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November 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Acting with fast-forward speed, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has struck a deal with Billy Crystal to bring him back for a ninth time to host the Oscars. “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” Crystal tweeted to his followers. The remark may have been a recognition of naysayers’ comments that Crystal, 63, was too old for the hosting duties. Earlier in the day, Academy President Tom Sherak, when asked about such comments, told, “Bob Hope did the Oscars into his sixties.” [Actually, he was 74 when he hosted the Oscars for the last time in 1978.] Crystal will replace Eddie Murphy, who stepped down following Brett Ratner’s forced resignation after being taken to task for uttering an anti-gay slur during a Q&A after a screening of his movie, Tower Heist, and making graphic descriptions of his sex life on Howard Stern’s radio show. Crystal was presumably the first choice of Brian Grazer, who replaced Ratner. The quick action by the academy appeared to short-circuit a public relations disaster that the Academy would likely have suffered had the matter dragged on.