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Seth MacFarlane hosts Oscars

Miko Malabute | Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On a night when the most famous actors and actresses gathered to acknowledge each other for a year’s worth of phenomenal work, a star who spends most of his time behind the camera perhaps got the most attention and the most heat out of the 85th Academy Awards.

Seth MacFarlane, best known for creating the hit TV show “Family Guy” and producing the raunchy comedy hit “Ted,” took to center stage Sunday night to host the awards ceremony. Right off the bat, MacFarlane introduced his bitingly sharp and frankly edgy sense of humor, defying his innocent smile and fooling anyone who did not know any better. Yet this smile shows that MacFarlane already has the next joke up his sleeve and knows how shockingly funny this one will be.

The hosting performance opened seemingly innocently enough. MacFarlane opened by declaring, “the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins … now!” (and he did). Then, once the nice formalities and light introductions were out of the way, MacFarlane knew this was his stage to rule, and he stepped into his own.

The floodgates on the “Family Guy” brand of humor were opened with no signs of a dam as joke after joke, MacFarlane went after his fellow stars. He said “Django Unchained,” a movie about a man trying to win back his woman after she’s been beaten and subjected to horrible violence, was analogous to “as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.”

This brand of comedy persisted throughout the Oscars, and MacFarlane received the type of criticism that prompted him to announce that he would never host the Oscars again. Deservedly so, right? Wrong.

Bringing in MacFarlane was a guarantee of what you were going to get – how people were surprised about his jokes (unless they had no idea who MacFarlane is) is completely beyond me. Yes, they may have been a bit brow-raising (the joke about Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth definitely made me look around in bewildered laughter), but really, are we and should we be surprised? This is what he does, and asking MacFarlane to reform his brand of comedy and limit his own wit is an even bigger outrage than his performance. MacFarlane’s performance was simply entertaining and incorporated all the things he does so well, epitomized in his incorporation of Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt into a trio singing piece that was Broadway-worthy.

MacFarlane’s joke that the next day’s headlines would call him the worst Oscars’ host ever may have been an admission that his style of comedy was inappropriate. Or perhaps it was his way of embracing that his sense of humor and wit is beyond that of the Oscars and relishing his performance despite the criticism he would later receive.