Entertainment Movies
Entertainment Entertainment Movies

What to expect from Seth MacFarlane's debut outing as Oscar host

A year after Billy Crystal helmed the Oscars for approximately the 40 millionth time, hosting duties fall to “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, who’s directed a grand total of one movie and had a minor role alongside Dwayne Johnson (and Crystal) in “Tooth Fairy.”

Of course, Crystal’s shtick was shockingly stale at the 2012 Academy Awards, and the sometimes-hilarious MacFarlane’s one movie happens to be “Ted,” the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. Considering MacFarlane’s limited movie history and longer record of controversy—recently, the guy made a Hitler joke while helping Emma Stone announce the Oscar nominees in January—it’s worth wondering what this talented showman and frequent button-pusher will bring to Hollywood’s Super Bowl. Read on for some informed speculation.

Condescension
During the nominations special, MacFarlane mocked nominees in the adapted screenplay category, saying they copied and pasted from Microsoft Word to script-writing program Final Draft. He said of the directorial nominees, “These are the five people who are the very best at sitting in a chair and watching other people make a movie,” a weird joke for a new director to make. His smug attitude could lead the reported atheist to bash supporters of the religious-themed “Life of Pi.” Another possibility: Noting that the duck named James Franco in “Ted” could do a better job of hosting the Oscars than the real James Franco.

Randomness
MacFarlane’s built his comic style/TV empire on non sequiturs, which could result in a monologue that jumps all over the place, from Quvenzhane Wallis of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” to an impression of William Wallace in the 1996 Best Picture winner, “Braveheart.” Though in the floundering randomness department, it always will be hard to top 1995 host David Letterman’s Uma/Oprah debacle.

Vocal tricks
There’s no denying MacFarlane’s got a gift for voices and impressions (he was good on “Saturday Night Live,” particularly as Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte), and you don’t get on the largest stage of your career just to leave your biggest trick up your sleeve. Jack Black commented that MacFarlane’s voices could grow tiresome at the Oscars, so it's safe to say MacFarlane will do a bunch of voices and then make a crack about Jack Black’s weight or something. MacFarlane, nominated for an Oscar this year for his theme song to “Ted,” also has an impressive singing voice (he was nominated for a 2012 Grammy in the Traditional Pop Vocal Album category) and will almost certainly sing during the Oscars ceremony—a practice Crystal pretty much drove into the ground.

Controversy
Though he’s spoken in favor of humanitarian causes including gay rights, MacFarlane also favors homophobic jokes—in addition to humor that seems to find fun in racism and anti-Semitism. Considering the multiple nominations for Quentin Tarantino’s look at slavery, “Django Unchained,” and the cliché stereotype about powerful Jewish people in Hollywood, this could get awkward/offensive.

Misogyny?
MacFarlane’s writing doesn’t exactly make great use of female characters, and we can only imagine what he’ll have to say about the significant female roles in movies such as “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Amour.” Hopefully whatever he says doesn’t intersect with his fondness for fart jokes.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.

 

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Interviews about Oscar-nominated movies

    Interviews about Oscar-nominated movies

    Click here for Matt Pais' reviews of this year's Oscar-nominated movies     Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U mpais@tribune.com   Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.  

  • Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued Chicago's former red light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, for more than $300 million on grounds the entire program was built on a $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall that has already led to federal corruption convictions.

  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

Comments
Loading
75°