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Seth MacFarlane Is 2013 Oscar Host. A History On Black Hosts + Blacks Who Could've Hosted

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 1, 2012 at 2:39PM

Earlier today, it was announced that Seth MacFarlane will host the 85th Academy Awards. This will be MacFarlane’s first appearance on Oscar’s stage.
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Eddie Oscar

Earlier today, it was announced that Seth MacFarlane will host the 85th Academy Awards. This will be MacFarlane’s first appearance on Oscar’s stage.

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 telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “He will be the consummate host, and we are so happy to be working with him.

MacFarlane made his feature directorial debut this summer with the box office success Ted, which he also co-wrote, produced and voiced the title character. Ted has brought in over $420 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of the year.

MacFarlane is also the creative force behind the television series Family Guy, co-creator of American Dad! and The Cleveland Show.

In September he hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time, for the show’s 38th season premiere. 

And with today's news, I thought we'd revisit my post looking at black performers who've hosted the show in the past, as well as who could have been selected as hosts, instead of MacFarlane.

In the 84 years of Academy Awards celebrations, only 5 African Americans have hosted the ceremony - Sammy Davis Jr in 1972 (although it was a team effort - he co-hosted with Helen Hayes, Alan King, and Jack Lemmon; he would co-host again in 1974, in another team effort), Diana Ross in 1974 (again, also a team effort, co-hosting with John Huston, Burt Reynolds and David Niven), Richard Pryor in 1977 (another team effort with Warren Beatty, Ellen Burstyn and Jane Fonda; he would co-host again in 1983, in another team effort), Whoopi Goldberg in 1994 (and again in 1996, 1999 and 2002, making her the record-holder in terms of African Americans who have hosted the most, and really THE first solo black host of the show), and finally Chris Rock in 2004.

Eddie Murphy would have made it 6 if  he didn't jump ship after assigned producer Brett Ratner had to resign, thanks to his dumb homophobic comment.

And from available info, it looks like Eddie would have still been a potential candidate worth considering for the job. The question is whether he did indeed hurt his chances, because of his last stunt.

Might he get another shot? Certainly not for the next Oscars ceremony in 2012, since MacFarlane is the guy. But I'd love to see what an Eddie Murphy-hosted Academy Awards event would look, sound and feel like.

I doubt Ratner would be asked to produce again; but based on his first comment above, it looks like Eddie would likely still host even if Ratner isn't producing.

But other than Eddie Murpy, who else of African descent could the Academy have considered? I wouldn't have minded seeing Chris Rock get a second opportunity. I think he was maybe a bit too edgy at times for the crowd, the first time he hosted, but I liked that about his presentation. Although some of his opening monologue jokes fell flat. 

Maybe Whoopi Goldberg could've gotten a 5th try at the job - assuming she'd even be interested.

Oprah Winfrey was once rumored to have been approached as well in recent years? What about her?

Samuel L. Jackson is another possibility. His, at times, hilarious, and honest Olympics tweets have been getting lots of attention from the press. I've seen entire articles written about them. Plus his recent Wake The F&%K Up Obama ad will likely become a political ad classic. I could see him having a lot of fun on stage as host.

How about Arsenio Hall? His *day* has passed, we could say; but at one time, I could've seen him hosting. And now that he's heading back to late night TV (although not until 2013), this could be a good launching pad for that. But the Academy doesn't exactly consider itself a "launching pad" for anyone.

Some other names that you folks mentioned most that you'd like to see include: Jamie Foxx, Donald Glover, Will Smith, and Dave Chapelle!

Academy Awards 2012 will be presented on SundayFebruary 242013, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®. Don Mischer will direct the telecast for the third consecutive time. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

Let's see how Seth MacFarlane, which I would say was a completely unexpected choice, handles it.


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