Billy Crystal Is Back Hosting the Oscars

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It could have been just another joke, when Billy Crystal tweeted Thursday afternoon that he’s hosting the Oscars, replacing his old “Saturday Night Live” castmate, Eddie Murphy.

“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,” he posted on his Twitter page.

But Los Angeles affiliate KABC confirmed with the Academy that Crystal is indeed the host.

Crystal, who hosted the show eight times — only Bob Hope can top that — is the obvious safe choice. But at 63, the “When Harry Met Sally” star is not exactly a fresh face likely to lure the young viewers the Academy so desperately covets.

Still, Crystal, who is equally liked by audiences and Academy members, could rescue the show by returning for the first time since 2004.

The show has been under fire since producer Brett Ratner tendered his resignation Tuesday amid the backlash that he’d used an anti-gay slur. The following day, his handpicked host and “Tower Heist” star, Murphy, also stepped down.

Hours after Murphy’s exit, Academy organizers drafted Brian Grazer, the Oscar-winning producer of “A Beautiful Mind,” to fill the slot vacated by Ratner.