Who Will Host The Oscars?

A scene from 2011's 'The Muppets' A scene from 2011's 'The Muppets'

With producer Brett Ratner and host Eddie Murphy departed from the 2012 Academy Awards and Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer in, the attention has now turned to the vacant host position.

Soon after Murphy stepped down from the hosting gig, a campaign on Twitter and Facebook sprung up lobbying for The Muppets – who have a movie opening on November 23 – to get the job. Currently, over 20,000 people on Facebook have “liked” their fan page.

On Wednesday, last year’s controversial Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais joked that he would be interested in hosting both the Globes again and also the Oscars.

“I’ll do it,” he told Access Hollywood, employing his trademark dry, British wit on Wednesday at the 5th Annual Stand Up For Heroes event in New York City, when asked about the Oscars no longer having a host. “I’ll do that as well. I’ll be in town any way for the Globes… [a] two for one offer. I can knock off 20 percent. Two for one deal.”

Also on Wednesday night, CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley also joked about throwing his name into the host ring, saying at the end of the annual country music award show, “We’ll see you at the Oscars!”

Thursday morning, Kelly Ripa threw out Regis Philbin’s name as a possible contender.

“It’s a shame I thought it would have been good with [Eddie Murphy],” she said on “LIVE! With Regis & Kelly,” then telling Reigis, “I do believe you could handle being the host, all joking aside.”

With Grazer now in the Oscar producer’s chair, Entertainment Weekly suggested he might work with one of the big screen names (Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Jim Carrey, Jason Bateman, Russell Crowe) who have starred in some of his past movies, or is he looking to work with a known comedian?

Late last month, when Ratner and Grazer spoke to Access Hollywood at the junket for “Tower Heist,” Ratner gave Access a hint about the type of host Grazer would want.

“I know when Brian one day produces the Oscars he’s gonna have a comedian do it because Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal were the three best hosts, because that’s what works in the format,” Ratner told Access, at the time. “Brian’s been asked several times, but of course, Brian’s very busy and isn’t always available to do it. One day he will be… and he gave me some great advice, he said, ‘This is who I would get [as host].’ It wasn’t Eddie [Murphy], but it was in the vein of Eddie. I said, you know what? You’re right.”

AH Nation Poll: Who would you like to see host the Oscars? (Billy? Ellen? Steve? NPH? Hugh? Tina? Oprah?) VOTE HERE!

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