Eddie Murphy has five months to go before his inaugural gig hosting the 84th Academy Awards (assuming he doesn't get cold feet along the way). The publicity-shy comedy icon hasn't asked for any advice from former hosts, but that didn't stop his old buddy Steve Martin from chiming in today.
Martin, who hosted twice on his own and co-hosted with Alec Baldwin in 2010, made his advice available to the public on his official site this morning. He made some interesting and pointed suggestions. And, um, perhaps let out some of his own frustrations. So, between the jokes, what did Steve Martin really mean?
"Whatever you do, don't have a co-host. They're a big pain and they just end up breaking your SNL hosting record."*
*That's you Alec Baldwin. We're still convinced either gent would have been better on their own, but we're hoping they're still friends. Hathaway and Franco? Debatable.
"Start slimming down now. You looked kinda paunch in NORBIT."*
*Be careful Steve. You don't want to start seeming old school like your old buddy Billy Crystal. This joke would have been ancient when you hosted two years ago.
"People always say it's a disgrace that neither you nor I have ever won an Oscar, but they're just being correct."*
*This won't endear you to the lifetime achievement committee.
"The losers can feel very sad, so when you're backstage with them, pat their backs, then shake your head sadly. It's a blast!"*
"Fortunately, only you and I can get away with smuggling out an Oscar in our pants."
"Remember to relax and have a good time while 12,000 livebloggers rip you to shreds."*
*More like 100 million viewers on Facebook and Twitter.
"The accounts that certify the voting? Same chad counters from Florida."*
*Hmmm. Would you be alluding to any of the surprise upsets during your hosting years? Did "Avatar" really win in 2009? Don't tease us!
"If you think the show is running long, you're probably thinking of 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, or any shows in the '90s."*
*So, basically, it doesn't matter if it goes over. Unless you're ABC which means it really doesn't matter to the Academy (your real boss).
"If you feel tired midway through, give Neil Patrick Harris a Red Bull and throw some sheet music at him."*
*OK, if Martin is referencing Harris when will the Academy realize he's more than capable of hosting the show? Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres, David Letterman, Chris Rock (sorry Chris) and Johnny Carson were not movie people and were hosts. Why can't Harris?
"Eddie, since you and I are old friends, I sincerely thought you deserved an Oscar nomination for BOWFINGER, the movie we did together that stands alone in comedy history, from which we get no credit or acknowledgment except large paychecks and drivers and any type of food we wanted delivered to us every day in our really nice trailers, I wish you all the best on your Oscar hosting gig."*
*Something tells us Billy Crystal isn't as thrilled that Murphy got the job over for him. Just sayin'.
The 84th Academy Awards are broadcast live on ABC on Feb. 26, 2012. Five months and five days to go.
For year round entertainment commentary and awards season news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory.