"Ted" director and "Family Guy" creator to host 85th ceremony
"Ted" director and "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, better known for his work behind the camera than in front of it, will host the Oscars.
MacFarlane is no stranger to performing: He voices many of his "Family Guy" characters and hosted "Saturday Night Live" for the first time with this season's premiere. He also hosted last year's Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen. But his selection still breaks a long tradition of choosing an actor or comedian with an instantly recognizable face to host the ceremony.
MacFarlane, 38, injects youthful energy into a ceremony that has struggled to appeal to a younger audience. James Franco and Anne Hathaway received poor marks for their attempt to do that two years ago. Eddie Murphy dropped out last year, leaving Billy Crystal to once again take up his familiar role as host.
MacFarlane's show, "Family Guy," has a young following, as did his summer hit, "Ted," which paired Mark Wahlberg with a grown-up teddy bear voiced by MacFarlane. The film has earned $420 million worldwide.
Telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced MacFarlane's new gig Monday.
"We are thrilled to have Seth MacFarlane host the Oscars. His performing skills blend perfectly with our ideas for making the show entertaining and fresh," said Zadan and Meron. "He will be the consummate host, and we are so happy to be working with him."
"It's truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars," said MacFarlane. "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."
Academy President Hawk Koch praised MacFarlane as "unbelievably talented."
"We couldn't be happier with the creative team we've assembled," he said. "With Craig, Neil, and now Seth, we're off to a great start."
The 85th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, Feb. 24, on the ABC Television Network.