At first my thinking for the choice for Seth MacFarlane for Oscar host was really? Another white guy, really? A safe choice, an easy call, a way to smooth out the controversy from last year’s Bret Ratner debacle. And in some ways that’s exactly what it is. You aren’t going to get any scandals, particularly (or maybe you will but more on that later) and he isn’t going to come on stage in a pink dress looking like he just did five bong loads (or maybe he will). He will be sharp, charming, slightly cutting but he also lacks a significant edge. On the other hand — MacFarlane is also the admitted atheist on Bill Maher’s show, someone who has taken a stand on gay marriage and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and never shies away from expressing his beliefs publicly. So that’s going to add up to — wait for it — hysteria by the right. I can just hear the protests now. That will give the Academy a bit of a headache but nothing they haven’t dealt with before.
All the same I find I can’t diss the choice of MacFarlane for host here. He seems to be a good one, especially if you accept the notion that the Oscars are an institution run by older white males that award movies that are mostly mad by and star white males that hope to earn the target demo eyeballs of young white males — within those strict parameters, Macfarlane is a good choice.
What can we expect when he takes the stage at the 85th Oscars? He’s close pals with Bill Maher so you can probably imagine that there will be more than a few lefty jokes. As you’ll see by some of the below clips, the dude likes to sing so perhaps we have a few awkward musical numbers to look forward to. While I don’t think he’ll do many of his voices (although I can see Miss Piggy coming out and saying, “Come on, Seth! Do one of your voices”) but his brilliant mimicry of William Shatner or Gregory Peck should not be discounted.
Here are some choice clips of MacFarlane: