As first noticed by Splitsider early this morning, late last night in response to a question from a fan on twitter Seth MacFarlane said he wouldn’t host the Oscars again, even if asked. His exact words in response to the question “Would you host the #Oscars again if asked?” were ”No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though.”
MacFarlane’s performance as host drew a lot of criticism online, including from me, particularly for his often misogynist, racist, homophobic, and all around creepy, mean-spirited jokes. However, the Oscar broadcast he hosted, despite being over 3 and a half hours long, got the strongest ratings of any Oscars since 2010, including among the all important “in the demo” (age 18-49) viewers whom he was no doubt hired to attract. And the controversy over MacFarlane’s material seems to have been superseded by the controversy over The Onion’s absolutely deranged, near-sociopathic attempt at “edgy” satire involving 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis.
As much as I stand by my previous criticism of MacFarlane’s performance as host I’m kind of surprised that he would so quickly and unequivocally take himself out of the running to host again. After all, there hasn’t been a host who was well-received by both the broader audience and by critics in a long time, and it seems like every year they tinker with the host to no great success.
They try to skew younger and more unconventional with James Franco and Anne Hathaway one year and get panned so they over correct by going with Billy Crystal and get panned for going too old and safe etc. etc. Since with MacFarlane as host the Oscars managed to garner an audience which was both bigger and younger than those in year’s past, I wouldn’t be surprised if the people who put the show together were open to him hosting again in the future. Maybe the only reason he wanted to host this year was so he could use much of the show as an extended promotion for the release of his movie “Ted” on DVD, another annoying aspect of his hosting gig which I wasn’t even able to get to in my review.
At any rate, if MacFarlane really is taking himself out of the running, this clears the way for the possibility of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the only good awards show hosts in recent memory, getting the gig next year.