Billy Crystal stands second only to Bob Hope (18) in the number of times he hosted the Oscars with eight turns as emcee under his belt. He was Emmy-nominated in the now-defunct category of individual performance in a variety special for all but his first appearance on the awardscast, winning in 1991 and 1998.
On Monday, after Crystal was feted by his alma mater New York University, he spoke to Vulture about the prospects for rookies James Franco and Anne Hathaway: “They’re young and they’re funny and they’re talented and they’ll have a good thing to say,” adding that “they also are with a really great producer, Don Mischer, who is going to make a really interesting, beautiful show.” As for advice, Crystal cautioned, “look like you want to be there” before concluding, “you’ve got people around the world hoping that you’re going to be good. So be good, and enjoy yourself.”
Appearing on his pal Whoopi Goldberg‘s chatfest “The View” Tuesday, Crystal repeated much of the above. And, he added, “It’s the biggest job in show business. You’re the captain of show business for one night. Two billion people watching you. You have all of these nervous people in the audience. Everything is pushed up. They’re uncomfortable. They’re nominated. The lights are on. The cameras are in their face for reaction shots. … Everything is against you for a good time. So your job is to really fun and command that first six, seven minutes ‘cuz it’s your show and have as good as time as you can.”
Goldberg, a four-time host of the Academy Awards, and Crystal made Barbara Walters‘ day when they agreed with her suggestion that they should co-host the Oscars in the future.
Photo: Billy Crystal at the Academy Awards (ABC)