Seth MacFarlane On His Oscar Approach: It's Part Stewie, Part Gene Kelly

There has been plenty of arm-waving concern since Academy Awards producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan tapped Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane to host the Oscars that his poop jokes would stink up the Dolby Theatre stage. Of course, those aren’t the same people concerned about widening the tent and boosting viewership for the granddaddy of awards shows. In the middle is MacFarlane, a smart guy who seems to understand the balance. “This is not going to be “Family Guy Meets the Oscars”, he tells Rolling Stone in a recent interview. “Hosts who come in with a specific brand and try to turn the show into the brand, it never works (hmm, who could that be referring to?). You have to adapt yourself to the Oscars, not vice versa.” Also, about his hosting philosophy:

It’s about finding that balance between doing what I do but acknowledging that this is the Academy Awards, not the roast of Donald Trump. It’s walking that line between old-fashioned showmanship and allowing it to be contemporary with a little bit of bite. Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal are two hosts who walked that line. There’s a moment on “Family Guy” that’s just Gene Kelly dancing with Stewie — that’s what we have to achieve, a dance between the traditional and the new.

MacFarlane has started making the Oscar rounds of late, promoting a contest with mtvU to give film school students roles onstage during the ceremony, which is set for February 24 on ABC.

Related: First Interview: New Oscar Host ‘Ecstatic’ About The Job

  1. He’s gonna kill it! Taking over from Mike Nichols as the smartest guy in the business. If he can keep it about the Awards and not make it about himself, he’s golden. Someone needs to restore polish on the statue’s gold. My prediction? Our new Billy Crystal. Think if he pulls this one off, he’ll be a staple on the event he’ll become The go-to guy who will dominate and do the show three or four times. Can’t wait. He can sing too.

  2. If he ends up doing an Opening Number with a solo song using the voices of his known characters (while smiling self-congratulatory) THAT’s going to be a bummer.

    It’s time for new stuff though, so hopefully he’s taking it seriously.

    GREAT honor, Seth…Do well! (PLEASE)

  3. I just don’t get anyone who can’t see Seth McFarlane is a natural for this role. For starters, Family Guy is basically a musical. Seth does need to tone it down, obviously, so we’ll see how he does in that regard…

  4. I will admit that I am NOT a fan of Family Guy at all but I did enjoy Ted and he did seem to have a natural charm when he hosted SNL and was able to wing it through his (slight) Emmy gaffe. He can’t be any worse than James Franco, right?

  5. I can’t stand when these animation guys try to come out from behind the cartoons and be real stars. First Parker and Stone a decade ago, now this guy. You didn’t have Chuck Jones or Hanna and Barbera or even Matt Groening out here mugging for the cameras or singing old show tunes. Ugh.

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