MacFarlane asked to freshen up Oscars

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is the surprise choice to host the Oscar ceremony in 2013. Given the venom with which his animated series has satirised Hollywood royalty, it could make for a lively night.

His welcome into the Hollywood fold might have something to do with the astounding success of his scurrilous comedy Ted, a movie that has made around $450 million world wide.

"It's truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars," MacFarlane said. "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."

Sheen might be worried, although Family Guy has spread its vicious wit fairly widely in its choice of Hollywood targets. Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise should also be a little nervous about what to expect.

MacFarlane isn’t just about the jibes though. His accomplishments include a genuine talent for swing music. If the gags fall flat he can always move smoothly into a medley of show-tunes.

The choice of MacFarlane suggests that the Oscars organisers have realised that their ceremonies can be bland and dull, as well as overlong. "His performing skills blend perfectly with our ideas for making the show entertaining and fresh," producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said. "He will be the consummate host, and we are so happy to be working with him."

The test will be whether they will be quite so enthusiastic the morning after the ceremony.

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