I keep expecting this whole 'Eddie Murphy hosts the Oscars' thing to be a faulty meme, but now that the news is confirmed, I guess I'll have to come to grips with it. Okay -- done. After all, Murphy is one of the highest-grossing movie stars of all time, can be very very funny, and has proven he can still be funny without using swears ('Shrek'). He has been nominated for "The Statue." (And who can hold it against him if he left the theater shortly after he lost it to Alan Arkin?)
Truth is, the most shocking thing about this whole whirlwind of a story is that Brett Ratner is co-producing the Oscars. Has the Academy looked at his resume lately? What am I saying? These are the same people who thought James Franco and Anne Hathaway were the answer to their problems.
Well, we here at AOL TV have other ideas. Here's five people who could be just as good as Murphy -- maybe better!
1. Chelsea Handler
I know Chelsea tends to split fandom into love-her-or-hate-her, but hear me out. For one thing, she's got the glamor factor -- girl cleans up nice. Also, she's totally at ease with celebs from the A-list through the D-list and doesn't fawn over anyone. At the same time, she's likely to leave the most offensive stuff for 'Chelsea Lately.' Unlike certain British comedians, she has to work in this town again.
2. Tina Fey
The year of all-Tina-all-the-time has passed, and with Sarah Palin's TV persona blessedly quieter these days, Fey has faded into the background. But Tina would be a great choice to host. She's snappy and smart, but as recent '30 Rock' episodes amply demonstrate, pretty freakin' weird too. The crowd in the auditorium would definitely appreciate Fey's lefty nerdiness, but maybe the global television audience would prefer a bigger star.
3. Hugh Laurie
They do like to hire signers for this thing -- why not Hugh? Anyone else notice his piercing blue eyes staring out at them from the local Starbucks music rack? Yeah, that's his debut album 'Let Them Talk' and it's of the cranky old bluesman variety, but still. He can play piano, he sings, he's a heartthrob, and he has a solid background in comedy. What's the hold-up?
4. Russell Brand
I know Oscar probably feels a bit burned by the youth vote after the Franco debacle, and Brand hardly seems more reliable that Eddie Murphy, right? Except lately he seems to be growing up. If anything good came out of Amy Winehouse's death it was a surprisingly touching and serious Russell Brand opening up about his history with substance abuse and looking poised to become some kind of ... dare I say, role model? At the very least, if you're going to get fined by the FCC at least have it be for a fresh joke from an up-and-comer, you know?
5. Anna Kendrick
This suggestion may be coming out of left field, but I've actually been sitting on this one for awhile. Last year, when Hathaway was at her best, she reminded of Kendrick a bit -- and made me wish I was watching Anna instead. I'm telling you, she will be a Meryl Streep one day -- and wouldn't you like to see the Oscars hosted by a young Meryl Streep? I know I would.
Any other stars you can think of to host the Oscars? Let us know what you think!