I’m one of those film geeks who’s obsessed with the Oscars. Every year, I look forward to the ceremony and seeing filmmakers win awards that I can only dream of being nominated for. The winners have the easy part—the hard part of the Academy Awards goes to the host. They have to be funny, multi-talented, and someone the entire audience is familiar with. I was surprised when the Academy announced Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and Ted, was going to be hosting the 2013 ceremony. I knew he was not going to be everyone’s favorite because a) he’s not Billy Crystal and b) not everyone has the same sense of humor as he does.
After watching the show, I thought he did a decent job. He was almost as good as Crystal, but no one will ever be as good as he was. I liked a lot of MacFarlane’s jokes, especially the one about John Wilkes Booth and MacFarlane’s response to his audience’s reaction. What impressed me was that as soon as the ceremony started, he addressed how everyone does not prefer his humor and how he has a tendency to be offensive. Of course, I’m talking about the boob song. I loved the boob song. I know not everyone did, but it was ridiculous and crude, which I admit I like sometimes. I am also well aware that a lot of hard-core feminists were very offended by the tune. The song was not to make fun of actresses who were topless in their films, but to make fun of MacFarlane and the brand of humor he is known for. He was not trying to belittle Charlize Theron or Meryl Streep by giving a shout out to their boobs. He was acknowledging that the boob song would be something he hypothetically would do, and that he knew something of the same caliber would be negatively reviewed. I would also like to acknowledge that I liked that MacFarlane pointed out how many films Kate Winslet is naked in. She’s naked in a lot, which I find admirable because my clothes stay on when a camera’s around.
I also realize that MacFarlane made more jokes about women than he did about men during the night. I’m not saying it’s an awful thing, but he could have made a lot of good jokes about other nominees and attendees that are male. More people than just George Clooney and Daniel Day-Lewis could’ve been made fun of. Macfarlane could have poked fun at the other nominees, such as the directors or writers. I was expecting a joke about Claudio Miranda, the cinematographer who won a statue for Life of Pi. That guy had longer hair than me. One of my friends even made a comment on how badly they wanted to see what he looked like with a French braid.
Some of his jokes were spot on and I applaud him for doing something so many people he would royally mess up. I think he did a great job as the Oscar host. He made jokes about how long the ceremony was, something I’ve been waiting for the last five years. He made jokes about Entertainment Weekly that I loved. He even brought a slight old Hollywood feeling when he sang.
Everyone has to keep in mind that his job as a comedian is to make people laugh. His humor is going to be tailored to the masses and won’t accommodate the minority. He’s going to make some crude jokes to get viewers. He did make some very witty, intellectual jokes, something that’s important to keep in mind. He has the propensity to demonstrate all different kinds of humor, but this particular comedian is not squeaky-clean like Bill Cosby and he’s going to make some jokes that not everyone’s going to love. A comedian can’t make people laugh if he/she plays it safe all the time, and MacFarlane had to take some risks to get big laughs.
As for the people who found MacFarlane’s comedy to be sexist, I think they’re over-analyzing what he did. He was trying to make people laugh, not throw in hidden misogynistic remarks. He is also male and is going to lean towards making more fun of the opposite sex just as female comedians can sometimes make fun of men. All I can say is that at least he didn’t make a poop joke.
Terri Bulan is a Writing for Film and Television major (WTF for short) and a Psychology minor. She enjoys long walks on the beach (seriously), puppies, nutella, & horror movies. Her writing inspiration comes from her intrinsic need to entertain people and thus tricking them into liking her and being her friends.