Wow, we didn't expect this. After a brief flirtation with Jimmy Fallon, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences seem to have found the sweet spot with a presenter who will skew to younger crowds, while keeping ABC happy in getting someone who isn't a direct rival to their late-night talent. And that man is Seth MacFarlane.
The "Family Guy" creator has had a helluva year so far with "Ted" becoming an unexpected, huge summer comedy hit, earning over $430 million worldwide. And he also kicked off this season of "Saturday Night Live" as the host, and by all accounts, did a helluva job. Apparently his performance there confirmed to Academy types he is the man for the job.
MacFarlane certainly is a fan of musicals and old school razzle dazzle, and can even carry a tune which opens up a lot of options for the Oscar show. But he's also got a perverse sense of humor, which will hopefully allow for the kind of irreverence that's usually missing from the stuffed-shirt, overlong show the Oscars usually are. It's certainly a complete 180 from last year's Billy Crystal, who subbed in last minute from Eddie Murphy who had dropped out following Ratner-gate. But how much rope he's given — particularly on live network TV — remains to be seen. But, we approve, and for the Academy, this is far from playing it safe.
The Oscars will air on February 24, 2013. [Deadline]