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:

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  • This looks like a disaster waiting to happen. I hope I’m wrong.

  • steve50

    “hysteria by the right”

    My favorite pasttime – watching the inept try and articulate rage! Calls for a batch of brownies before the fun begins.

  • Jeremy

    After James Franco(or the ghost of James Franco who stood by awkward Anne Hathaway), I’ll take anybody

  • Not Harrison Ford

    Race and politics, that what I look for in an Oscar host too.

  • phantom

    OT : ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ Cast Deemed Ineligible for SAG Awards

    Ugh, how ridiculous is that ?

  • John

    No one on the right is going to care that a Democrat is hosting the Oscars. All Oscars hosts are Democrats. Plenty of Republicans watch the Oscars because they like movies and don’t care that most people in Hollywood are Democrats.

    My dad’s two favorite actors are George Clooney and Matt Damon. He will go see anything with either of those two guys. My dad is also a diehard Republican who’s been donating to Republican candidates since Richard Nixon.

    Sasha do you have any friends who are Republicans? A single one? Most people in America have no problem with people from “the other side” but you seem completely unable to look past a person’s race and politics. I don’t even know who half my friends are voting for but they’ll still be my friends no matter what. This is how 99% of Americans think of their friends and neighbors. You are the 1% in this situation. Let. It. Go.

  • I just don’t find Seth MacFarlane funny. He just aggravates me to an unreasonable extent. As far as comic actors go, he’s below only Simon Pegg for me. 🙁

  • Tyler j. Pratt

    @John – Amen.

    I’ve been frequenting this site since the Oscar watch days, and have always enjoyed your commentary, Sasha. However, this political agenda thing is becoming trite. I come here to read about movies and the Oscars, not articles on these topics where politics take a front seat to the films and awards themselves. It’s great that you believe what you do, but you don’t have to constantly remind us by putting a racial/political spin on everything. At least thats how its seemed lately.

  • Jack

    He’ll kill it, I’m sure. He was one of my choices. If he helps write the jokes, and keeps the show going at a brisk pace, hopefully under 3 hours, it could be a classic. The host ricky Gervais should have been the 2nd time at the Globes. Plus he has a great knack for musical numbers, and as long as they do not go overboard on the musical aspect. And hopefully the politics are toned down, just a bit. OK, we get it you hate Romney, etc, just please entertain us.

  • rufussondheim

    Thank you for all of the articles on race and politics instead of film, Sasha.

    This way I can read all of the posts complaining about race and politics. These posts are valuable because they identify the posters that are too stupid to surf past the stuff that doesn’t interest them. Now I know to ignore their other posts about film because their opinions are akin to idiocy.

    Keep up the good (and interesting) work!

  • Bryan

    What about Clint and Betty as co hosts! Older may not be so bad!

  • Mel

    I don’t think he is funny. At all. He annoys the shit out of me. I don’t care if I like his politics. It’s like the time my friend told me I should be a Patriots fan b/c Robert Kraft supported gay marriage.

  • I dunno. He seems kinda black to me. *shrug*

  • Matt

    “hysteria by the right”? really? and how would you define that “hysteria”? some political figure or Baptist preacher or blogger or something tweets some disparaging comment? I mean I’m willing to put this one up to a comparison test with the actual events. I guess i’m “the right” in the way that all of these unhelpful little memes indicate everybody and nobody. But I believe the Westminster Confession of Faith without reserve and i’m incredibly pro-life, so sure I think Fox News is a bit shoddy and I like film culture (which, I mean, isn’t it good to take role in a culture where your views find very little expression, simply because you are comfortable with that? How often does that happen on either side?), but look up the WCF, I’m pretty sure that’s enough to be “right”. Anywho, no, there will not be any sort of “hysteria” I am certain. I just don’t think he’ll be that good. I mean, he makes so little sense to me (so far as, I just can’t picture it) that I can kind of look at it in curiosity and therefore maybe enjoy it to see if he can pull it off. The way it doesn’t really work, so maybe seeing him try and make it work will be enjoyable. Anyways I just hope they use clips from the movies, that’s my favorite part.

    My favorite host has been Stewart, who I think was underrated. Never miss the Daily Show, some from the right never miss the daily show. but “The right” will probably not really care, and as most, not pay much attention. I still like the Oscars though.

  • Rich

    I loved Jackman and Stewart, honestly I think Seth McFarlane might do a pretty solid job 🙂

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