Seth MacFarlane is the much beloved creator of Family Guy, much maligned creator of The Cleveland Show, and much anticipated host of the 85th Academy Awards. People get nervous whenever someone other than Billy Crystal is hosting the Oscars, but MacFarlane really has Tinsel Town on their toes. Ever the edgy one, he already created a small uproar over his off-the-cuff and off-color jokes during the nomination ceremony.
[Watch the hilarity unfold here as we liveblog the 2013 Oscars]
Right from the start, MacFarlane treated the event like he was still hosting the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump. He ribbed his co-host for the day, Emma Stone, took shots at nominees, and made a joke about Hitler which fell so flat that no one even chuckled at how unfunny it was. He also demonstrated a proclivity to go off-prompter, making for some seriously awkward moments with Stone. MacFarlane shrugged off the criticism, tweeting, “Lotta flap over that Adolf joke. Look, Amour was a great film, so how about this: Austria, we'll give you the Oscar if you take back Arnold.”
His behavior has many people worried about what to expect when he walks up the red carpet and onto the stage of the Dolby Theatre. The Oscars are broadcast live, which means that literally anything is possible. They already let Melissa Leo's F-bomb detonate back in 2011, so Seth MacFarlane and his unpredictable wit have the censors with their fingers on the bleep button.
Even if the voice of Peter and Stewie Griffin can resist the temptation to go blue, his irreverence to the austerity of the Academy Awards could certainly ruffle some feathers. Billy Crystal may have tossed a few playful barbs during his opening monologues, particularly towards Jack Nicholson, but MacFarlane's jabs from the nominee ceremony were much more pointed, and he doesn't have Billy Crystal's Rodeo Drive street cred. After all, MacFarlane is still a young upstart by Academy standards, as he only made his first feature film, Ted, this past year. He'll have to walk a very fine line if he ever wants to get invited back.
If the NFL is the no-fun-league, then the Oscars are the NFL of the awards game. Last year, when Sacha Baron Cohen wanted to show up dressed as his character from The Dictator, it was extremely difficult to get approval from the Academy. Cohen repaid their trust by spilling the alleged ashes of Kim Jong Il all over Ryan Seacrest, earning himself an unofficial blacklisting. Michael Moore is also on that list because of his infamous anti-Bush rant after winning for Bowling for Columbine, as is Adrien Brody for frenching Halle Berry after he won for The Pianist.
Cheeky as he might be, I don't think MacFarlane is the type to pull any true stunts. I believe that deep down, he wants to win an Oscar some day. Actually, I think he'd like to win one that day, since he is in fact nominated for the song, “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted. However, only Frank Capra has managed to take home a statue while doling them out, and things will likely stay that way. Oddsmakers have MacFarlane at 40:1 after Adele's Golden Globe win. If there is going to be a moment when MacFarlane flirts with the line of good taste, it will be after Adele wins her Oscar for Skyfall.