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Rate Seth MacFarlane’s Performance Tonight

Love him or hate him, Seth MacFarlane is making history tonight as the first (and probably last) animator to ever host an Academy Awards ceremony. Let’s document this unique moment in cartoon history. Does his performance match up to previous Oscar hosts? Better than Billy Crystal? Steve Martin? Carson? Hope? Which of Seth’s routines killed and which fell flat? Did he make references to his animation career in a positive or negative way? Share your thoughts with the animation community as you’re watching the ceremony tonight.

(Note: Any comments not directly related to Seth’s performance will be deleted. Seriously, don’t even try.)

  • wORK_

    Really? Seth is doing an excellent job so far and he hasn’t put on BLACK FACE like Mr. Crystal in his tribute to Sammy Davis during his past Oscar appearance.

  • I’m disappointed by McFarlane.
    Not a fan of his shows, really, but I had hopes for his hosting. It is the worst telecast in years so far.

  • Toonio

    Hopefully will be his last.

    Using the word animator on McFralane only diminishes the accomplishments of really talented and hard working animators like Chuck Jones, Ken Harris, Eric Goldberg, Glenn Keane and Milt Kahl just to name a few.

    • Taylor Armstrong

      “using the word animator..” Animators animate. From Newgrounds to Disney and back to art school, anyone animating is an animator. Calling someone what they are/were isn’t a disrespect to anyone else with the same title. Kudos name dropping though, you know so much about animation.

    • Logan

      I don’t agree. Seth has put hard work into his career. He worked for
      shows like Johnny Bravo, Cow & chicken and Dexter’s Laboratory
      before he got to make his own show’s. He has made shows that a lot of
      people love. He deserves the title of animator.

    • Woke Up Cranky

      Agreed. Jones always insisted that the term “animator” was a “gift word”. One that could only be bestowed on you by a more accomplished artist.

      • optimist

        Jones also lost no opportunity to be a wee bit pretentious about himself and his chosen profession. Just because he said it doesn’t make it so.

        • Woke Up Cranky

          Jones could also draw like a son of a bitch and directed some the finest animated cartoons of the 20th century. A wee bit pretentious? Sure. But compared to MacFarlane, he’s Frank F**king Capra.

    • JeanbearTheImmasculator

      “Animators” Used to say the same thing about Mike Judge and a host of others.

      • Bill “Danger” Robinson

        An animator is a person who creates animation. It does not denote good or bad animation.

  • jhalpernkitcat

    I’ve only caught a few snippets here and there. Yet I must say, that joke about John Wilkes Booth being the man who really got into Lincoln’s head was terrible.

    Otherwise, I don’t think he was terrible–nothing Earth shattering or fantastic, but he did have a few funny bits here and there.

    • George_Cliff

      Too soon?

  • Bradesign

    Sorry… But I think he is great. I was not a fan of Ted. But that makes no difference. He CAN sing. He is quick on his feet and the jokes are what you expect… even tame for him. Loved the Von Trapp piece. Haven’t laughed this much since Steve Martin hosted.

  • Kelly

    I grew up with Billy Crystal hosting so he’ll always be my favorite. As for Seth, some dud jokes aside, I think he’s doing just fine. Certainly not the worst.

    I hope the sock puppet version of “Flight” gets uploaded somewhere. That gave me the biggest laugh tonight.

  • Lexi

    Crass and tasteless.

  • When you say “polished”, are you referring to wORK’s comment (above)?

  • juliem

    Absolutely loved him. In fact he kept me from changing the channel. Who knew the guy was so talented in so many other areas! He knocked it out of the park.

    • Totally agree loved him. Better than Jon Stewart’s. So many haters. Guess they are just jealous of success.

      • Why does disliking his hosting of the Oscars make someone jealous of his success. It has nothing to do with his success. That is the one thing you can’t take away from the guy. He has built an insane career for himself and your cant ignore that but his jokes just don’t strike me as clever or creative and not meant for the Oscars. I don’t blame them for picking him. It was a interesting choice and worth the risk. But now we’ve seen what you get and that is the last one he’ll host.

        • George_Cliff

          It’s the meme-de-jour.
          If you don’t like someone successful’s work, invariably someone simplistically attributes your opinion to petty jealousy.

  • Chris

    Seth McFarlane needs to stand there, stop shifting his weight, and face down the camera.

    If I am “inviting someone into my living room,” I don’t like it when it looks like they need to take a pee.

  • More loved than Letterman was.
    I’m surprised he was picked. I guess he represents a shift from 70’s-80’s Hollywood to 21st Century Hollywood.

  • TJ

    MacFarlane’s John Wilkes Booth/Lincoln joke was unforgivable. It shows that MacFarlane is not only shallow but stupid. He ruined the Oscars for me. A worthless host.

  • He might be an animator, but I always found his humour tasteless. Word vomiting and disrespectful comments are not the greatest form of entertainment in my book.

    • Ivan

      I thought we were only allowed to just discuss his performance last night.

    • John B. Ludwick

      I’ve got two scenarios:

      1) I’m sure he seemed an appropriate choice ratings-wise to the powers-that-be at the Oscars. But these people are probably not animators, not fans of his shows, and don’t know that Seth’s “Family Guy” is just “The Simpsons” regurgitated with less acumen.

      2) I’m sure he seemed an appropriate choice because the Oscar powers-that-be were BIG fans of “Family Guy”, and marveled at how the intelligence and wit shamed that displayed in the “The Simpsons”. Now I know the Oscars no longer serve their function in culture.

  • Ness

    I wasn’t amused by his casually(?) misogynistic humor, but that’s Seth MacFarlane for you, I suppose? Otherwise he was a pretty entertaining host, it was fun to see his singing and performing talents.

    • George_Cliff

      The word misogyny is so overused these days to the point that it is losing its meaning. While his humor was trite, flat, and perhaps disrespectful, it fell far short of actual misogyny. Let’s dial back the hair trigger on the sexism bullhorn.

  • Katherine

    REALLY? .This is the best we get?? No class to a classy event – A disgrace and not funny. Crass. Embarrassing to the rest of the world watching. America sank to a new low his performance.. Spare us the junior high, bathroom humor… Seth is successfully dumbing down America one show at a time.

  • Leon Chen

    I enjoyed it. Most of the jokes fell flat, but they’ve been that way for most of the hosts anyways. There were some gems that really made it for me, such as his self-deprecating humor in the opening, his constant shout-outs to the people behind the ceremony (that may or may not be his decision), and like Bradesign said, the Sound of Music reference was the best joke of the night.

  • TJR

    Steve Martin has always been my favorite (and the funniest host), but I think that Seth is doing fine. That “Sound of Music” gag was GREAT! One thing that impressed me is that each time he did a joke that brought groans or gasps (Like the actor who got into Lincoln’s brain or the one about Mel Gibson) he managed to find a good comeback.

    • Correction – the team of writers backstage found a good comeback, which they sent to Seth via his earpiece.

  • atc483

    Wonderful singing voice (I didn’t know he could belt). I see he still couldn’t resist the “Family Guy” brand of “humor” though-but that aside he wasn’t so bad. Liked them tonight (mainly cause my fave film won three awards and that musical tribute was awesome).

  • Ivan

    He made Tommy Lee Jones laugh in the first five minutes. He knew how to frame tasteless jokes in a tasteful manner. And the Von Trapp joke was brilliant. I thought he did a great job hosting, and you could tell the audience really enjoyed it.

  • Using classic letter grades, I would rate Seth’s performance a ‘C’. For comparison, Billy Crystal and Steve Martin would get ‘A-‘ and ‘B+’ grades, and Letterman would get a ‘C-‘ grade.
    If I grade each joke or routine, I see Crystal and Martin being fairly consistent, with jokes generally falling in the A, B, and C grades; hence the good average score.
    McF, on the other hand, is inconsistent. His jokes and routines are all over-the-place. From A (like the sock puppet or Sound of Music) to F (like the Lincoln and Ted routine). McF’s also exposed his hatred and disrespect for various peoples and groups in some of the ‘jokes’, especially in the Ted routine. And, the Lincoln reference, among others, showed his weird attraction to death and killing. I wasn’t the only one who observed this in Seth; Ben Stein’s editorial also commented on Seth’s venom hiding behind ‘comedy’.

  • Not Harrison Ford

    I never understand what people want from an Oscar host. Every year the internet acts like it was the worst thing ever. MacFarlane did a fine job

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Seth McFarlane is an animator? Seriously? I thought he was a producer.

  • Tony

    Personally, I always felt McFarlane is better as a performer than as a writer or animator. I found he stroke a fine balance between the vulgar wit of his TV shows and the classiness demanded of the event. Not the best host the Oscars ever had, but hardly the disaster predicted in the opening monologue (which at least earns some points for originality).

  • Marie

    Misogynistic, adolescent and overall lacking in cleverness.

  • Ben

    I thought it was better than I expected it to be. The problem wasn’t him so much as the bad jokes. He can’t be blamed for all of that, as there were many writers. They had to go tame, but there were a few bombs. I thought overall though that he was OK, and better than some of the previous hosts…including Anne Hathaway and James Franco…

  • Roberto González

    I’m not a fan of the guy but I thought he was ok. A little tame in my opinion, but maybe Oscars are not ready for Ricky Gervais or Tina Fey. MacFarlane has a good singing voice and he feels secure as a host. But I was expecting more jokes and satiric musical numbers, instead we got just a lot of regular songs. Also he didn’t really bring a lot of animation references, or at all. He didn’t even make the voices of his Family Guy characters.

    Also, with The Simpsons being nominated, I would have liked to see a nod to it . Maybe a clip with Stewie and Maggie or something. Anyway Ted was there but it was a little short. In the first part MacFarlane brought some of his trademarks with the freak Star Trek humor and the futuristic predictions but the rest of the time he didn’t have a lot to do. I agree that he managed to disguise the tasteless jokes as something harmless and he made Tommy Lee Jones laugh.

    This is the first Award ceremony I’ve watched in a while, the other recent one was Anne Hathaway and James Franco, and Seth did it much better. But I have the feeling there’s just so much the host can do. The general ‘script’ of the ceremony was not very creative and it lacked unexpected moments.

  • I think he’s a talented guy, a fact I wouldn’t know based on Family guy alone. But I want to see the oscars and all award shows get back to basics, Everyone has to be funny and this wastes time. I caught the begining at the boob song; thought that was funny. After the dance I was thinking this was enough; get on with the presentation.

  • William Dunn

    Wasn’t the Lincoln joke (and the comeback) an old Johnny Carson bit?

  • Gray64

    I’ve read a lot of complaints online about the MacFarlane’s extremely un-PC humor, to which I’m forced to ask: What did people expect? Seth MacFarlane went up on stage and behaved like Seth MacFarlane. He’s not going to go up on the Oscar stage and magically turn into Noel Coward.

    • The Mathter

      Seth MacFarlane and Noel Coward… now what could THEY possibly have in common!!??

  • I think we’re at the height of cynicism in showbiz now. A change in what we perceive as comedy is much needed. What Seth did wasn’t comedy. At all. It was a heckling, condescending and out-dated mess. Like some current SNL sketch, but without the self-awareness. As a man, I feel ashamed.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Is that a statement of fact or a straight line? ;)

  • Ivan

    I find it odd for an animation site to discuss Seth Mcfarlane’s hosting job, when not a word has been spoken about the wonderful job done in animating “Ted” on stage at the Oscars. That was the most seamless live action/animation broadcast sequence I have seen at the Oscars show, ever. Kudos to Mcfarlane and Tipett Studios!

    • Polecat

      The Ted that appeared at the broadcast looked animatronic to me. Was it really animated?

  • Nick Name

    Pretty much what you’d expect from MacFarlane. A little tasteless, a little offensive, sometimes funny, occasionally lame. Like his animation. I assume the academy got exactly what they expected. If they had wanted mild inoffensive hosting, they could have asked Conan. Maybe they did. Not everyone wants a gig where they will be instantly dissected and dissed.
    Meanwhile, he’s a really good singer, a passable dancer, and a first-rate songwriter. And the “Flight” and “Ted” bits were really funny and original. He certainly deserves another go at it. If he wants it..

  • jmwalter

    why “LAST” ?

  • caricaturist

    The funniest I have seen in many years – great jokes and solid delivery… But then, I enjoy his work…

  • Polecat

    I expeced him to be more drop-dead obnoxious, but I didn’t find him as offensive as I thought he would be. Actually, he got kind of boring. At least he wasn’t as irritating as Conan O’Brien. The Ted bit made me roll my eyes, but none of it seemed truly horrifying to me…on the other hand, not much seemed truly funny either. And I can think of worse (and funnier) Lincoln/Booth jokes.

  • Polecat

    I came in an hour late, so maybe I missed some really awful race jokes? What happened?

  • Larry Lauria

    I found some of his humor in tasteless… The joke about Lincoln and Booth was really stupid. A president was assassinated – where’s the humor in that?