Billy Crystal is hosting the Oscars, not the Muppets


Earlier today we mentioned the surge in popularity for a campaign to get the Muppets to host the Oscars. There are nearly 34,000 supporters on the official Facebook page, almost double the tally from this morning.

Well, despite the swell of support, the producers officially named Billy Crystal the host of the 84th Academy Awards. This will mark the ninth time that Crystal has hosted the ceremony. The only person who’s done it more is Bob Hope, who hosted the Academy Awards 19 times. (Each time he was on the road to the Oscars, Hope inexplicably got into zany adventures with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour.)

But cheer up, guys and gals. Don’t lose faith yet. Crystal appeared on Muppets Tonight back in 1996, and he has a cameo in the forthcoming Muppet movie. Let’s not rule out the Muppets being there somehow. Keep believing, keep pretending…

We’ve got the text of the full press release after the jump.

Billy Crystal to Return as Host for 84th Academy Awards®

Beverly Hills, CA – Producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer have announced that Billy Crystal will serve as host for the 84th Academy Awards. “I’m thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar® stage,” said Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak. “He’s a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs.”

Commented Grazer, “Like so many others, I’ve been eager to see Billy host again. It’s very gratifying that he agreed to do it with Don and me at the helm.”

Said Mischer, “With Billy, we’re moving forward with one of the greatest hosts in Oscar history. His return to the Oscars® is, in a sense, a celebration.”

This will mark Crystal’s ninth time as host. Only Bob Hope has hosted more Academy Awards presentations, with 19 ceremonies between 1940 and 1978. Crystal last hosted the Academy Awards in 2004.

“Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage. I am thrilled to be back there. Actually, I am doing this so that the young woman in my pharmacy will stop asking me my name when I pick up my prescriptions,” said Crystal.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar® presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.



The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards – in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners – the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.