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Oscar host Seth MacFarlane: Show him the mike

October 01, 2012|By Glenn Whipp
  • Seth MacFarlane, known for his vocal chops on "Family Guy" and directing "Ted," will host the Oscars in 2013.
Seth MacFarlane, known for his vocal chops on "Family Guy" and… (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles…)

"It's truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars," Seth MacFarlane said in a statement Monday morning. "My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don't find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen Roast."

MacFarlane, creator of TV's irreverent animated show "Family Guy" and writer-director of the hit movie "Ted," indeed hosted the Sheen roast. Click here if you want to watch it, though, like the evening's honoree, most of the jokes passed their expiration date long ago.

We're guessing that this year's Oscar telecast producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, caught MacFarlane's act that night as well as the occasions he presided over Comedy Central roasts for Donald Trump and David Hasselhoff. But we'd also imagine these two Broadway vets saw MacFarlane's capable hosting of the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" two weeks ago.

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If this was MacFarlane's Oscar audition, he passed with flying colors. The opening monologue, which, let's face it, is how awards-show hosts are remembered, was fast and funny, mixing MacFarlane's gift for vocal mimicry (loved the Marty McFly!) and easy-on-the-ears crooning. Later, during the "Weekend Update" segment, MacFarlane perfectly parodied Olympic swimmer and white jeans endorser Ryan Lochte. 

In terms of past Oscar hosts, think of MacFarlane as Hugh Jackman, only cruder, less romantic and more in tune with pop culture. Like veterans Billy Crystal and Steve Martin, MacFarlane knows how to sell a song, but he'll also bring a sense of unpredictability to a ceremony that sorely needs a double shot of espresso. He'll do fine. And we're guessing that, unlike his appearance on this year's Emmy telecast, MacFarlane will know where to find the mike before he walks on stage.


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Glenn Whipp


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