Billy Crystal would be back for freshened-up Oscars

At this year’s Oscars, eight-time host Billy Crystal was greeted with a standing ovation when he presented a tribute to Bob Hope. While he is unlikely to ever match Hope’s record of 19 times as emcee of the Academy Awards, Crystal says he is open to the idea of returning to the Kodak Theater podium with one condition. As he explained to the AP, “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.”

However, if part of that proposed revamping includes removing any of the two dozen competitive Oscars from the telecast, it would be difficult to get academy approval. In the past, producers of the Oscarcast have suggested eliminating certain categories — such as the three short film awards — from the show but the Board of Governors have nixed this.

Beyond the branches of the academy directly affected, naysayers included many of the leading lights of the directors branch. The compromise, which downplayed these awards, was deemed a disappointment. In recent years, the presentation of these prizes has been handled with style with the winners providing some of Oscars’ most memorable moments.

Crystal too delivered many unforgettable lines during his hosting tenure. For his efforts, he reaped seven Emmy bids, winning in 1991 (photo, right) and 1998. While that individual performance prize has since been eliminated, 2008 host Hugh Jackman shared in the Emmy bid for the show itself.

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