The announcement this week that Eddie Murphy will host the next Oscars telecast left out some juicy details — namely, which other heavyweight entertainers were eager to get the job.
According to the New York Daily News, other stars who had their bids in for the coveted gig included Jerry Seinfeld and Oscars perennial Billy Crystal.
Crystal’s name surfaced soon after relative youngsters James Franco and Anne Hathaway bombed as hosts of the 2011 ceremony. And Crystal fueled rumors that he was in line for the job when he mentioned last month at a screening of “City Slickers” that he would be interested in one or two more stints as Oscars host, as previously reported.
But according to a source quoted in the story, Crystal never had a chance.
The story reports: “Crystal ‘was campaigning for [the hosting gig] on his own,’ says the source, ‘but he was never actually in the running.’ The insider snarkily added that Crystal was a ‘backup option’ that ‘no one was seriously considering.’"
The story says Seinfeld’s people let the Academy know the veteran comedian was interested, but by then ceremony co-producer Brett Ratner, who worked with Murphy on “Tower Heist,” already had his sights set on Murphy.
Crystal was supportive of the choice of Murphy, saying through a spokesperson, “Eddie will do a great job.” The Seinfeld camp had not responded for the story.