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As much as I would love to see the Muppets host the Academy Awards - and I really, really would - I do understand why it would be a challenge logistically. After all, the characters are controlled by puppeteers that won't be shown on camera, so it would require either a custom stage or a ton of podiums all over the place. Still, I was saddened when I learned that the Muppet Oscars campaign had ended and that Billy Crystal had been named the host of the 84th annual Academy Awards. But just because Crystal is in doesn't mean that the Muppets are completely out.

In reporting the news that Crystal will be the next Oscar host, Bloomberg Business Week suggested that the Muppets could have a role in the ceremony. Robert Iger, Disney Chief Executive Officer (this year's ceremony is broadcasting on ABC, which is owned by the Mouse House), told the site, “I wouldn’t count the Muppets out. I like the idea of Billy and Miss Piggy or Billy and Kermit on stage.” While the source seems to take that as Iger suggesting co-hosting duties for the Jim Henson-created characters, it's possible that Iger is referring to much smaller duties, like presenting an award, taking part in the opening skit or putting on a short performance. Iger also commented on Crystal being hired, saying, "“It’s great to have him back. I’m a big fan of Billy Crystal, and I think the audience loves him too.”

As I mentioned in yesterday's feature, there is a great deal of potential in having the Muppets be a part of next year's Oscars, and it's great to hear that Iger isn't totally ruling them out. While I would prefer to see them in control of the whole ceremony, even having them play a small role would be amazing.