Actor and comedian Eddie Murphy will host the 84th annual Academy Awards, producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer said.
So Oscar is going back to its comedic roots. The last comic to host the show alone was Jon Stewart in 2008. A singing, dancing Hugh Jackman took over in 2009, and in recent years, pairs of actors have helmed the show.
This is Murphy’s first time hosting the Academy Awards. He said in a statement that he is enormously honored to join the ranks of the Oscar hosts.
Over the years, comics, including Bob Burns, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Chris Rock, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg and Jon Stewart have hosted the awards. Crystal even admitted recently that he was available to host if the academy wanted him.
Box office takes from Murphy's films makes him the second-highest grossing actor in the United States. He was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984 and has worked as a stand-up comedian.
Murphy, who earned a supporting actor Oscar nomination for his dramatic turn in 2006's Dreamgirls, hasn't been seen on the screen since the 2009 flop Imagine That, which made just $16.1 million domestically. In fact, another Murphy film, A Thousand Words, which is now set to open in January, has been on the shelf for more than three years.
However, Murphy has been heard as the wisecracking Donkey in the popular animated Shrek franchise.
Other hits in the 1990s included 1998's Doctor Dolittle and 1999's Life and Bowfinger. But for Dreamgirls, most of the films he's made recently have been critically lambasted.