Will Seth MacFarlane Be A Good Oscar Host?


Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were a scream as hosts of the Golden Globes last night. They were wicked, witty, and spontaneous, and added some lovely tones of mirthful mockery to the proceedings, which could otherwise bog down in self congratulation.

If Seth MacFarlane can do even half as well at the Oscars, it will be a success.

When the Family Guy creator and Emma Stone (who always looked like a vavoomy version of Stewie to me) made the announcement of the nominations last week, I’ll admit I was initially unnerved.

Seth’s hairline looked a tad artificial–sort of like Ted‘s–and he seemed a little nervous and self-conscious.

But once he and Stone got into the swing of joke-tossing, I thought it was very funny, even if I liked it better when the announcers pretended they were learning who the nominees were along with the rest of the world, rather than do shtick that was obviously worked out in advance.

And then came the backlash. Seth’s jokes were demeaning to the industry. Contemptuous and irritating. Saying directors sit back and watch other people make a movie is just plain offensive.

Oh, please. It’s comedy! Jokes!!! Are we going to now require that awards hosts be fake-respectful, earnest, and pious, even though they were chosen because they’re wacky comedians? Can’t we just let them riff on moviemaking in between all the ritualistic ass-kissing and self-glorification?

Everyone’s so anxious to not make enemies nowadays that some of these awards shows have lost their bite. (An indie awards host got flack for a joke about one of the directors there. And I hear that while the Critics Choice awards used to have an R.I.P. montage of movies that died that year, that’s now dead and buried.)

Let’s kindly let MacFarlane do his thing and see if he soars without the sound of Puritanical kvetching from the humorless. Let him be the new Tina and Amy.

But that hair!