Eddie Murphy bows out as Oscars host after buddy's exit

Daybreak Daily’s afternoon click-and-turn visit to the pop-culture world finds a reluctant Oscars host who simply called the whole thing off after his bud’s exit.

SEE YA – OR NOT: Per TMZ, “Eddie Murphy is showing the ultimate solidarity with good friend and producing partner Brett Ratner by quitting the 2012 Oscars, which he had agreed to host.

Ratner bailed -- though he may have had no choice -- after making a homophobic remark last week at a screening of "Tower Heist," which stars Murphy.

Murphy says he wanted to do the show and never says squarely he's bailing because Ratner is gone, but his statement leaves little doubt: "I was looking forward to being part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I'm sure the new production team and host will do an equally great job."

RINGMASTER DIES: Per the AP, “Bil Keane's "Family Circus" comics entertained readers with a simple but sublime mix of humor and traditional family values for more than a half century.

The appeal endured, the author thought, because the American public needed the consistency.

Keane, who started drawing the one-panel cartoon featuring Billy, Jeffy, Dolly, P.J. and their parents in February 1960, died Tuesday at age 89 at his longtime home in Paradise Valley, near Phoenix. His comic strip is featured in nearly 1,500 newspapers across the country.

Jeff Keane, Keane's son who lives in Laguna Hills, Calif., said that his father died of congestive heart failure with one of his other sons by his side after his conditioned worsened during the last month. All of Keane's five children, nine grandchildren and great-granddaughter were able to visit him last week, Jeff Keane said.”

YO, MICK!: Per Rolling Stone, “This month, Keith Richards will meet fellow Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts in a London studio. "We're just going to play a little together, because we haven't played for three or four years," Richards says. "You don't necessarily want to rehearse or write anything – you just want to touch bases. That's a good start: me, Charlie and Ronnie. Mick's welcome, and I'm sure he'll turn up, but right now we just want to get our chops down."

Beyond that, the Stones' plans for their 50th anniversary next year remain unclear. "I just hope we can perform live," says Wood. "It'd be great to see if that old spark is there."

HEAVY LOSS: Per the Los Angeles Times, “Rapper and actor Heavy D, who played an influential role in shaping rap music in the late '80s and early '90s with a fusion of New Jack Swing and reggae, has died. He was 44.

Heavy D, who was born Dwight Arrington Myers, died Tuesday in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after collapsing on the walkway outside his Beverly Hills home, according to law enforcement sources. The Los Angeles County coroner's office is investigating the cause of death.

Myers, who was 6 feet 3 and weighed more than 300 pounds at one point, anointed himself the "Overweight Lover," but he had slimmed down in recent years.”

WHATEVER: Per Radar, “As Alanis Morrisette once sang, isn't it ironic?{ } Kim Kardashian was snapped Wednesday on the Atlanta set of the upcoming Tyler Perry film called -- get ready for this -- The Marriage Counselor, and has the pics.{ }

{ }Although known best as a reality TV star, Kim is branching out into acting career and was spotted intently reading the script on the set of the movie -- written and directed by the multi-talented Perry.
Casting the reality vixen -- who shocked the world in filing for divorce from Kris Humphries, her husband of 72 days, last week -- in a film with such a title irked a number of Perry's fans, who took to the message board of his website to vent.”

WHATEVER II: Per Us Weekly, “Lauren Conrad recently split with Dancing with the Stars pro Derek Hough, but the 25-year-old isn't wasting any time moving on to her next guy! A source tells the new Us Weekly -- on stands Friday -- that the Hills alum was spotted "making out" with Chace Crawford on Oct. 29.”

DAH-LING SCARE: Per the AP, “Zsa Zsa Gabor has been rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after another health scare. Publicist John Blanchette says the 94-year-old actress was taken by ambulance to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on Wednesday after her feeding tube became loose. Blanchette says Gabor's husband Frederic von Anhalt noticed bleeding in her stomach where the tube came unattached.”{ }

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video.

--Skip Wood