Will Eddie Murphy Revitalize The Oscars As Host?
According to Deadline Hollywood, Eddie Murphy has signed on to host the 84th Academy Awards next February.
Yes, that Eddie Murphy. The one that went from securing an Oscar nomination for his role in “Dreamgirls” to dressing in drag for “Norbit.” The one whose last five movies have all earned a “rotten” rating on Rottentomatoes.com.
Producers and audiences alike are counting on Murphy to showcase cinema’s finest achievements for the year on one of the biggest nights in show business.
Though Murphy’s “Saturday Night Live” days prove he has the potential to deliver a great and entertaining show, his latest family-friendly flops hardly qualify him as Oscar host material. Murphy’s track record, however, also shows that he’s an extremely versatile performer, which probably caused producers to approach him for the gig.
It looks like one of those shows that could either be really good or really bad, which makes it worth asking why producers chose to take a risk on someone like Murphy.
After ratings for the Academy Awards continue to fluctuate, it seems the producers of the Oscars are trying to revitalize the show year after year. Last year’s “dynamic” duo of James Franco and Anne Hathaway was supposed to appeal to a younger audience, but only resulted in ratings dropping by 9% and critics slamming the performance.
Hathaway and Franco show that even big-name stars can’t necessarily draw in an audience, so maybe a Grammy-winning comedian is exactly what the ceremony needs.
Even so, the relevance factor just isn’t there. Murphy’s last success, “Dreamgirls,” came out in 2006, and he wasn’t even the main star. The biggest news on Murphy in the past year may have been a rumor that he died in a snowboarding accident in Switzerland.
Though the article was a hoax, one commenter wrote, “His career is dead does that count?”
And this is the man that’s supposed to revitalize the Oscars.
Every awards show always has its surprises, though, and Murphy’s role as host might shock and turn into the highlight of the night. We’ll see in February if the Academy’s risk pays off and audiences tune in to see if Murphy’s performance is worth talking about.
Reach writer Jennifer Schultz here.
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