“Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.” With that tweet to his 61,285 Twitter followers, actor Billy Crystal announced to the world that he will be returning to host the 84th Academy Awards. The selection of Crystal, who has hosted the Oscars eight times (most recently in 2004), instantly brings a sense of stability and familiarity to an Oscar season that had been shaken up by controversy and uncertainty this week with the departure of the planned Oscar producer Brett Ratner and his handpicked host Eddie Murphy.
Crystal’s appearance in last year’s Oscar telecast, for which he drew a standing ovation, was widely seen as one of the few bright spots in that otherwise critically lambasted show, which was hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Only Bob Hope, with his 19 turns as Oscar emcee, has hosted more times than Crystal. “Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage,” Crystal said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be back there.”