Here are Seth MacFarlane's pre-Oscar soundbite offerings (following those of Academy president Hawk Koch). Unsurprisingly, he mostly chooses quips over substance, but I guess what I'd point out is this: Despite his knowledge of the history of the show, MacFarlane argues that the host is doomed to bad reviews, which I don't agree with.
Yeah, it's a tough room, but people want to like the host – and in Billy Crystal's heyday, for example, they did. That being said, it might be true that MacFarlane specifically is doomed to bad reviews, because his sensibility might be so in contrast to what makes a good Oscar host.
We'll see. Anyway, here's what he had to say ...
"The biggest challenge is gonna be getting there on time. I think it starts at 5:30, and I have like a 4:15 with my pool guy to talk about resurfacing part of the hot tub and so I think if that goes long, it's gonna be tight. But I think if we're expeditious about that, then I think I'll get to the Oscars. I'm hoping it's not a hard 5:30 – if it is, I'm in trouble.
"When I get into something, I get into it whole-hog, which sounds filthy, but i just mean from a production standpoint. And year, I like being involved with every part of the process, and I will say from what I've seen of what Craig and Neil are doing thus far, they are putting together a show that is already distinctly different and dare I say superior to what we've seen in the past. Those guys, they're really putting together an amazing show.
"It's gonna be off the rails, you know? I might wear one black sock and one other sock that's also black but is a different fabric. And that's the kind of thing you can expect at the Oscars this year, I think we'll make it really unexpected. People will go, 'Wow, you really shook it up.'
" 'SNL' was a real first time for me, because it was the first time I've done a show sober, and that really was a learning experience for me. And I think I might try the Oscars that way as well and just kind of see what happens. Or not.
"If there's one group that is unable to laugh at themselves it is Hollywood actors. You know, you're uncomfortable, they're uncomfortable, the audience is uncomfortable. Let's just keep the boundary clear and put an electrified fence up at the base of the stage, and just kind of make it, 'This is the U.S., this is Mexico.'
"I remember the whole family gathering around to watch the Oscars, and it was a good five hours of peace and quiet where we weren't all shouting at each other, so that was nice."
"The ideal Oscar host is somebody who goes into the awards show knowing that even if he sprouts wings on stage and levitates five feet of the ground, that Entertainment Weekly will still go, 'Eh.'"