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Billy Crystal isn't a fan of the host-less Oscars: It's like 'a trial without witnesses' - USA TODAY

Cydney Henderson USA TODAY

Published 10:57 PM EST Feb 7, 2020

Billy Crystal is making his stance on the host-less Oscars crystal clear. 

The 71-year-old actor – who has hosted the Academy Awards nine times, most recently in 2012 – believes ABC's call to not have a host for the second year in a row is a mistake. 

"This year is another no host show, which is like having a trial without witnesses," Crystal said during an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Thursday. "It moves faster, but it’s not quite the result you wanted."

His issue? There's no one on hand if something goes wrong. 

"When you have a show that’s as long as it is, things are going to happen. And I think the problem with the no hosting perhaps is that there’s not somebody out there to capitalize on that moment," Crystal told Kimmel, who knows a thing or two about an unexpected gaffe after hosing the Oscars during the infamous 2017 best picture award mix-up.

"For me, some of my best moments were when something went wrong," he added.

Gasp! The 12 most shocking Oscar moments ever, ranked

Crystal explained that forgoing an Oscar host is an unwelcome break from tradition that that actor considers a "great honor" to be apart of. 

"When we did it, I always felt I was in a line of Johnny (Carson), Bob Hope, the people I grew up with," he said. "I always loved being out there. I loved the trust that the Academy had in me to get me out there. I felt like it was a great honor."

Crystal hosted the Oscars four years in a row from 1990 to 1993, and again in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2012. Kimmel hosted twice in 2017 and 2018. 

"We've hosted, between the two of us, 11 times," Crystal joked. 

More: The Oscars will have no host again for 2020 ceremony

In January, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke confirmed at the TCA Press Tour that the 2020 Academy Awards will go on without an official host. 

"Let me confirm it now, together with the Academy, that there will be no traditional host this year," Burke said, emphasizing that she thought 2019's host-free telecast worked.

After Kevin Hart stepped back from planned hosting duties, the Oscars went without a monologue-delivering MC for the first time in 30 years, with producers recruiting stars to introduce segments instead.

The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony will air Sunday on ABC.

Contributing: Carly Mallenbaum

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