Moments after Seth MacFarlane was announced as host of the 85th Academy Awards on Monday, the Family Guy
creator posted a video on Twitter showing him breaking the big news to
his father. But Ronald MacFarlane seemed more interested in passing on
hand-me-down bathing suits to his son.
He was definitely in the minority.
"I've been deluged with terrific e-mails and texts saying 'congrats!' " MacFarlane says. "And my father, he's come around, too."
news of MacFarlane serving as host for Hollywood's biggest night - the
Oscars will air Feb. 24 - has been greeted like a fresh breeze during
Southern California's autumn heat wave. MacFarlane, 38, recently showed
he can shake up the industry with his first feature film, Ted, a
bawdy comedy for which he was director and voice of the lead character.
It grossed $434 million worldwide to become the summer's surprise hit.
says he hopes show organizers overlooked the fact that he hosted the
highly off-color Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen in 2011. Sorry,
Seth, they saw it.
But during a conference call Monday, producers
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said they were excited about the spark - and
audience boost - that MacFarlane could bring to the show.
"We embrace everything about Seth," says Meron.
during a time when the Oscar program is seeking a bigger proportion of
the shrinking youth audience, MacFarlane could be a big draw. "We want
the broadest audience for the show," adds Meron. "This host just
increases that audience."
MacFarlane has promised that he will walk a different line with the Oscar crowd.
tone is something we're really going to be very conscientious of," says
MacFarlane. "The trick will be to stay honest about what I do, but at
the same time recognize that this is the Academy Awards. Some adaptation
will be necessary."
MacFarlane says it took very little convincing to bring him on board.
the kind of thing you don't say no to unless you're completely insane,"
he says. "To say I was surprised would be an understatement. But I felt
comfortable saying yes."
It's too early in the process to give
show specifics. But MacFarlane jokes that he will don one of his
father's swim trunks for the opening numbers ("I think the green one
with the white stripe"). And MacFarlane, who sang standards on his 2011
debut album, Music Is Better Than Words, concedes, "There's nothing I love more than being around orchestras. That's something we'll be making use of, I'm sure."
As for notorious bad boy and roastee Sheen, even he might be welcome to the big show.
"Oh, let him in for God's sake," MacFarlane told his producers.
"If he buys a ticket," says Zadan, "we'll consider it."