“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane will host the Oscars on Sunday, and I for one am excited that despite the award show’s redundant failure in entertaining us over the past several years, this time, it’s going to be a good show.
I’ll have to admit that my only previous knowledge of Seth was watching him as a guest on Bill Maher’s HBO show. He was always smart and engaging, not to mention, sporting his all-American good-looks. Though I was aware of his cartoon series and had tried to watch it a few times – I didn’t quite get the talking dog and baby. Only after I saw his movie “Ted,” which is so wrong for all the right reasons, did I really get his sense of humor.
My eight-year old daughter and her friends started watching “Family Guy” and I’d find myself walking through the room and hearing grossly inappropriate things, that if actually understood by a child, would be mortifying. But my husband assured me that the fact that the mother of the family was on a mid-life crisis drug-induced partying tear and that Brian the dog –the literate conscious of the show –had constant meaningless sex with slutty twenty-year olds, was, to kids, a bunch of indecipherable strung-together words. It was the fart jokes and bleeped-out bad language that made them LOL. So, I just let my daughter watch and my hubby is right –she has no idea why the creepy old man next door is obsessed with the Griffin’s son Chris, and we grown-ups get the pleasure of the pop-culture and retro-trash references.
I now have broader insight into Seth’s work. He not only has a highly intelligent point-of-view, an ironic and brilliant sense of timing, and an ability to move in and out of voices as well as Hank Azaria, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of old-time movies and musicals, classic TV, and a vast repetroire of standard songs, which he regularly references and sings in his cartoon series and performs live in front of orchestras.
See this video of Seth performing “Singing in the Rain” –clearly his love for the music is not just a hobby.
Not too shabby, indeed.
There have been uninformed rumblings about Seth bringing his “Family Guy” writer’s team and brand to the Oscars, but I think if those people actually knew his work, they’d have rethought their position. The producers of the Academy Award Show got it well in advance and made an excellent choice in hiring him. I believe Seth MacFarlane is going to prove that he was born for this job and his hosting of the Oscars may be the start of a very happy marriage.
Pam Alster, former TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her novel debut Robin’s Blue available now in Kindle and Paperback. www.pamalster.com
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