It’s not a stretch to imagine Oscar producer Brett Ratner asking his Tower Heist star Eddie Murphy to consider hosting the Oscars on February 26. Ratner is expected to announce this week whether or not Murphy has made the cut over the likes of Billy Crystal, who has been lobbying for a return, or our fantasy of pairing of Steve Martin and Tina Fey.
Murphy rocked the 1988 Oscars when he presented the Best Picture Oscar, pissing off then-Academy president Robert Wise by criticizing the Academy’s neglect of African American performers. Oscars 2012 would be the first time Murphy would do a live comedy performance since his filmed 1987 Raw comedy tour. Murphy infamously walked off the 2006 Oscars when he did not win a supporting actor statuette for Dreamgirls. In 2009, Murphy behaved when he presented the Jean Hersholt Award to his idol Jerry Lewis. So he may be welcomed back after all. He’d be an exciting, unpredictable choice who might actually pull in some viewers.
Hugh Laurie, the crotchety addict doctor on House and masterful British comedian, now sings the blues. Though he admits in an NPR interview that “it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to make a blues record… I’ve done my best.” Called “Let Them Talk,” the album is inspired by Laurie’s long-time love for New Orleans and Delta blues and features his piano skills.