Yes, In a press release earlier today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Seth MacFarlane, creator of hit animated shows Family Guy and American Dad and director of this summer’s blockbuster foul-mouthed comedy “Ted,” has agreed to host the 85th annual Academy Awards. MacFarlane will work alongside first-time telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and third-time director Don Mischer come February 24th.
The choice of MacFarlane immediately conjures up images of last year’s initial (and ultimately disastrous) hiring of Brett Ratner as telecast director last year – it wouldn’t be the first time that the Academy, desperate to get younger and hipper, reached out to the nearest popular under-50 celebrity regardless of how that choice meshed with the steadfastly old-fashioned sensibility of the Oscars (remember James Franco? I wish I didn’t).
But the man behind Peter Griffin might be a better fit than it first appears. Family Guy viewers will know that MacFarlane has a great voice and a weakness for song-and-dance routines (something he showed off in his SNL monologue), which obviously goes right along with Zadan and Meron’s musical experience. Besides, one of the biggest complaints against MacFarlane is that he enjoys dated pop culture references… hey, just like the Academy! This is suddenly making a scary amount of sense. Why has this never been mentioned as a possibility before?
Assuming MacFarlane doesn’t pull a Chris Rock, best-case scenario we’re looking at an edgier version of Billy Crystal. In any case, you can bet that Mark Wahlberg and a certain CGI teddy bear will be on hand to present at least one award come February.