The saviour of the Academy Awards?
The past two Oscars have been dreadful. Billy Crystal’s return last year was deemed “a pallid sequel – a ghost of Oscars past” by Hollywood bible Variety, while Anne Hathaway and James Franco’s attempt to bring in a younger audience in 2011 was a legendary disaster. The producers, therefore, are at least assured that MacFarlane can’t possibly do any worse.
But do audiences even know who he is?
They may not know his face, but his voice is instantly recognisable. Not only is he the creator of the risqué animated series Family Guy, but he also voiced a great many of its characters, including the Homer Simpson-like Peter Griffin. Last year, he directed the blockbuster comedy Ted, giving the foul-mouth- ed toy bear his Boston drawl opposite Mark Wahlberg.
So are we in for an R-rated ceremony?
MacFarlane has enlisted his team of Family Guy writers to help with his jokes on the evening, but he is unlikely to unsettle Hollywood’s elite as much as Ricky Gervais did when the British comedian fronted the Golden Globes. MacFarlane has already said in an interview with the Associated Press that he’s fully aware the show is being broadcast on the US channel ABC – one of Disney’s many tentacles – “So you won’t be seeing any [penis] jokes.”
Adding to his workload is a new element to the show – a closing number, for which he will have to sing live on stage. Among the singers taking the stage on Sunday are Adele, Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Hudson, so no pressure…
Let’s hope it goes well!
In MacFarlane’s case, it doesn’t matter. He’s got Ted 2 coming up, and he’s also directing a Blazing Saddles-style Western with Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried.