The 50-year-old comedian was the top choice of Oscars producer Brett Ratner, who just so happens to be directing Murphy in his latest flick, Tower Heist. "Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever," said Ratner in a statement. "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." Murphy himself added, "I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from [Bob] Hope and [Johnny] Carson to [Billy] Crystal, [Steve] Martin and [Whoopi] Goldberg, among others."
Murphy's closest brush with Oscar up until this point was his 2006 Best Supporting Actor nomination for Dreamgirls, which ended rather poorly when he ditched the show shortly after losing to Alan Arkin. The world will have to wait until February 26th to see if Murphy fares better than last year's widely panned hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco, but some are already skeptical: as @MattDentler cracked, "Eddie Murphy isn't hosting the Oscars. The categories will be presented by The Klumps, Norbit, and the old Jewish man in Coming to America." And maybe his other white alter ego?