BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--Comedian and eight-time Oscar host Billy Crystal will return to the Academy Awards stage to host next year's ceremony, the Academy announced today.
Crystal actually broke the news himself by posting on his Twitter page, "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."
The hosting job became vacant Wednesday when Eddie Murphy backed out of the gig, one day after his friend Brett Ratner--who directed Murphy's latest film, "Tower Heist"--stepped down as Oscar producer. Ratner issued an apology earlier this week for using a gay slur after a screening of "Tower Heist" in Hollywood.
Crystal has hosted the Oscars eight times--1990-1993, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2004. He is second only to Bob Hope, who hosted 19 Academy Awards ceremonies.
His past hosting jobs have been highlighted by his trademark openings, which featured Crystal being digitally added to scenes from the nominees for best picture.
"I'm thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar stage," Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak said. "He's a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back were he belongs."