This Year’s Oscar Scoop Belongs to The Humor Mill Magazine

Although Nikki Finke fanned the flames with a Saturday evening item on, the ultimate props for breaking the news of Eddie Murphy’s selection as host of the 84th Annual Academy Awards belong to The Humor Mill magazine.

The five-year-old Los Angeles digital publication, which sometimes prints a run of hard copies for marketing and newsstand splash purposes, is earning well-deserved recognition today for revealing the Murphy selection Saturday afternoon. Magazine founder Frank Holder ranks the Oscar scoop right up there with a pair of previous widely picked up items about actor-comedian Katt Williams.

“The urban comedy community is really small,” Holder tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “This thing [about Murphy] has been floating around since July, I just hadn’t put it out there. My contacts asked me not to say anything until it was close to being made official. I only wish I had published the story Friday instead of Saturday.”

While Finke framed the decision as not yet official until today (and, to her credit, gave full credit to The Humor Mill for originating the news), Holder insists it was already essentially a done deal. Now the question becomes, can the new host avoid succumbing, like Chris Rock and so many comedian-hosts before him, to the dreaded Murphy’s law that seems to take hold of the TV broadcast each and every year? Let’s hope so.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.