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.