Ratner-Murphy Oscar Fiasco Ranks Right Up There with Norbit

In the wake of an unbelievable 48 hours framed by the departure of both Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy from the 2011 Oscars show parade, the analogous either-or movie reference that comes to mind is far removed from the actor’s crackerjack first effort. In Murphy terms, the only echo of his bust-out-of-SNL mid-80s form is the fact that not a single person in Hollywood would be interested right now in trading places with the ArcZapped, Stern-fried Rat.

There’s just something so painful about the fact that Ratner ran Murphy through the paces of a Tinseltown train wreck as unfunny as 2007’s Norbit and as misguided as 2002’s The Adventures of Pluto Nash. Like those Murphy messes, an Oscar show script from Ratner had its inherent problems, but no one could have anticipated it turning out this bad.

In the early months of 2007, Murphy famously stormed out of the Kodak Theater about an hour before the end of the show. But it takes a real Tinseltown magician to get the host expelled from that same auditorium, a full three months before the extravaganza is set to begin.

A few years from now, perhaps Murphy and Ratner will accept the crumb of co-presenting the category of Best Visual Effects. I can almost see it now; Oscar host Jimmy Fallon, deadpanning that the next two presenters need no introduction and are ready to entertain after lots of rehearsal.