He sang, danced, made some insults and managed to be self-deprecating in his 15-minute-plus intro at the 85th Academy Awards.
Seth MacFarlane was arguably a "risky" choice as host for the sometimes stiff Academy. "What would he do?" many thought before going into the 2013 Oscars. Apparently, a lot.
With an opening song, called "We Saw Your Boobs," the "Family Guy" creator did not disappoint in terms of edginess, calling out actresses who have gone topless on the big screen. MacFarlane also dressed as a flying nun in another taped sketch with "Lincoln" star Sally Field, which ended with the two kissing.
"I honestly can't believe I'm here," MacFarlane said, adding, "It's an honor that everyone else said 'no.' From Oprah all the way to Ron Jeremy."
MacFarlane then went through the best picture nominees, lobbing jabs all around, including one at the Academy itself, which neglected to nominate Ben Affleck in the best director category.
"The film is so top secret that the film's director is unknown to the Academy," MacFarlane said to a lot of applause. "They know they screwed up."
He went on to mention how winning an Oscar can lead to a successful career. "Last year Jean Dujardin won best actor for 'The Artist' -- and look now he's everywhere," MacFarlane joked.
When speaking about Quentin Tarantino's violent film, "Django Unchained," MacFarlane said Chris Brown and Rihanna would call it "a date movie."
MacFarlane also called out "Silver Linings Playbook" star Jennifer Lawrence, who had joked at the Golden Globes that she beat Meryl Streep for best actress. "Whether I win or lose, it's an honor Meryl Streep wasn't nominated," MacFarlane said about Lawrence on Sunday.
Things got more interesting when a video screen emerged onstage, featuring actor William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk of "Star Trek," who proceeded to "look into the future" to forecast that MacFarlane would be dubbed the "worst Oscars host ever."
"Your jokes are tasteless and inappropriate, and everyone ends up hating you," said Shatner, noting, "I'm here to stop you from doing what you're about to do."
That prompted MacFarlane to show off his song and dance skills, performing "The Way You Look Tonight," with Charlize Theron and "Magic Mike" star Channing Tatum. Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt then joined MacFarlane for a version of "High Hopes."
MacFarlane attempted to keep his humor going throughout the night, at one point joking that the Oscars ceremony, which is held on Sunday, is like church, "but only with with more people praying."
"Our next presenter portrayed a raging alcoholic in the movie '28 Days,' which is kind of a weird coincidence because I'm going to be playing one in about an hour and a half," he said when introducing presenter Sandra Bullock.
Later, MacFarlane managed to make an Abraham Lincoln joke, reminding viewers that actor Raymond Massey was an Oscar nominee for 1940's "Abe Lincoln in Illinois." "I would argue that the actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth," MacFarlane said. "A hundred and 50 years later, and it's still too soon?"
"It's a balance between not being completely dismissive of the ceremony, but at the same time, injecting a little bit of a lighter sensibility than maybe we've seen in the past," MacFarlane told The Associated Press in the days leading up to the ceremony. ''The Oscars does have a history of taking itself so deadly seriously. And while it obviously is a ceremony that's important to the people involved, you know we're not curing cancer here. So if there's any subtle reminder that I'll try to inject into the show tonally, it would be that."
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