Why Eddie Murphy Hosting The Oscars Is A Great Choice

Eddie Murphy will be hosting the 2012 Academy Awards and I am already wicked excited. (I’m busting out the adopted Bay Stater in me, that’s how pumped I am.)

Murphy, who has laid low since Dreamgirls, is an unexpected choice, though he is starring in Oscar producer Brett Ratner’s fall comedy Tower Heist.

While you should never get too excited about the Oscars host to avoid the eventual disappointment, there are plenty of reasons why Eddie Murphy can be a good one – he’s a stand up legend, he is in need of a career resurgence, he will actually be funny. As one Oscars commentator has pointed out, “I’m hopeful that with Ratner behind him, Murphy will exude that unique combination of cheshire-cat grin and naughty humor that he used to such great effect in the Beverly Hills Cop films.”

But this is really the best reason:

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Odds and Ends from the Tonys

It dawned on me during the Tony Awards last night that the only musical I have seen in the last six months was a disastrous production of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. When you figure that I saw it with many of my former high school teachers, this was easily the worst Broadway experience of my life. So I have started the “help Joanna go to a Broadway show that isn’t Spider-Man so she can regain her faith in humanity musical theater” fund. (Note: This is a legit fund. I don’t care which show it is. I will sit in the most nosebleed-y seats of any production as long as it is NOT Spider-Man.)

Thank god for the Tony Awards though. They were great fun and gave me a dose of exactly what I was missing out on – Sutton Foster, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, dancing and singing Mormons, dancing and singing Harry Potter, Sutton Foster. The Book of Mormon cleaned up by winning nine awards, including Best Musical. The Book of Mormon is arguably the best thing to happen to Broadway in a while; it has injected far more life into the stage scene than Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ever could.

(By the way, everyone’s favorite musical mess opens for real this time on Tuesday. What’s that? The sound of you casually strolling to the Times Square TKTS Booth to purchase your tickets for Anything Goes and not Spider-Man? I don’t blame you.)

Aside from The Book of Mormon domination (music to Joseph Smith’s ears?) and the success of plays, War Horse and The Normal Heart, Neil Patrick Harris was once again the best host imagineable. Did I mention the awesome NPH and Hugh Jackman host off/dance off? (“But buddy, if I’m the bottom you’re the top!” – Annie Get Your Gun will now have a revival.) Please Oscars producers, take note.

What follows next are some of the entertaining Tweets I read during the night’s festivities:

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James Franco and Anne Hathaway Are Oscars Co-Hosts

Talk about thinking outside the box.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this afternoon that actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway will cohost the 2011 Oscars. Producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer noted that with Franco and Hathaway “personify the next generation of Hollywood icons – fresh, exciting and multi-talented.”

I have faith that Franco and Hathaway are more than capable hosts. They are both proven live performers with boundless appeal and charm. Hathaway, in particular, flashed her Oscar hosting potential in 2008 when she appeared with host Hugh Jackman in the opening number.

Something still feels off about this hosting selection.  This is an obvious attempt on the part of producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer to attract younger viewers. But will it actually work? I hardly think the Oscars should worry about drawing a younger audience.

It is worth nothing that Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin hosting stint last year attracted more than 41 million people, the most since 2005.  This only proves one thing: it is not the Oscars host that matters but the movies nominated. Without an Avatar nominated for Best Picture this year, the Oscars telecast ratings will expectedly drop.

What is your take on James Franco and Anne Hathaway as Oscars hosts?

The 83rd Academy Award will be held on February 27, 2011.

Finally! Ricky Gervais to Host the Golden Globes

Breaking from the raditional no host mold, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has chosen Ricky Gervais to host the 67th Annual Golden Globes. He is the first Golden Globes host since 1995.

Gervais said on his hosting gig: “Not only is this the biggest Hollywood celebration of the industry, which includes both film and TV, but also an environment where I feel I can get free reign as a host. I have resisted many other offers like this, but there are just some things you don’t turn down.”

I say, this is a match made in heaven. My real question though is do they broadcast the Golden Globes in Berlin? Because someone (who may or may not be writing this blog post) is going to have a difficult time watching this.