Seth MacFarlane, really?!
Here are six more questions raised by Monday's unexpected Oscar-host announcement (and, yes, technically, the above question isn't so much a question as a gasp):
1. Wait, Wasn't This Supposed to Be the Musical-Theater Oscars? Maybe it still will be. After all, Chicago's Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are still producers, and MacFarlane presumably still knows all the words to "Shipoopi."
2. Is MacFarlane Going to Turn the Show Into Family Guy? No, MacFarlane tells the Hollywood Reporter.
3. Does MacFarlane Have Enough Movie Cred to Host? He's got enough cred with movie audiences to sell $400 million worth of tickets worldwide to Ted, but if you want to convince yourself otherwise, here's a fun factoid (gleaned from the same Hollywood Reporter interview): MacFarlane will be the first Oscar host since Ellen DeGeneres to make his hosting debut and telecast debut at the same time. Here's another fun factoid: DeGeneres hosted one of the four most-watched Oscars of the last 10 years.
4. Is Hosting Saturday Night Live Officially a Prerequisite to Hosting the Oscars? Kinda sorta. Since the dawn of the Billy Crystal era, only David Letterman and Whoopi Goldberg have taken the Oscar stage as host without previously having done the same on SNL. James Franco and Anne Hathaway scored the ultimate emcee gig expressly because of their work on the comedy show. MacFarlane, fresh from his (shockingly charming) appearance at the Charlie Sheen roast, hosted SNL's Sept. 15 season premiere, and got great reviews doing so. In case you're wondering why Lindsay Lohan didn't get tapped by Zadan and Meron, it should be stated that successfully hosting SNL is the key.
5. Will Women Watch MacFarlane? While this question (correctly) presumes MacFarlane is a dude magnet, it also presumes women don't like dudes who are dude magnets. The truth is women, who drive the ratings for the Oscars and the preshows, will watch anyone, man or woman, if there are nominated stars who drive them to their TVs. (The year Jon Stewart got saddled with No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood and a bunch of other non-Brad Pitt movies? Eh, they didn't tune in so much.) Another thing: Family Guy is hardly chick-repellant. On Sunday, its season premiere outdrew The Good Wife among women 18-34, and put up a fight with Revenge for that same group. (Both Revenge and Family Guy got killed in the demo by that most feminine of shows: Sunday Night Football.)
6. My Grandma Doesn't Know Who Seth MacFarlane Is, Isn't That Bad? The 50-plus crowd is both the most likely group to turn on the TV, and the least likely to tune in MacFarlane's slate of Fox shows, so, no, your grandma has no idea who MacFarlane is. But thanks to the old, white men who decide the Oscar contenders, there'll be so many films to catch your mawmaw's eye she probably won't even mind confusing the nice young man in the tuxedo for the clean-shaven Ricky Gervais.