LOS ANGELES (AP) - Veteran Oscar host Billy Crystal says he's doing it again.
The 63-year-old comedian said Thursday on Twitter that he is hosting the Feb. 26, 2012, Academy Awards "so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show."
Officials of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed the announcement and said an official statement was forthcoming but had no further comment.
This will be the ninth Oscar stint for Crystal, who last hosted in 2004. It follows a groundswell of sentiment for his return following a guest appearance on the 2011 Oscar show for which he received a standing ovation. Crystal said later he was moved by the warm reception and that "it might be fun" to host the show again.
"I think the show needs to change," he said in an interview with The Associated Press in March. "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."
Crystal previously hosted in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2004 - some of the most successful shows in Oscar history. The 2011 ceremony featured the duo of Anne Hathaway and
James Franco in an effort to attract younger viewers to the show,
but with disappointing results. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosted the year before.
Comedian Eddie Murphy had been chosen to host the 2012 show, but
pulled out Wednesday following the departure on Tuesday of producer
and friend Brett Ratner, who left amid criticism of his use of a pejorative term for gay men at a screening of the director's action
comedy "Tower Heist," which stars Murphy and Ben Stiller.
Ratner was replaced this week by veteran producer Brian Grazer,
joining co-producer Don Mischer, who was named producer alongside Ratner in August.
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