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It's a good year for people who like to see unexpected names take over awards show, now that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has been tapped to host the Oscars, while at the Golden Globes old pals and funny ladies Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will be holding court. It gives a lot of reason to be excited about both shows in a way we wouldn't be otherwise, but of course it raises the undeniable opportunity to have a big ol' argument about it.
Katey has already stepped up with some tentative optimism about MacFarlane's potential as an Oscar host, but like a lot of people, she immediately jumped to Team Poehler and Fey when that news broke. Mack, on the other hand, has some strong arguments for sticking with MacFarlane. So, in the Great Debate of the awards show hosts, who will win out? Check out our conversation below, then vote for yourself in the poll.
KATEY: It's crazy to me that anyone would even think that Seth MacFarlane could be a better awards show host than Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. MacFarlane had one stint hosting SNL and a few Friars Club roasts and everyone assumed he could handle the Oscars. Fey and Poehler have spent decades performing in front of audiences, writing their own jokes, doing anything for a laugh-- in Poehler's case, that involved rapping in front of Sarah Palin while nine months pregnant. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler can do anything, and they've proven it over and over again. MacFarlane happens to have had a hit movie this year and once released an album of his own singing. How is this even a contest?
MACK: Poehler and Fey’s willingness to do “anything for a laugh” might be a blessing for 30 Rock, Parks & Rec and SNL, but overtly trying too hard at an awards show has always been a bad decision. The effortlessly cool card is what works because elaborate set-ups and high concept ideas don’t always play very well with an audience of celebrities not prone to laughter. Fey and Poehler putting their heads together might offer fans a few brilliant moments, but the partnership is also begging for awkward fails too. MacFarlane, on the other hand, is the epitome of professionalism. He’s like a lounge singer. He can do comedy, impressions, singing, etc, and while that might not offer anything new, it’s a guaranteed B+. Sometimes staying put at 16 is the right call.
KATEY: Wait, we're talking "effortlessly cool" here? I can't think of anyone more effortlessly cool than Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, and that includes the fact that they're on TV every week doing crazy shit. They are willing to go the extra mile, but even when they do have those awkward fails, they know how to step out of it-- they're cool enough to recover from embarrassment, and they've got the background in improv to recover from it more than anyone else. I do think MacFarlane is a good showman, but he's going to have a lot to prove on Oscar night, whereas Tina Fey and Amy Poehler know that we know they're awesome, and will be able to pull out some risky, awesome stuff with confidence they can get over it if it doesn't work.
MACK: I see what you’re saying here, but I still can’t shake the feeling that Poehler and Fey’s “extra mile” will come off as less than professional. Part of the reason why MacFarlane appeals to me so much is that award shows are about more than being funny. They’re about timing the show out, making the transitions seamless and keeping the energy up. I have confidence in him getting in and getting out, making jokes amidst the endless winner announcements without seeming like he’s upsetting the overall tone. I feel like I know what he’s going to give me, and I have no fucking idea what a Poehler and Fey broadcast might be. Are you really pumped about opening that mystery box?
KATEY: Yes! And this kind of goes back to why, secretly, the Globes are always more fun than the Oscars. They're less important, they're looser-- everyone's drinking!-- and have way more potential to be entertaining. I think I might have more doubts about Poehler & Fey's style if they were trying hard to class it up for the Oscars-- as I think MacFarlane will do-- but when it comes to which awards show will be more fun to watch, there's no question for me.
MACK: I’ll tell you what. You hold onto that carefree, whimsical excitement. I’ll hold onto my confidence in MacFarlane’s polished excellence. Four months from now, let’s meet back here to discuss what happened. I’ll bring the booze, and you can bring the sheepish apology.
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