Oscar Bronze: Seth MacFarlane Rocked the Academy Awards. Just Sayin’.


by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine


Here’s the problem with those who hated Seth MacFarlane’s first (and, probably only) Oscars hosting gig: you’re even more predictable than the show, itself.

First, nobody knows what they want from an Oscars host and they never have. James Franco and Anne Hathaway fart an unmemorable night away and then Billy Crystal makes some old people jokes about “Tweeting” and they want someone younger and livelier. Then, MacFarlane comes on and actually does a good job with the jokes thing, and they want it all to go back to Crystal and his prune juice.

Watch the video above and hear the ABC World News host say, “Mmm, there have been so many good (hosts) over the years.”

Really? When were they? Can you name any of them?

Have there actually been good hosts, or does everything just get better with time?

(The ABC host then calls him “Seth MacFarland” and ends her telecast with an uncomfortable mention of how much she enjoyed the show’s Jewish jokes. Huh.)

Second, nobody really actually watches Family Guy. All we keep hearing is how everything MacFarlane does is so funny all the time, but his FOX show has always been susceptible to long droughts of laughter and pop culture references that make its 13-year-old crowd scratch their heads in confusion because — let’s face it — nobody knows what The Brady Bunch are anymore.

Did you see Ted?

I enjoyed it, because there were references to Flash Gordon and jokes about Ted being “retahded”, but it wasn’t all funny. It didn’t get great reviews. Neither did Family Guy, originally.

Have you ever watched MacFarlane host his Comedy Central roasts?

He’s definitely one of the funnier ones there, but it’s not always a laugh-a-minute all the time.

Third, the Oscars aren’t meant to be enjoyable, are they?

It was clear that everyone in the audience last year enjoyed the show, but the show was just a giant jerk fest for actors and their female equivalents. Nobody watching on TV could follow along.

There’s no happy medium between pleasing the Academy and pleasing the viewers.

Anytime MacFarlane made a joke, legions of people like me laughed because it was an actual joke and not just a calculated plea for inclusion into a society of celebrities who don’t want to be criticized, no matter what.

Look, I’m not saying the host has to be jaded or roast-like, but I think they should be funny and I think they should be tasteful. I think MacFarlane was both. There weren’t any time I thought he went too far. I just think the audience in front of him can be too stuffy, and it was clear there were many who were laughing.

The obvious comparison to Ricky Gervais came up, but Ricky was far meaner than MacFarlane. The worst joke he made was directed at George Clooney and his penchant for younger women… but, so what?

Clooney does like younger women, and directing a joke at George is like taking the cherry off a king’s cake.

The real problem here is the Academy’s — us included — lack of commitment to any host not wearing a wig or dentures. They bounce too easily around the younger hosts and they forget that it sometimes takes time for one to grow into his role. They’re already salivating over the thought of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting next year’s event and they’re skating right over a guy like MacFarlane, who packs more wit and cleverness into five seconds than Crystal can jam into his wife’s minivan.

Give Seth another shot. At worst, it can only get better, and it was already pretty good.