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Eddie Murphy will host the 2012 Academy Awards

Eddie Murphy will host the 2012 Academy Awards (photo)

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that they’ve found their host for the 2012 Academy Awards which, as we’ve previously discussed, will be co-produced by “Rush Hour” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” director Brett Ratner. It’s going to beEddie Murphy, Oscar-nominated actor (for his supporting role 2006’s “Dreamgirls”) and, of course, incredibly talented comedian. From the Academy’s press release:

“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” said Ratner. “With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances – especially on stage – I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show [producer] Don [Mischer] and I want to produce in February.”

The press release also included a brief quote from Murphy himself:

“I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others,” said Murphy. “I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.”

In recent years, Murphy’s become a staple of family comedies, most famously as the voice of Donkey in “Shrek” and most infamously as the star of dreck like “Imagine That,” “Meet Dave,” “Norbit.” A lot of his current film work is so forgettable that it’s easy to forget that in the 1980s, Murphy was one of the most dynamic and charismatic live performers on the planet. He was a cutting edge stand-up comedian who released two specials into movie theaters (1983’s “Delirious” and 1987’s “Raw”) and he almost single-handedly kept “Saturday Night Live” on the air after the original cast departed at the end of the 1970s. True, Murphy has shunned a lot of his own history — he never contributes to “SNL” retrospectives or reunions and he hasn’t done stand-up in decades — but guys as naturally talented as he is don’t just forget how to be a live performer. That’s why I think he’s the perfect choice as Oscars host.

For years, fans of old-school Eddie have been waiting for him to get back to stand-up and performing live in front of an audience. Come February 26, 2012, they’re going to get a chance at the Academy Awards. Sure, the venue will dictate a lot of the material. The jokes may, alas, sound more like new Eddie than old Eddie. But this much is certain: Murphy’s a much more natural host than James Franco. His next movie will be November 4th’s “Tower Heist” directed by — you guessed it — Brett Ratner.

What do you think of the choice of Eddie Murphy as host of the Oscars? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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