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Seth MacFarlane to Host the Oscars: A Risk Worth Taking?
My initial reaction to hearing Seth MacFarlane would be hosting the 85th Annual Academy Awards was one of confused alarm. Yes, MacFarlane is a funny guy – if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have been able to get three animated sitcoms to air Sunday nights on Fox – but is he host material? His shows – Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show – can be borderline insulting in the way they will go after any minority or majority. If they can find a way to turn something into a joke, even at the expense of someone’s dignity, they will. Now, the Oscars are a more family friendly event so MacFarlane will be under more scrutiny when writing his jokes, but who’s stopping him from going off book when he sees an opportunity? It’s a huge risk, but it’s one that has the potential to pay off in droves.
I won’t hide my distaste for MacFarlane. I don’t like his work, but I appreciate what he tries to do as a humorist. And it’s not like he doesn’t have some experience hosting. He’s hosted Saturday Night Live and did a decent job of it. But this is a different league than SNL. Will he be able to respect what the Oscars are all about? Perhaps. EW= reported MacFarlane saying: “It’s truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars. My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don’t find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen Roast.”
He’s already making jokes. I like to think there’s a fear in MacFarlane’s heart that will prevent from being to offensive and crude, but my hopes are not high. But he has a vast knowledge of pop culture, which could be a considerable asset, as the program will inevitably want to pull in younger viewers. The ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood & Highland complex. Don Mischer, the co-producer of last year’s show, will be directing the telecast with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron producing. The 85th Academy Awards airs Feb. 24.