slezak
December 23, 2005 AT 08:54 PM EST

If you like the 12-1 odds BetCRIS.com is offering on Billy Crystal as the 2006 Academy Awards host, don’t get out your wallet just yet. Variety’s Army Archerd reports that the City Slickers star has declined an offer to trot out his hosting shtick for a ninth time. I can’t say I’m too upset: I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to have a fresh voice emceeing the telecast?

BetCRIS has Jay Leno (hell to the no!) and Conan O’Brien (intriguing!) installed as the 3-1 favorites, with Ellen DeGeneres at 7.5-1. (As much as I love me some Ellen, though, she’ll need to step it up from her so-so Emmys performance last fall, left).

Now, while it’s great to see some Oscar neophytes leading the pack, I’d love to see some more offbeat choices in the running, too. It’ll never happen, but wouldn’t Kathy Griffin make for a legendary emcee? I’d also like to see Jeremy Piven get an audition. And hey, Jeff Probst could add his own twist, eliminating nominees until only one survivor winner remained.

Who would you like to see on the Oscar host shortlist? Dream big, folks; it’s holiday time!

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