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Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the wildly popular Family Guy who also had a huge hit this summer with Ted, has been selected by the Academy to host next year's Oscar ceremony on February 24.
In the official announcement the show's producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, promised that MacFarlane would be the "consummate host," and that his performing skills "blend perfectly with our ideas for making the show entertaining and fresh." MacFarlane, who provides many of the voices on Family Guy and has also recorded an album of him singing jazz standards, had this to say:
"My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don't find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen Roast."
As someone who's part-old school song and dance man (like Oscar host Hugh Jackman before him) and part "hip with the kids" comedian (like would-be host Eddie Murphy, or previous host Jon Stewart), MacFarlane is pretty much a perfect blend of the two impulses of any Oscar show: entertain the older viewers who are likely to watch it, and lure in the younger audiences who might be harder to get. It also helps that MacFarlane has Ted behind him, one of the biggest hits of the summer movie season and proof that he can appeal to audiences beyond the loyal Family Guy fan base.
I'll be writing more about MacFarlane's hiring, as well as what we might be able to expect from his Oscar gig, in tomorrow's Oscar Eye column. In the meantime let us know in the comments if you think he's a good choice, and if someone who's never hosted an awards show before can be up to the massive challenge of the Academy Awards.