Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Voice(s) of Treason?

The good news about Seth MacFarlane as the host of the Oscars telecast is that the producers can save a ton of money.

MacFarlane, he of many voices and characters, isn't just one man. He's his own talent pool. He's an R-rated Mel Blanc.

It was announced Monday that MacFarlane, creator of the popular animated TV series "Family Guy," and the source for many of the show's voices, will host the 2013 Oscars telecast.

Who needs Steve Martin or Billy Crystal? They're one trick ponies (or, one pony each, anyway), while MacFarlane will never run out of voices and characters, not even during Oscar's sometimes interminable telecasts.

MacFarlane doesn't just do voices. He does TV shows---as in he produces them. Besides "Family Guy," MacFarlane has his fingers in the pies of "American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show" (all animated).

The hiring of MacFarlane signals an attempt by Oscars producers to go after a younger, more hip demographic. MacFarlane, who recently hosted "Saturday Night Live," can be seen on occasion on Comedy Central's celebrity roasts---and he's pretty funny. His humor is edgy and pushes the proverbial envelope on occasion.

And he appreciates the gig.

MacFarlane calls the Oscars hosting opportunity "the greatest call that I could have gotten in show business." He was a presenter in 2012.

If you're tilting your head and looking at the screen sideways, like a confused dog, Oscars co-producer Neil Meron feels you. He called MacFarlane "the most unbelievable, consummate host choice we could think of."

Well, as far as unbelievable, maybe the ill-chosen Anne Hathaway and James Franco pairing of 2011 takes that cake.


Seth MacFarlane


It's hard to say if the MacFarlane we will see on Oscar night will be a watered down version. Despite the seeming boldness of the pick, you never know if the producers will "chicken out" a little as the telecast grows nearer, and present a MacFarlane that is more suitable for audiences of all ages.

The Oscar audience, on TV, is still heavily populated with the 50+ crowd (might want to add a few pluses, actually), and MacFarlane and his shows are not necessarily an older person's cup of tea.

That's why Crystal was so popular; he played well with the older crowd. Steve Martin was transitional. Seth MacFarlane is an extreme.

Will it work? Well, the worst that can happen is that they don't ask him back.

Actually, that's not the worst that can happen. The producers ought not to ponder the worst. That could be a little scary.









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