It looks like the Academy Awards are making a real concerted effort to attract the younger viewers; this year Seth MacFarlane will host the Oscars. MacFarlane, best known as the creator of Family Guy, has been seemingly everywhere over the past few months: his first film Ted came out this summer, he hosted the premiere of Saturday Night Live (beautifully I might add), and made a much talked-about gaffe at the Emmy's.
The last time the Oscars attempted a truly "young-friendly" host was when Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-hosted the ceremony in 2011. The evening was a critical and ratings disaster. In 2012 Eddie Murphy was slated to host but pulled out last minute after the show's producer resigned amid controversy over his use of anti-gay slurs. Billy Crystal, who has hosted numerous times, stepped in for Murphy.
The choice of MacFarlane is symbolic in more ways than one. In addition to his youth appeal, MacFarlane is also more acknowledged as a creator of entertainment than a performer. Website The Wrap made this symbolic move crystal clear writing, "Every single Oscar host from 1942 until Monday's announcement was best-known for a performing career. MacFarlane certainly has that kind of career, as a standup comic, an actor, and even a singer, but in his case the performances have been overshadowed by his success as a creator and showrunner." Another noteworthy piece of the MacFarlane new is that he is best known for his work on the Academy's rival medium: television.
Some obvious credits for MacFarlane are his ability to sing and dance, which will make the opening number one to remember. MacFarlane's top-notch hosting debut on Saturday Night Live showcased these abilities, as well as his easy manner and hosting charm.
Speculation that the show's producers chose MacFarlane in order to attract the young male demographic was quickly dismissed by the show's producer Craig Zadan: "Nothing could be further from the truth ... we were looking for somebody who had the diversity of talents to pull off what we wanted to do. We never thought about demographics. We just needed somebody who was going to be fantastic in the show we wanted to produce."
MacFarlane, for his part, has already taken to the internet to begin the Oscar comedy:
What do you think? Is MacFarlane a good choice? Do you really believe this isn't a ratings move?