Many didn’t know what to expect from the 85th Annual Academy Awards. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane assumed the hosting duties for the first time and he was expected to bring the kind of raunch that we’ve all come to love and expect from him but the variable was how would the notoriously stuffy Oscar audience respond to him. It turns out, not well.
His opening act started out ribbing celebrities here and there and then an appearance from Captain Kirk, himself, William Shatner told him that his future was to bomb at the Oscars. He showed him a headline from the future that read: “Seth MacFarlane Worst Oscar Host Ever”. Thus ensued a number of musical numbers including actors Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe. However the best musical of the night was the “We Saw Your Boobs” song that MacFarlane pre-recorded in tribute to all of the actresses who appeared topless in film. The latest best actress Oscar winner Jennifer for helped MacFarlane out with the bit even though she’s never appeared topless in a film. Naomi Watts also participated by feigning a faux scowl.
The majority of MacFarlane’s jokes fell flat. His insensitive Lincoln joke, which poked fun at the former president who was assassinated in the 1865, was received so poorly that an onlooker would have thought that the country was still heavily mourning Lincoln death.
“This is interesting. Daniel Day-Lewis not the first actor to be nominated for playing Lincoln. Raymond Massey portrayed him in 1940’s ‘Abe Lincoln in Illinois’. I would argue, however, that the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth,” joked MacFarlane to any icy audience.
In fact the biggest laughs of the night came from MacFarlane’s self-deprecating jokes about his lackluster Oscar performance.
“The next presenter played a raging alcoholic in 28 days which is weird coincidence since I’m gonna be playing one in about an hour and 48-minutes,” said MacFarlane.
Then there was the musical number overkill. MacFarlane is known for featuring musicals in Family Guy, he has a Frank Sinatra-style voice and this year Les Miserables is nominated for best picture, so it makes sense that he would do a musical on the ultimate stage. However, this was a case where an idea looked better on paper than it played out in real life. Adele sang her Bond song, Skyfall. The impeccable Barbara Streisand beautifully sang The Way We Were during the In Memoriam segment and Norah Jones sang the Oscar nominated song Everybody Needs A Best Friend from MacFarlane’s film, Ted. There was even a musical tribute to musicals. The cast of Chicago and Les Miserables and Jennifer Hudson of Dreamgirls sang selected songs from their respective films. It was too much and may have turned off the younger demographic that ABC was hoping to attract.
The show ran about 45 minutes over its 3-hour run time which only added to MacFarlane’s woes. He spent the rest of the night joking and apologizing for his Oscars performance proving that it’s true what they say about comedy coming from pain. No doubt that even though MacFarlane has a good sense of humor about himself, hosting the Oscars may have been one of his greatest dreams and flopping his greatest nightmare.
Yeah, it was a tough night for MacFarlane but there were other Oscar hosts that didn’t farewell either. Remember James Franco? He seemed near catatonic next to bubbly co-host Anne Hathaway who bounced around the stage trying to make up for Franco’s mental absence at the 2011 Oscars. MacFarlane’s performance was better than his, which proves his opening prediction to be wrong. Where is Franco now? He’s starring in the big budget Oz the Great and Powerful, leaving his Oscar past in the dust. If he can pull through this, so can MacFarlane. After all, he still has Family Guy.
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