Seth MacFarlane — a pioneer in the field of creating smart-mouthed animated babies, smart-mouthed talking teddy bears and quality Comedy Central roast jokes — will host the Academy Awards in February.
The Academy announced the news today in a press release that, as the Post’s Lisa de Moraes noted, made a point of mentioning that MacFarlane’s summer sleeper hit “Ted” — you know, the one with the smart-mouthed teddy bear and Mark Wahlberg — made more than $420 million worldwide. The Academy’s unspoken message: this guy is popular, and he’s popular with the crucial younger viewing demographic that we’ve been desperately attempting to bring to the Oscar telecast since Chris Rock hosted back in 2005.
MacFarlane is definitely an unconventional, youth-friendly choice. But will he be any good at this? Twitter reaction to the news was mixed but mostly positive.
Some were elated.
Others were less so.
Seth MacFarlane is going to host the #Oscars? The man can be funny, but I am starting to think the Academy has just given up.— Shawn M. Griffiths (@TheShawnG) October 1, 2012
On the plus side, Jesse Pinkman seems kind of jazzed...
And, understandably, so does Seth MacFarlane’s sister.
It’s official!! @sethmacfarlane hosting this year’s Oscars!!! I don’t think a sister could be more proud.— Rachael MacFarlane (@GirlMacFarlane) October 1, 2012
Meanwhile, Damon Lindelof has already put all of this into its exact, proper perspective. (He immediately tweet-added that he thought MacFarlane would do a “fantastic job.”)
If Seth MacFarlane wasn’t hosting the Oscars, he’d be ragging on Seth MacFarlane hosting theOscars.— Damon Lindelof (@DamonLindelof) October 1, 2012
Personally, I think there are definite pros and cons to the MacFarlane pick, but enough pros that it’s pretty clear why the Academy chose him.
Pro: As he proved during his recent “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig, he’s a pretty versatile performer. And he can do a pretty great Ryan Lochte, which is a crucial skill for any Oscar host.
Pro: MacFarlane can do the “sing tunes from great movies in a classy manner” thing. Which means he can be Billy Crystal without actually being Billy Crystal, which is perfect since Crystal didn’t work out so well last year.
Con: Even though he knows his way around a stage, MacFarlane has never hosted an awards show, and certainly not one of this caliber. He couldn’t even walk to the proper mark during the Emmys last week, for God’s sake.
Pro: But when he did walk to the wrong spot, he improved his way out of it by busting out his Stewie voice. So, pro.
Pro/con: He can do tons of voices, and will probably summon his regulars from “Family Guy” and “American Dad!” if ABC will allow it. This is a huge pro to fans of MacFarlane’s work, and a huge con to those who wish “Family Guy” had stayed canceled back in 2001. Seriously, the entire Oscars could be a lot like this.
Con: The Academy may have just permanently alienated everyone who supported last year’s campaign to convince them to make the Muppets the 2012 Oscar hosts.Peter Griffin gets to do this before Kermit the Frog?
Pro: MacFarlane is definitely an edgy selection, one that, perhaps more than any previous choice has a really solid chance at attracting a sizeable audience of under-30s.
Con: Then again, every time the Academy has tried to go edgy before, it has backfired.
Pro: But seriously, it really might work this time.
Celebritology readers, what do you think? Has MacFarlane’s involvement amped up your interest in the Feb. 24 Oscars? Or will you only watch to find out whether Joaquin Phoenix wins an Academy Award, since it’s pretty clear he will be nominated no matter who is hosting?