Eddie Murphy hosting the Oscars isn’t necessarily a bad thing

By Brad Sturdivant

If you’ve followed Flix66.com for a while, then you know that the Oscars are kind of a big deal around here.  We love the telecast and predicting who will take home the statuettes.  We also love critiquing the hosts, but we actually prefer the hosts be somewhat competent.  So I reacted with mixed emotions when I heard that Eddie Murphy was the frontrunner to host next year’s Academy Awards.  On one hand, Eddie is a seasoned veteran of the stage and can handle the pressure that comes with hosting a live telecast viewed by millions.  On the other hand, he’s Eddie Murphy; a comedian that hasn’t been funny in over 20 years and has alienated his entire fanbase.

Eddie Murphy

When it comes to hosting the Oscars, I have one demand; the host MUST have experience on a stage and dealing with a large audience.  Actors are not stage performers.  And even if they’ve done some Broadway plays or musical concerts, there’s a big difference between performing for a crowd and talking to a crowd.  Really, the only entertainment profession that allows you to do that is standup comedian.  There’s a reason why Bob Hope, Billy Crystal and Steve Martin (my personal favorite host) were so great; they used to do it for a living.

Eddie Murphy Delirious

And lest you forget, Eddie Murphy used to be a standup comedian, and he was pretty good at it too.  Yes, it’s true; the star of such disasters as PLUTO NASH and DADDY DAY CARE actually used to be a really great comedian.  RAW and DELIRIOUS are still two of the best standup performances of all time and if you go back and watch them, you can see how natural it was for Eddie to perform on stage and how comfortable he looked up there.  So even though it would take a gun pointed at my head for me to watch an Eddie Murphy movie, I don’t think I’d mind him hosting the Academy Awards.

Academy Award Statues

If anything, people should be upset about Brett Ratner being a producer.  I’ll refrain from trashing the guy, but my fear is that he’ll turn it into a shameless self-promotion and will spend his time selling his next movie (TOWER HEIST, starring…you guessed it; Eddie Murphy) or lavishing praise on people he’s friends with.  The Academy has always been accused of being out of touch and I’m not sure bringing in someone that most movie fans hate is the best way to regain the trust of your audience.  But I digress.

Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy in Tower Heist

The point is that Eddie Murphy is not the worst choice to host the Oscars.  In fact, I’ll make the argument that he’s actually a pretty good choice.  He can be funny (although not recently), he has a great laugh and he can react to what’s going on around him.  That’s really all you need in a good host, so if Eddie is the choice, I’m okay with it.

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