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Comment 27 FEBRUARY 2012

Nostalgic return from nine-time ceremony host Billy Crystal

It was his ninth time as Oscars host, and Billy Crystal was determined to make a song and dance about it.

The comedian burst into song during his opening monologue, setting the tone for a presenting turn that harked back to the old school razzle-dazzle of ceremonies past.




He had the audience chuckling with a series of one-liners and wisecracks, which drew comments on Twitter from viewers round the world.

The host had a little help from his Hollywood pals in his opening montage, which played homage to this year's shortlisted films.


In the clip Billy 'gatecrashed' some of familiar scenes from the movies, resulting in him kissing George Clooney in The Descendants and going back in time with Justin Bieber in his own version of Midnight in Paris.

Billy returned this year after an eight year hiatus. Stars stepping in during that time have included James Franco and Anne Hathaway – who teamed up last year – Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, who did the job in 2010, and Hugh Jackman, who hosted in 2009.

This year it was Eddie Murphy who had originally been asked to present, but he quit following his friend Brett Ratner's decision to leave the show as producer.

Billy's one-liners
  • "Please welcome a recurring dream of mine – Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez."
  • "After I saw The Help I just wanted to hug the first black woman I saw, which from Beverly Hills is about a 45 minute drive."
  • "Nothing can take the sting out of economic problems like watching millionaires collecting gold statues."
  • "Next year this’ll be called the Flomax theatre" (Referring to a drug taken by people with prostate problems)
  • On Jean Dujardin's Best Actor win: "They must be going nuts in France right now. Or whatever the French have in place of joy."
  • "Please welcome the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Angelina Jolie."

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