Seth MacFarlane is already guaranteed the spotlight on Oscar night, where he'll be stepping in as the host of the lavish awards ceremony. Now he'll be at the center of attention when the nominations go out as well. The Academy announced today that MacFarlane, joined by Emma Stone, will announce this year's Oscar nominees early in the morning this Thursday, in a press conference that will be broadcast live on TV starting at 8:30 am EST.

Stone's choice is no surprise, since the Academy usually wrangles some sort of big name to make the announcement, but it's exceedingly rare for the host of the ceremony to also pitch in for the nominations-- in fact the last person to do that was Charlton Heston, when he hosted the ceremony in 1972 (side note: what???). The Academy doesn't given an answer for why they've got MacFarlane doing double duty, but they might be aiming to convince viewers that MacFarlane has what it takes to be a host. After all, plenty of people were skeptical when MacFarlane was chosen for the gig, and people who might know him only as the man and the voices behind Family Guy might need some time seeing him stand up behind a microphone to believe he has what it takes.

Of course, that requires those skeptics to actually stay awake-- the Oscar nominations are announced at a notoriously brutal hour on the West Coast, and it's not even much easier on the East Coast, where you're typically just having your first cup of coffee. But we'll be on hand bright and early to bring you the nominees this Thursday, and maybe we'll have some thoughts on MacFarlane's brief performance as well.

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