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Seth MacFarlane honored at Variety's Power of Comedy

November 18, 2012|By Matt Donnelly
  • Seth MacFarlance accepts his honor from Variety's Power of Comedy event, benefiting the Noreen Fraser Foundation.
Seth MacFarlance accepts his honor from Variety's Power of Comedy… (JC Olivera / WireImage )

Seth MacFarlane is having a moment.

Granted he's been prolific in his television work and broken box office records with the R-rated comedy "Ted," but as next year's Oscar host Seth moves into a new category of entertainer.

Timely, then, that MacFarlane received Variety's Power of Comedy honor on Saturday — an evening of stand-up benefiting cancer treatment and research in its third year.

Bill Maher, Patton Oswalt, Anthony Jeselnik, Amy Schumer, Paul Scheer, Alex Bornstein and many more worked material — much of it aimed at MacFarlane's wealth and upgrade to the A-list.

"Will he sing? Will he do voices?" deadpanned the evening's host, Joel McHale, speculating on what Seth would bring to the Oscar telecast, also describing the 39-year-old as "one of the most powerful voice-over actors of all time." 

Maher opened the show with a political set (what else?), aiming for sore-losing Republicans and President Obama's fear of being unlikable. But perhaps the most controversial moment came when he offered up advice for the president's second term.

"He's half black and half white. The first term was the white term, let the second term be the black term," Maher said, ticking off several points of advice on being fearless but concluded with "take a swing at Rihanna."

OK.

Oswalt followed with levity, noticing immediately that most of his peers were in suits and dresses while he rocked stonewash jeans and flannel.

"They told me business casual," Oswalt said. "I run a lumberjack lesbian book store."

Raffle tickets were sold at the Bing-sponsored bash for cheeky prizes like having a comedian "unfriend" someone from their lives on stage — in this case done by Paul Scheer and 'New Girl"'s Max Greenfield, enjoying his 14th minute of fame.

Comedy Central roast staples Jeselnik and Schumer were reliably extreme and hilarious, while the first lady of MacFarlane's empire, Bornstein, who voices "Family Guy" matriarch Lois Griffin, performed a musical number with Seth's sister Rachel. 

Noreen Fraser, who is battling stage IV cancer and whose foundation the awards are thrown for, brought the evening back to earth by shortly and sweetly saying "this has got to stop" and encouraging the crowd to donate. 

ALSO:

Gwyneth Paltrow steps up for Stand Up to Cancer

Amy Poehler: Tina Fey and Seth Meyers are dead to me

Wait, *what* did Seth MacFarlane say at the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball? 

Follow Matt Donnelly on Twitter and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs and on Facebook facebook.com/ministryofgossip. 

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