I find Seth MacFarlane funny when I don’t have to look at him. Family Guy can be funny. Ted was funny. But he’s not a physical presence in either of those things. Seth MacFarlane’s funny is always hindered by his smug moonface. Is there a more self-satisfied smirk in Hollywood? No. This is why MacFarlane + the Khaleesi grosses everyone out—he has that, “Yeah I’m boning the mother of dragons, what are you going to do about it” smug mug happening.
And that smirk of smug satisfaction (smugifaction?) will only get worse as MacFarlane has been confirmed as the host for the 2013 Oscars. My knee jerk reaction is that I hate it because I kind of hate looking at MacFarlane’s face, but my more reasoned reaction is that, though he blew his presenting gig at the Emmys, MacFarlane isn’t a bad emcee. He’s hosted some Comedy Central roasts to decent effect, he gets the rhythms and rigors of a live variety show, and at heart, MacFarlane is a song-and-dance man, and not a bad one at that. I mean…I can kind of see his inevitable musical number and um, it’ll probably be funny. MacFarlane is not unlike Trey Parker and Matt Stone in that his humor is uniquely suited to the song format (settle down, I said not unlike, not anywhere near as good as).
But what I really want you to do is go read the Deadline article at the end of this post. It’s written by Nikki Finke, and whatever her current declining—or not declining, it depends on who you talk to—status as a power broker may be, Finke is still very well connected. There is still more than enough access and power directed her way. And look how she bends over for MacFarlane. That is the ass-kissiest report I’ve seen on Deadline in a while, and that is really saying something.
The thing about Seth MacFarlane is that he is a JUGGERNAUT. He’s super well connected and though he’s not a central figure in the entertainment industry, he commands a lot of pull in television, which, thanks to Ted, he’s successfully translated into movie studio power. (Lainey: also, he’s SUPER MEGA RICH.) MacFarlane is a mogul in the making, and Finke’s overt ass-kissery is only one symptom of the kind of mega-clout he’s got. We lament every year that the Oscars are boring and that someone needs to stir the pot, to be unafraid of the Harveys and the Brads (Pitt or Grey, take your pick) in the audience. Ricky Gervais couldn’t withstand the pressure leveled on him when he went at the throat of Hollywood but by choosing MacFarlane to host the Oscars, the Academy just put the one guy that legitimately does not need them for his continued success on the stage.
They loaded their own gun. Now, will Seth MacFarlane pull the trigger?
Click here to read the Deadline article.
(Lainey: I still maintain that it should be Justin Timberlake. Click here if you missed that.)
Attached - MacFarlane at the Emmys last week.