Early Thursday morning Oscar host and nominee announcer Seth MacFarlane made it clear that “the only people up now are either flying or having surgery.” Or eagerly awaiting the Oscar nominations, of course. While announcing the nominees with Emma Stone, MacFarlane, the first Oscar host to announce the nominees since Charlton Heston in 1972, came across his own name for writing the lyrics to “Ted” original song “Everybody Needs A Best Friend,” sung by Norah Jones. His reaction: “First an Oscar nomination, then I find a basically brand-new queen mattress on my drive home. This is an incredible day.”
MacFarlane now has more than one reason to be nervous on Oscar night, as both a first time host and nominee. (He could wind up performing his own song–now that Adele’s “Skyfall” is nominated, the producers will be trying to get her and others to perform on the show.) Listen to the song and watch the nominations announcements (including MacFarlane’s inappropriate comments) below. “Breath of fresh air in that category,” he commented on the familiar names in the Supporting Actor category, all of whom had already won an Oscar. His promotion of Stone’s “Gangster Squad” and off-color remarks about “Amour” and Hitler have earned both positive and negative reviews, amid much Twitter debate and comparisons to recent Globes host Ricky Gervais. Is that what the Academy wants in its neverending quest for younger viewers?
What kind of Oscar host will MacFarlane be? This is not the WGA Awards, where he made a delightfully witty and irreverent host, able to both sing and dance. But while Macfarlane is an industry insider, the Oscars is a global telecast that is intended to put Hollywood in the most favorable light. The host has to be good on his feet, playing to the suits and talent in the room as well as film fans worldwide—most of whom have no idea who he is. That’s why he made the announcement instead of AMPAS president Hawk Koch: to raise his TV Q.