Monday, 5 September 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #797: Academy Gets RAW!

The interwebs is sorta-kinda-maybe all abuzz over word that Eddie Murphy is in talks to host the next Academy Awards.

Now I can take the easy and say that it's all just a ploy to get people thinking that it's the 1990s again, the last time either Eddie Murphy or the Oscars were remotely relevant, but I won't... at least I won't again.....

Instead, I'm going to take a silly semi-serious look at the Pros and Cons of Eddie Murphy hosting the Oscars.


1. Eddie Murphy can be funny. If you're my age and can remember the days when Arnold Schwarzenegger was a believable bad-ass, then you remember Eddie Murphy when he was at his peak as a comedian. He literally exploded into the comedy world a teenage wunderkind seen as the second coming of Richard Pryor without the crippling drug problem. He was sharp, he was fast, and most importantly of all, he could make you laugh your ass off. VHS copies of his stand up performances in Delirious and Raw! were required viewing during my junior high and high school days.

2. Eddie Murphy and Oscar Producer Brett Ratner have a movie to sell. What's the purpose of the Oscars? It's to promote movies, so I don't really hold it against Murphy and Ratner for wanting to give their film The Tower Heist a leg up with a major TV event like the Academy Awards. The film is supposed to harken back to his days as a fast-talking comedy superstar in movies like Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop, and hopefully open the door for Ratner's dream project Beverly Hills Cop 4.

3. Eddie Murphy should be hungry. One of the main reasons James Franco was such a dud as an Oscar host last year was because he just didn't seem to give a shit about the whole thing, and treated it like some sort of ironic performance art experiment. When you're a host of a big telecast you have to be hungry, you have to seriously WANT to entertain the viewers at home. You have to burn so many calories you will need to change into a smaller tuxedo during each commercial break.

4. Eddie Murphy has a large entourage. Stories of Murphy's demands re. his sizable entourage are legendary in Hollywood. Well I say put them to work during the show. They can act as seat fillers so the audience will always see a full house whenever a nominee gets up on stage to present or collect an award.

Okay, that last one was kind of silly. Now let's look at the CONS!


1. Eddie Murphy hasn't been a top act in a very long time. If you're like me and part of the generation that grew up with Eddie Murphy you can't help but get slapped with the wet codfish of disappointment whenever you see him lately. For over a decade at least he's been bopping from one paycheck role to another, showing none of the frantic comic energy we knew and loved, and most folks younger than me only know him as the voice of the Donkey from Shrek.

2. Eddie Murphy hasn't done a live TV event in ages. I don't think Eddie's done any live TV since he left Saturday Night Live for Hollywood in the early 1980s, and I haven't heard of him doing any stand-up anywhere in a couple of decades. That kind of performing is a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly, or it gets flabby, and you're left unable to be as quick, or as sharp as you used to be.

3. I suspect that Eddie Murphy isn't quite hungry enough. By that I mean that I don't get the same sort of desire to entertain that the Oscars need to avoid being a total snore-fest. He's been phoning it on a long series of paycheck parts in sub-par to awful movies for a very long time, not really showing any interest in recapturing the edge that once made him famous. If he was really hungry to recapture his former glory he'd have made some sort of move years ago especially when it concerns the fact that...

4. Eddie Murphy has a large entourage. Now I'm being serious. Eddie Murphy is notorious for being chronically & perpetually late, expensive, and extremely demanding. Those are not the qualities you need in the host of a live TV event watched by tens of millions of people all over the world. However, they are the qualities of a live TV train wreck in the making.

Those are the pros and cons. Let me know your own pros and cons about it in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. I saw the trailer for 'The Tower Heist' a few weeks ago. I realized that, in theory, Ben Stiller's self-deprecating humor working in tandem with Eddie Murphy's self-aggrandizing humor could work - it might be the one place where Stiller's humor doesn't seem completely lame to me.

    I really, REALLY want to believe that it'll be funny, because I really, REALLY want Eddie Murphy to stop &^#$ing around and be funny again.

    I fully expect complete disappointment, but I'll just go on hoping anyways.