Billy Crystal has hosted the Oscars 9 times, so he knows a thing or two about it. In a new interview, he likened the Academy’s decision to go hostless for the second year in a row to a “trial without witnesses.” Crystal was obviously referring to Donald Trump’s recent impeachment trial and he got some pretty big laughs, once the audience caught on to what he was referring to. All jokes aside, Crystal isn’t into the idea of the annual show going on without a host.
The Academy Awards went without a host last year after the whole Kevin Hart debacle. Academy president Karey Burke revealed earlier this year that they would be “repeating what worked for us last year.” The announcement comes after a few years of rating decline too. However, Billy Crystal still thinks there should be a host. He explains.
“To me, it’s the tradition of it. When we did it, I always felt I was in a line of Johnny [Carson] and Bob Hope and the people I grew up with. I always loved being out there. I loved the trust that the movie academy had in me to get me out there and I always felt like it was a great honor to do it.”
The Academy Awards has been criticized for going on too long over the years, but that’s just something that happens during a live event. There can always be a problem, which isn’t always such a bad thing, according to Billy Crystal. There could be a time to capitalize on it and turn it into a joke. Crystal had this to say.
“I think that when you have a show that’s as long as it is, things are gonna happen. I think the problem with the no host thing, perhaps, is that there’s not somebody out there to capitalize on that moment.”
Billy Crystal then referenced the Moonlight and La La Land best picture snafu when Jimmy Kimmel hosted in 2017. The comedian then went on to detail one of his finest moments of hosting the Academy Awards, which was in no way scripted. Crystal is a pro with a true sense of timing, which was proven when he had to deliver a speech introducing iconic film star Hal Roach. The 100-year old went up to speak, but he was not speaking into the microphone. When Crystal got up to rebound, he said, “It’s very fitting because he got his start in silent films.”
The Oscars will go on without a host this year and they may very well do it again next year. So much has changed over the years with the internet and streaming, changing the landscape. The Academy might want to think about a new strategy and a new way of experiencing the annual event, because there is certainly interest in it. Maybe they should bring in Billy Crystal for some consultations. You can watch the interview with Crystal below, thanks to the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube channel.