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Murphy as Oscar Host, Hugh Laurie Sings the Blues

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood September 5, 2011 at 8:06AM

It's not a stretch to imagine Oscar producer Brett Ratner asking his Tower Heist star Eddie Murphy to consider hosting the Oscars on February 26. Ratner is expected to announce this week whether or not Murphy has made the cut over the likes of Billy Crystal, who has been lobbying for a return, or our fantasy of pairing of Steve Martin and Tina Fey.
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Thompson on Hollywood

It's not a stretch to imagine Oscar producer Brett Ratner asking his Tower Heist star Eddie Murphy to consider hosting the Oscars on February 26. Ratner is expected to announce this week whether or not Murphy has made the cut over the likes of Billy Crystal, who has been lobbying for a return, or our fantasy of pairing of Steve Martin and Tina Fey.

Murphy rocked the 1988 Oscars when he presented the Best Picture Oscar, pissing off then-Academy president Robert Wise by criticizing the Academy's neglect of African American performers. Oscars 2012 would be the first time Murphy would do a live comedy performance since his filmed 1987 Raw comedy tour. Murphy infamously walked off the 2006 Oscars when he did not win a supporting actor statuette for Dreamgirls. In 2009, Murphy behaved when he presented the Jean Hersholt Award to his idol Jerry Lewis. So he may be welcomed back after all. He'd be an exciting, unpredictable choice who might actually pull in some viewers.

Thompson on Hollywood

Hugh Laurie, the crotchety addict doctor on House and masterful British comedian, now sings the blues. Though he admits in an NPR interview that "it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to make a blues record… I've done my best." Called "Let Them Talk," the album is inspired by Laurie's long-time love for New Orleans and Delta blues and features his piano skills.

This article is related to: Awards, Headliners, Daily Read, TV, Oscars


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.