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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: Will Seth MacFarlane be a good Oscar host?

Seth MacFarlane

I’m not sure there’s a name that could have surprised me more popping up as next year’s host of the Academy Awards ceremony: Seth MacFarlane? I mean, sure, he’s cute, he’s funny — at least as himself on talk shows; except for Ted and those Family Guy Star Wars things, his writing isn’t funny — but as far as I’m aware, he’s not a performer. How did this happen?
Peter Bradshaw at the Guardian’s Film Blog has a bit of an explanation:

[T]here is a persistent worry that the Oscar telecast simply can’t get the ratings that it once did. In the all-important 18-49 age-range, the 2012 show got 14.9 million viewers, as opposed to a whopping 113 million for the Super Bowl.

And this is where MacFarlane comes in, someone with both television and movie credentials. He’s a massively successful writer and comic, with a geeky love of Star Wars and a connection with the fans. But he also has what the industry calls the chops, almost eerily presentable, like a hyperreal young Gene Kelly. A few years ago, he sang Singin’ In The Rain at London’s Royal Albert Hall with almost casual ease. He’s hosted the Emmys and a Comedy Central roast for Charlie Sheen.

Ah, okay, so he has done hosting duties before, apparently successfully. And the demographic issue is a major one for the Oscars.

What do you think? Will Seth MacFarlane be a good Oscar host?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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