Photo Credit: Jennifer Graylock/FilmMagic
Seth MacFarlane is not for everybody. The jokester behind Family Guy and the movie Ted loves to offend people nearly as much as he loves to make them laugh. He's vulgar. He's smarmy. On the flip side, he can be uproariously funny, and he's extremely popular. How, then, does that bode for his role as Oscar host?
We got a hint this morning when MacFarlane and Emma Stone announced the nominees, cracking jokes throughout. Stone, as always, was hilarious; she's one of the few people who can actually pull off cheesy awards-show banter. But MacFarlane got mixed reviews. Vulture said they were "worried" about his capacity to pull off the Oscars after seeing his presentation, citing "faux edginess" and his lack of stage presence. EW called him "smug and condescending." Slate went so far as to say MacFarlane was "already a terrible Oscar host," mainly because he cracked so many jokes at the expense of the nominees. (Example: "These are adapted screenplays, so that means that the writers basically copied stuff from Microsoft Word and pasted it into Final Draft.")
He's also received some criticism for slipping a Hitler joke into announcement of Amour's best picture nomination. ( "I read Amour was co-produced in Austria and Germany. The last time Austria and Germany got together and co-produced something it was Hitler, but this is much better -- highly recommended.")
Obviously, it could have gone over better. On the plus side, MacFarlane did provoke a few moments of genuine laughter, most of it involving a back-and-forth with Stone. Thankfully we've got a month to go until the ceremony, and there's still time for Seth to get his act together.
With that in mind, here are our unsolicited pointers for Mr. MacFarlane's big night!
1. Don't crack jokes about celebs everybody loves. Every Oscar host thinks that a joke about Brangelina or Oprah would be hilarious. They always go over like lead balloons. Stick to making fun of your famous friends (of whom you have many, right?).
2. Get that smirk off your face. Seriously. Botox it, if necessary. (Just kidding! Kind of.)
3. Fill the stage with more experienced performers. Emma Stone made you look good this morning; try to take advantage of all the star power at hand!
4. Two things that will potentially avert disaster: Funny voices and musical numbers. You're very good at both, and they're guaranteed audience-pleasers, so do as much as you can possibly stand.
The show's producers obviously hope that MacFarlane will bring in a younger audience, and we're looking forward to seeing what he does with the ceremony. It may or may not be funny, but it definitely won't be boring! Scroll down to see two of his new Oscar promos.