Oscars 2013: How Did Seth MacFarlane Do?
The Oscars had a lot riding on Seth MacFarlane this year, banking on the “Family Guy” creator to boost lagging ratings and draw in a younger audience. In that, he succeeded; the awards show saw a 12% jump in ratings from last year’s telecast. His overall performance as host, on the other hand, is a mixed bag.
We all know MacFarlane is controversial, but almost annoyingly so. He works so hard to be politically incorrect that it comes across as desperate...too desperate. In fact, when he wasn’t trying to be funny is when the comedic magic happened. At times he went too far, and at other times he didn’t go far enough. To be fair, he did tiptoe enough to be a decent emcee and not get slammed by the Academy—a good career move on his part.
He was funny enough; he made the expected “Gigli” joke about Ben Affleck. The William Shatner Captain Kirk bit was entertaining and his musical performances were surprisingly good for someone who, while a producer and creator as well a voice-over extraordinaire, isn’t necessarily a live performer. Who knew MacFarlane could actually sing? His closing musical number for the “losers” of the night with Kristin Chenoweth was a good end to the broadcast.
But the best part of his hosting gig was bringing out, in real time, digital teddy bear Ted - the namesake of his summer 2012 popular comedy. While (according to the Hollywood Reporter) he ticked off the Anti-Defamation League for what they say perpetuated Jewish stereotypes, his jokes about the Jews running Hollywood were inoffensive and run-of-the-mill enough to have the audience laughing unapologetically.
But then there was the Rihanna-Chris Brown joke. When talking about “Django Unchained,” MacFarlane referenced the infamous pair, saying, "Django is a movie where a woman is subjected to violence, or as we call it, a Chris Brown and Rihanna date movie." Too far? Naturally, the audience awkwardly gasped, and it looked painful for the emcee.
Some other cringe-worthy humor and an awkward audience response came in the form of his presidential joke in honor of Daniel Day Lewis's portrayal in "Lincoln." "I would argue that the person who got most into Abraham Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth," said the "Ted" creator.
Before the Oscars even began, MacFarlane expected the mass media criticism of his performance, telling Entertainment Weekly, "It's the time commitment, I just don't think I could do it again. It will have been almost six months that I'm working on this. And I'm still going to get savaged in the press."
ALSO SEE: Best Jokes At The 2013 Oscars
Reach Staff Reporter Leah Harari here.