Historically, the Academy Awards neglected to pay homage to blacks in entertainment. In its 83-year history, only 26 blacks have won Oscars and four (Sammy Davis Jr., Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock) have hosted.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has decided to make Eddie Murphy the fifth black host of the Oscars. The Academy is looking to rebound after Anne Hathaway and James Franco turned in lackluster performances as co-hosts in 2011. The show’s ratings have also declined in recent years.

Perhaps the nation’s funniest man, Murphy has built one of the most impressive comedy careers in history.

During the ’80s and ’90s, Murphy starred in a string of hit movies that included Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hours, Coming to America, The Nutty Professor and Doctor Dolittle.

But Murphy was at his best doing stand-up comedy. His comedy films, Delirious and Raw, set the standard for modern comics. Although his monologue at the Academy Awards will likely be tame compared to the raunchy subject matter in his films, his return to stand-up should be a welcomed sight. –amir shaw