Oscar 2012: Eddie Murphy Host????

Eddie Murphy, Oscar-nominated comedian, is rumored to e the next host of the Oscar telecast, Feb 26, 2012.

Buzz about the host of the 2012 Oscar show increased after a comedy news website, Humor Mill Magazine, reported breathlessly Saturday night that Murphy was set for the gig.

Although the report jumped the gun, sources close to the situation said the Internet chatter spurred AMPAS officials to unofficially settle on Murphy as host, an idea championed by Oscarcast producer Brett Ratner. Ratner is producing the 84th annual ceremony, airing February 26, 2012 on ABC, with Don Mischer.

Murphy stars alongside Ben Stiller in Ratner’s “Tower Heist,” set for release Nov. 4. And Ratner has continued to talk up his hope of producing a “Beverly Hills Cop 4” with Murphy.

After the surprising news broke, Oscar observers spent the weekend debating the desirability of Murphy fronting the big show. Some commentators (and there were no shortage of them) noted that Murphy’s standup comedy could be hard to translate to network TV since it often skews toward the raunchy. Others questioned whether Murphy still has the stature in the biz for the job.

Murphy has been one of “Saturday Night Live’s” most well-regarded hosts, and pics like “Norbit” and “Shrek” continue to draw the kind of younger audiences the Academy has been looking to cultivate. And Murphy has been an Oscar contender, drawing a supporting actor nomination for 2006’s “Dreamgirls.”