When Academy Awards producers Neil Meron and Graig Zadan announced that “Family Guy” creator, actor and all around funny-man Seth MacFarlane was going to host the “Academy Awards” (“Oscars”) this year, the news was met with a bit of hesitant applause. MacFarlane’s shows, and most recently his movie “Ted”, have been popular and have a reputation for being raunchy and laugh-out-loud funny; however his humour may not be a great fit for the typical “Oscars” atmosphere. The “Oscars” have been attempting in recent years to reach out to a wider demographic and increase their viewership, and having MacFarlane host seems to be another attempt to revitalize the often stuffy awards ceremony.
MacFarlane has his own ideas about how he feels the show will go and he does not intend to make the same mistakes that previous hosts have made. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he made a point to reassure everyone that “This is not going to be ‘Family Guy’ Meets the Oscars. Hosts who come in with a specific brand and try to turn the show into the brand, it never works. You have to adapt yourself to the Oscars, not vice versa.”
MacFarlane has developed his own hosting philosophy, and he recognizes that his success as a host will rely on him walking that fine line between old-fashioned and new-fashioned entertainment. MacFarlane seems to be taking everyone’s concerns to heart, and is ensuring viewers that this year the “Oscars” will not be a classless night of stand-up comedy and impressions (as much as some people may expect this), but something special. “It’s about finding that balance between doing what I do and acknowledging that this is the Academy Awards, not the roast of Donald Trump. It’s walking that line between old-fashioned showmanship and allowing it to be contemporary with a little bit of bite. Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal are two hosts who walked that line. There’s a moment on “Family Guy” that’s just Gene Kelly dancing with Stewie — that’s what we have to achieve, a dance between the traditional and the new.”
The 84th annual Academy Awards will be on February 24th, 2013, and in preparation MacFarlane has started making his promotional rounds.
Will you be tuning in to watch the “Oscars” this year? Do you think MacFarlane can pull it off, or will he flop?