Confirmed: Eddie Murphy Will Yuck It Up At This Year’s Academy Awards

I’m very curious about the future of Eddie Murphy.  I mean, this guy used to be one of the most recognizable and bankable stars in America.  Now, he hasn’t had a successful film (outside of the Shrek franchise, of course) since…what, Daddy Day Care?  Between Imagine That, Meet Dave, Norbit, and Pluto Nash, Murphy has had some pretty rough years.  However, is 2011 changing that?  Not only is he starring in the Brett Ratner directed Tower Heist as neither a fat guy, family man, OR spaceship, but he’s also set to host this year’s Oscars.  Is Eddie Murphy actually TRYING to revitalize his career?

Eh, probably not.  His next two roles include a movie reuniting him with director Brian Robbins (of Meet Dave and Norbit fame) and the live action Hong Kong Fooey movie.  Yes, he probably hasn’t changed.  But still, it’s a pretty cool notion!  Pre Beverly Hills Cop, Murphy was a very successful stand up comedian.  It’s been decades since he’s last performed, but I hope he still has it in him.  Because remember; Eddie Murphy was once funny.  You just sit down and think about that.

Here’s the press release, courtesy of the Academy (via Deadline):

Beverly Hills, CA — Oscar® nominee Eddie Murphy, whose performing career spans movies, television and the stage, will host this year’s Academy Awards show on Sunday, February 26, 2012, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be Murphy’s first hosting stint on the Oscars®.

“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” said Ratner. “With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances – especially on stage – I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show Don and I want to produce in February.”

Commented Mischer, “Eddie is a truly ground-breaking performer, whose amazingly diverse array of roles has won him a devoted audience of all ages. His quick wit and charisma will serve him very well as Oscar host.”

“I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others,” said Murphy. “I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.”

Murphy began his career at the age of 15 as a stand-up comedian. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” becoming the show’s youngest cast member to that point, and bringing to life many of the show’s most memorable characters. His 1983 album “Eddie Murphy: Comedian” won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording. It included portions of his groundbreaking HBO special “Eddie Murphy Delirious.” In 1987, “Eddie Murphy Raw” was theatrically released and went on to gross over $50 million. Murphy made his feature film debut in 1982 with the classic “48 Hrs.” and would go on to star in such box-office hits as “Beverly Hills Cop” and the “The Nutty Professor” and “Shrek” franchises. All told, movies in which he has performed have earned in excess of $7 billion worldwide during their theatrical releases.

Murphy earned an Oscar nomination in 2006 for his supporting role in “Dreamgirls.”
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Heck, anything’s better than Janes Franco and Anne Hathaway!  Just saying…