Last night Seth MacFarlane Hosted the Oscars. He won. Plain and simple.
There’s a strange narrative around Seth MacFarlane. One that I don’t quite understand. Let us start at the beginning (And by beginning, I mean Family Guy. Seth used to work at Hanna-Barbera, but who cares. Also, I will not be doing a ton of hard core research. So, this is the beginning, as I remember it).
Many years ago, probably somewhere around 2000, a new animated show hit the airwaves. Sure, it was a little like “The Simpsons.” Or maybe a lot. Or, maybe it was a crude, animated “Honeymooners”. Sure, there are plenty of places this new show drew inspiration from, but what is art if not borrowing.… Stylized borrowing. Anyway, as you’ve guessed by now, this new animated show was “Family Guy.” Seth’s show, to me, is the best way to understand Seth and his narrative. And perhaps I’m a tainted judge, because of the impact Family Guy had on me and my roommates. See, 2001 (or 2002, who can remember) was the year I struck out on my own. I left the comfort of my parents home, to live in a huge, 1700 sq ft, 3 bedroom apartment. It was awesome. There were like, 13 of us that lived there. Me and my best friend shared the master bedroom. Me on a twin bed, and he on a futon. Then in the two upstairs bedrooms, sometimes we had four people living up there along with a massive pit bull/boxer mix. We had a pool table instead of a dining room table, a coke machine, and x-box one and halo just came out. We had ethernet and xbox’s literally all over the house. We would play halo all night. And that left all day for… Some other activity. What could it be? Well, it quickly became apparent that Family Guy was the answer.
Me and my 15 roomies, and our awesome dog, would lay around (and I mean lay around. The dog would be OUT!) and watch the DVD’s of the first few season of Family Guy over and over and over. And it was awesome. Family Guy had just been canceled. Tragically. FOX had moved it around on the schedule, and basically made sure that no one knew when it was on, and any viewer that wanted to watch was unable to. But my friends and I didn’t care. We loved the “no holds barred” and silly random cut away jokes. And we loved that Seth was this renegade. He would make fun of anyone and anything. And “the man” screwed him by moving his show all over. He was our kind of guy. Rude, and beaten down. He was cast away by the establishment. And all of us fanboys flocked to him. Another program that the mainstream “didn’t get” and it was ours.
Well, apparently the DVD’s sold really well. And the re runs on “Adult Swim” got huge ratings. Because somehow FOX decided that wait, Family Guy WAS pretty good after all. Maybe we should put it back on the air? And they did! The fan boys won! This was “Arrested Development” before “Arrested Development”! Never had something like this happened before. And Seth was the king of cool. The fringe loved him. But then something funny happened…
When Family Guy came back, it crushed. Ratings were great. And at some point, FOX, gave Seth a HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT! Crazy. And people did what people do. They turned on him. And now, all those fringy, outcast, fanboys didn’t like family guy, because he was popular. This is one of the strangest things in our culture. Hating things that are popular. Anyway, that’s definitely what happened to Seth. And that’s the narrative of him heading in to the Oscars.
Well, my friends and I watched the Oscars last night (we even live blogged it) and we all agreed that Seth did a great job.
David – “The man put a cut-away in a live broadcast and nailed it. His jokes are timely, quick and on point”
DJ – “I think Seth is nailing it, like he’s gonna nail Sally Field tonight.”
Adam –“ I wasn’t sure how Seth’s humor was going to play out with the Oscars, however I think he tastefully pulled it off.”
Ashlee – “Um uh, it wasn’t bad but I prefer Ellen.”
He owned it, in fact, as himself. He didn’t rein it in in the face of criticism that he is “too out there” to host. And perhaps more importantly, he didn’t try too hard to be edgy to piss those same people off. He just was himself. The same guy who sang a song about all the movies where we’ve seen actresses, ahem, bosoms, also did old timey jokes. Why? Cause this weird, crass, renegade also loves the rat pack and martinis, and wearing tuxes. He seemed comfortable, and composed, and truly happy to be hosting. He had a great mix of wacky jokes (the flying nun thing), old timey jokes (the sound of music bit) crass jokes (the boob song, and his time as “Ted”) and especially self-deprecation. In fact, Seth mastered the one thing that COULD make you hate a guy like him. He’s stupid rich, talented, good looking, and hot right now. But he’s managed to poke fun at himself and show that he doesn’t take Seth too serious. It SHOULD keep people like me in his corner. And hopefully, aster his AMAZING turn as the Oscars host, he has more people in his corner than ever.