Billy Crystal Returns as Academy Awards Host

After the short-lived fiasco of Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announded that Billy Crystal would be returning as host of the Oscars for the ninth time,  second only to Bob Hope who hosted the ceremony a record 19 times! 

Crystal brings both nostalgia and stability to the Academy Awards during a time of doubt after last year's sub-standard show and the current messy attempt to shake things up with Ratner.  Crystal is a known quantity, a funny and beloved showman.  While the Academy was looking for something fresh and hip with Ratner, and fans were eager to see Murphy recapture his old energetic, comedic brilliance, now they are settling for tried and true stability (for this year at least). 

Can Crystal anything new to the table and surprise us with a new perspective?  Sure he can, but viewers will be expecting the tried and true, so Crystal needs to deliver those standard elements that he perfected like the opening song-and-dance number and the mid-show "what the nominees are thinking" routine.  The pressure is on to keep those staples fresh as well as to live up to the hype and deliver an entertaining production.

He's done it eight times before, so I'm confident he can do it again just fine, but the last time was eight years ago.  Hopefully he won't be rusty, and hopefully his shtick will still prove relevant to younger audiences.

Here is the list of all the Academy Awards hosts in the history of the Oscars (with the year the awards were presented):

1929 (for 1927/1928): Douglas Fairbanks and William C. DeMille
1930 (April for 1928/1929): William C. DeMille
1930 (November for 1929/1930): Conrad Nagel
1931: Lawrence Grant
1932: Lionel Barrymore
1934 (for 1932/1933): Will Rogers
1935: Irwin S. Cobb
1936: Frank Capra
1937: George Jessel
1938: Bob Burns
1939: No official host
1940: Bob Hope
1941: Bob Hope
1942: Bob Hope
1943: Bob Hope
1944: Jack Benny
1945: Bob Hope and John Cromwell
1946: Bob Hope and James Stewart
1947: Jack Benny
1948: Dick Powell and Agnes Moorehead
1949: Robert Montgomery
1950: Paul Douglas
1951: Fred Astair
1952: Danny Kaye
1953: Bob Hope and Conrad Nagel
1954: Donald O'Connor and Frederic March
1955: Bob Hope and Thelma Ritter
1956: Jerry Lewis, Claudette Colbert, and Joseph L. Mankiewicz
1957: Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm
1958: Bob Hope, David Niven, James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, and Rosalind Russell
1959: Bob Hope, Tony Randall, Mort Sahl, David Niven, Laurence Olivier, and Jerry Lewis
1960: Bob Hope
1961: Bob Hope
1962: Bob Hope
1963: Frank Sinatra
1964: Jack Lemmon
1965: Bob Hope
1966: Bob Hope
1967: Bob Hope
1968: Bob Hope
1969: No official host
1970: No official host
1971: No official host
1972: Helen Hayes, Alan King, Sammy Davis Jr., and Jack Lemmon
1973: Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston, and Rock Hudson
1974: John Huston, Burt Reynolds, David Niven, and Diana Ross
1975: Sammy Davis Jr, Bob Hope, Shirley MacLaine, and Frank Sinatra
1976: Goldie Hawn, Gene Kelly, Walter Matthau, George Segal, and Robert Shaw
1977: Warren Beatty, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, and Richard Pryor
1978: Bob Hope
1979: Johnny Carson
1980: Johnny Carson
1981: Johnny Carson
1982: Johnny Carson
1983: Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, Richard Pryor, and Walter Matthau
1984: Johnny Carson
1985: Jack Lemmon
1986: Alan Alda, Jane Fonda, and Robin Williams
1987: Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn, and Paul Hogan
1988: Chevy Chase
1989: No official host
1990: Billy Crystal
1991: Billy Crystal
1992: Billy Crystal
1993: Billy Crystal
1994: Whoopi Goldberg
1995: David Letterman
1996: Whoopi Goldberg
1997: Billy Crystal
1998: Billy Crystal
1999: Whoopi Goldberg
2000: Billy Crystal
2001: Steve Martin
2002: Whoopi Goldberg
2003: Steve Martin
2004: Billy Crystal
2005: Chris Rock
2006: Jon Stewart
2007: Ellen Degeneres
2008: Jon Stewart
2009: Hugh Jackman
2010: Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin
2011: James Franco and Anne Hathaway
2012: Billy Crystal (replacing Eddie Murphy)
2013: Seth MacFarlane
2014: Ellen DeGeneres
2015: Neil Patrick Harris

That's a rich list of noteworthy entertainment industry personalities, and Billy Crystal has earned his spot as one of the greatest of them.  Let's hope his upcoming hosting gig will add to his legacy rather than diminish it.

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