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What Will Eddie Murphy Bring to the Oscars?

Photo: Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images

The announcement that Eddie Murphy will be hosting the 84th Academy Awards doesn’t resolve any questions about what the broadcast will be like.

EW.com wonders whether it’s the wild or tame Murphy that will show up on Oscar night. In part, that has to do with what the Oscars has planned. Last year, the Oscars targeted the younger folks with hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco, which seemed interesting. But most people thought the show was boring and the hosts were terrible (Hathaway too enthusiastic and Franco not nearly enthusiastic enough). In part, they succumbed to the cheesy material they were given.

As anyone who has planned an event with an emcee knows, it’s hard to tell what exactly will happen onstage until the night of when it’s too late to do much about any host mishaps.

The New York Daily News says Billy Crystal and Jerry Seinfeld were in the running, but weren’t chosen. Perhaps Seinfeld would’ve been OK (he may have been a little too dry for the glittery nature of the Oscars) but Crystal would definitely have been too much of a throwback to an entertainment era before reality TV and social media integration to click with the larger audience that the Academy hopes to attract.

The Oscars could’ve gone the way of the VMAs and did without a host all together. But then they wouldn’t have gotten all the press for their selection.

A host attracts interest, maintains order during the program, provides comic relief and a distraction during changeovers and lulls, and fuels further discussion once the show is over. What qualities do you look for in an event host? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter, or Facebook.

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