After the past two years of poorly received Oscar hosts, the Academy Awards folks have been hearing murmurs that a former host who was a critical smash might be interested in a return engagement, Deadline.com reports.
Billy Crystal, who was called "one of the greatest Oscar hosts of all time" at last February’s broadcast, is apparently "itchy" to do it again.
Crystal mentioned the possibility back in March, just after appearing on this year’s Oscars to honor Bob Hope, and it came up again last week. At Friday’s 20th anniversary celebration screening of his hit movie "City Slickers" at American Cinematheque, Crystal reportedly said: "I came out last year as a surprise. It was a last-minute decision. They had called and said would you do this thing and honor Bob Hope and that was a kind of cool thing to do. I said OK. I did it, and people wanted to see me, they stood up, and I couldn’t talk for about a minute. And, um, I got a little itchy. So we’ll see what happens. I can’t promise anything."
According to the Deadline story, Crystal said he might be willing to host again “maybe one or two more times.”
Back in March, Crystal suggested that the show cut down on the number of awards presented. “There’s too many awards and it has to sort of freshen itself up, and if I can be a part of that, that would be great,” he said.
The Academy has fiercely resisted efforts to cut back on the number of awards included in the ceremony.
Brett Ratner, who is producing the 2012 Oscars telecast with Don Mischer, responded to the piece with a non-committal email, saying he’s currently focused on finishing his film “Tower Heist.” But he added: “I was told by the Academy that I don’t have to make a decision until mid-September.”