Billy Crystal stepped in Thursday to host the 2012 Academy Awards, replacing Eddie Murphy who bowed out after producer Brett Ratner left the show under a cloud of controversy.
Word of Crystal's appointment came just 90 minutes after telecast producers Brian Grazer - who replaced Ratner on Wednesday - and Don Mischer said in an interview that they had not yet settled on a host and were mulling five candidates for the job.
"Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show." Crystal said via Twitter on Thursday afternoon, in a message that was then re-tweeted by the academy.
"Bringing Billy back home is a good thing," said Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak. "He's funny. He's a comic by trade and he's an iconic Oscar host." Sherak said the deal happened fast. "It happened today after [Grazer and Mischer did a round of press] calls, Billy's people called and said he'll do it if we want him. ... We called ABC and we're doing it."
His only drawback is his age. At 63, he is older than most previous hosts - except for Hope - and some fear he won't connect with younger viewers. But then using Anne Hathaway, 28, and James Franco, 33, as Oscar co-hosts last year didn't work out so well either.