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Seth MacFarlane as Oscars Host: 5 Observations

02/25/2013 09:37 am ET | Updated Apr 27, 2013
  • Mike Ryan Senior Entertainment Writer, The Huffington Post

seth macfarlane oscars

1.) Seth MacFarlane knows that you hate him.

Well, maybe not you; but you, over there, who's not a fan of Family Guy or Ted. I mean, MacFarlane came out really defensive in his opening monologue -- creating this odd scenario in which he already knew that the morning headlines would be negative. (He does get some points, though, for using William Shatner.)

What I imagine he was trying to do was to cut off his detractors at the pass -- admit in advance, "I know you don't like me." But instead of using this as a sincere way to win over those who may not be sold on him hosting, he gave them all the ammunition that they needed. The "We Saw Your Boobs" song was so long, he should have just had the guts to actually do it as a live performance instead of hiding behind, "Oh, this is what I could have done." He would have gotten the same amount of vitriol either way.

2.) Seth MacFarlane can be really charming.

When MacFarlane wasn't concerned with being "edgy," he was actually, almost surprisingly, charming. (Well, maybe not, too surprising to anyone who saw his Saturday Night Live monologue.) It's just a shame that MacFarlane didn't strike a better balance between jokes like the one about "Benjamin Affleck" (which was delivered with a charming nudge), compared to the one about Adele's weight, which he brought up by referencing Rex Reed, who wrote a scathing review of "Identity Thief" and knocked star Melissa McCarthy's size. Adele just had a nice moment performing "Skyfall" and then she has to hear MacFarlane bring up her weight? That was a crass move.

3.) Seth MacFarlane likes race jokes.

This was unfortunate. There was a slavery joke, there was a Jewish joke, there was a gay joke and there was a joke about Hispanic accents. This is lazy. Yes, it's no secret that MacFarlane likes to go this route, but with the entire world watching, this may have been the night that MacFarlane should have thought to himself, I'm going to try harder.

4.) Seth MacFarlane, at times, hit the right tone.

Seth MacFarlane is a talented guy. Some of his best moments last night were when he didn't play directly toward his self-perceived "strengths" (which seems to be race jokes, unfortunately). But, when he was singing and dancing (and he's pretty good at both) he was just so likable. And, look, I feel like I'm 115 years old right now saying, "He should stick with the singing and dancing," because I've never been a very big "song and dance" fan, but it was just so unexpected and that actually did work in silencing his detractors for a while.

MacFarlane should have found a way to fit more of that in to the show because that would have been the opposite of what anyone would have expected. Unfortunately, he went for what he thinks works -- again: a slavery joke, a Jewish joke, a gay joke and a joke about Hispanic accents (and, yes, he got booed for the Lincoln assassination joke, but, at least with that particular time, that was the point. Lincoln wasn't the joke, for what it's worth; the joke was that he knew he'd get to follow that up with "too soon?") -- and, well, that's not going to get you many great reviews the next morning.

5.) Flight performed by sock puppets was really funny.

It was. And so was The Sound of Music, "They're gone!" sketch.

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

2013 Oscars