Crystal announced via his twitter account that he is hosting the show at 1:30 PM Thursday afternoon with the following tweet:
In a statement later released by the Academy, Crystal refined his remarks noting, ""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."
Crystal will replace another former "Saturday Night Live" alum, Eddie Murphy, after the "Tower Heist" star decided to bow out after Brett Ratner resigned as co-producer of the telecast on Tuesday. Wednesday found Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer stepping into Ratner's role to co-produce alongside originally announced Don Mischer.
AMPAS president Tom Sherak said, "I'm thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar stage. He's a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs."
Grazer added, "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 be Crystal's ninth time hosting the Oscars. He was a mainstay during the '90s and last hosted in 2004. After the disastrous show by Anne Hathaway and James Franco in February, Crystal made it clear he was open to returning to host one more time.
Bringing Crystal back should ease the concerns of Academy members shaken by so much upheaval over the past week as well as ABC which would like a strong and stable host to sell to advertisers. Crystal's schtick may have gotten a tad old, but he's still a happy memory for most casual moviegoers who would consider turning into the show.
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