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Billy Crystal to Host Academy Awards

ABC/A.M.P.A.S.(LOS ANGELES) -- Billy Crystal will host next year's Oscars, ABC News affiliate KABC has confirmed.

“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 Thursday on his Twitter page.

Crystal, who has 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 ensued over his use of an anti-gay slur. The following day, his handpicked host, Tower Heist star Eddie 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.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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