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Seth MacFarlane Says He Won't Host The Oscars Again, 5 Suggestions For Who Could Replace Him

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by Kevin Jagernauth
February 26, 2013 1:30 PM
86 Comments
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While you can continue to debate the merits of Sunday night's Oscars hosted by Seth MacFarlane  -- as we did, breaking down the best/worst aspects, the snubs, how to improve the show, analyzed the winners and more -- the bottom line is the Academy got what they wanted by hiring the edgy, younger-skewing, "Family Guy" creator. The ratings for the show were up in 2013 with 40.3 million viewers tuning in, the highest figure since 41.3 million turned on their televisions to see if "Avatar" would win Best Picture. (It didn't.) Anyway, if the Academy wants to go with the same gameplan next year, they'll have to find someone else.

MacFarlane took to Twitter late last night, and when asked if he would host the Oscars again, he said: "No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though." Considering he pretty much exhausted the repetoire of comedy he's known for (button pushing repetitiveness, while occasionally crossing the line) and indulging in his love of musicals to an almost tedious degree, we'd reckon he accomplished everything he wanted to do, for better or worse. And with many perceiving his stint as sexist and possibly misogynistic, perhaps it's a good thing he's taken himself out of the mix.

So who could possibly replace him? Last summer, we suggested some possible hosts for this year's ceremony, so we borrowed from there and added a couple. We're assuming that Academy will want to skew young again, and go with a fresh face over some like Billy Crystal, so here's who we think they should be putting on speed dial. Suggestions of your own? Tell us below.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The actor has practically done two auditions for this already, hosting two successful stints on "Saturday Night Live" that showed him to be funny, engaging and immensely charming. His "Make 'Em Laugh" number from his first time out in 2009 is still a massive highlight, and it was no surprise to see him on stage on Sunday once again showing his dancing skills. He'd bring both class and charm to the proceedings, without dipping into the more tasteless corners MacFarlane went to. Moreover, he'd easily court that crucial younger demographic no matter what films -- arthouse or blockbuster -- are nominated.

Amy Poehler/Tina Fey or Will Ferrell/Kristin Wiig
After they kept things lively at the Golden Globes this year, the talk/wishing that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey get the Oscar gig started almost immediately. And it's hard to argue with that. The pair share great chemistry and are able to poke fun at themselves, as much as the celebrities in attendance (something MacFarlane should have learned). Moreover, especially in a year when an extended gag revolved around seeing breasts, it might be worthwhile for the Academy to make some amends and let the fresh voice(s) of a woman guide the Oscars. On the same spectrum, one of the highlights of the Golden Globes was Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig presenting Best Actress In A Comedy Or Musical. Again, they had no problem making themselves the center of the joke, and given their taut improv skills, they would be able to roll with anything that might happen during Oscar night.

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86 Comments

  • Thomas | April 20, 2013 5:39 AMReply

    Tommy Lee Jones would kill it lol

  • Chad O. | March 5, 2013 11:58 AMReply

    NORM MACDONALD

  • Smith | March 2, 2013 8:32 PMReply

    how about the muppets?

  • Hank | March 2, 2013 4:29 AMReply

    Conan O'Brien.

  • bob hawk | March 1, 2013 4:42 PMReply

    Seth just let go with too many duds -- jokes that were DOA. And his mortal wound (pun intended) was the John Wilkes Booth crack. Whatever was he thinking? In today's world?? Gordon-Levitt did a nimble job hosting the Sundance Awards, ingratiating and not trying to be funny. BUT, the Bob Hopes/Johnny Carsons of this world are no longer, and I say, let the women take over. They're savvier, sassier, and won't be so tight-assed, which is what so often happens when a dude puts on a tux. (Exceptions: Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman, who are SHOWMEN.) Bring on Amy & Tina, or bring back Whoopi & Bette (together). Or, to be really subversive, a generational cocktail of Lily Tomlin & Lena Dunham. I'd go for Jennifer Lawrence, but she's probably going to end up being nominated as many times as Meryl Streep -- and a whole evening of her snark may be a bit much (but in small doses, she's the most refreshing breeze to blow down the road in a long time).

  • kissfromfrance | March 1, 2013 1:09 PMReply

    Spassky, Jack : thank you, you're the only two who quoted Jim Carrey ! I'm french and I can tell you not a single french comic guy (on stage AND on screen) reaches his ankles. Maybe François Damiens, who some of you maybe saw in "L'Arnacoeur" with Romain Duris, but he's from Belgium. Anyway, Carrey is a magnificent artist, with a gift. He's a pretty underrated - or underemployed - comedian, with a great range. I saw some extracts of his 90s' one-man-shows, he was sensational ! He would be a memorable host even if, believe me, Seth MacFarlane was a million times better than Antoine De Caunes in Les César !

  • Mateus | February 27, 2013 11:37 PMReply

    Robert Downey Jr., always my pick when it comes to this question.

  • MissJess | February 27, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    Daniel Tosh duh people!!! Or may be Joe Coy that is one funny dude and alot of people don't know him so that would add to the excitement.

  • Alex | February 27, 2013 1:53 PMReply

    Frankie Boyle.

  • michelle | February 27, 2013 1:47 PMReply

    Jay Mohr, Justin Timberlake

  • Jeff | February 27, 2013 1:28 PMReply

    NPH....would be legen....wait for it....dary!!!

  • JimG. | February 27, 2013 12:58 PMReply

    I think if JGL and Emma Stone could work well together and not be the quagmire (giggity) Anne/James was, that pairing could actually work.

  • Francois | February 27, 2013 10:18 PM

    What about JLG (Jean-Luc Godard) and Emma Stone? I would watch that....

  • Nathan | February 27, 2013 12:52 PMReply

    I also forgot to add, Graham Norton!

  • Nathan | February 27, 2013 12:46 PMReply

    Chelsea Handler! She has had almost every Oscar nominee on her show by now anyway. Joan Rivers, Rebel Wilson, Sarah Silvervam, Kristen Wiig, Craig Ferguson, Conan O'Brien, Emma Stone/Jonah Hill would be fun (but it screams "trying to bring in a younger demographic"). OR Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

  • John Huerta | February 27, 2013 12:30 PMReply

    Seth McFarlane Has made a Point that He Would Not Do Oscars anymore But after the Rude Awakening He Gave to Some Actresses last Sunday Night I Think Oscar Needs a Change Especially With The Likes of Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Amy Pohler, Tina Fey, Billy Crystal or Even Drew Carey Would Be a Perfect Host or Co-Host of the Oscars For ABC Next Year.

  • TolerancEJ | February 27, 2013 11:56 AMReply

    I'd love to see Craig Ferguson host the Oscars one year. His late night show is the only one I watch on a regular basis.

  • spassky | February 27, 2013 11:14 AMReply

    I've said this for years, but I think Jim Carrey would be a phenomenal host.

  • rony | February 27, 2013 10:08 AMReply

    of all of seth's suggestions I would pick Jimmy Kimmel, but I think there are better choices.

  • ali | February 27, 2013 9:29 AMReply

    I don't care who host the Oscars( though Jimmy Kimmel is a good idea) as long as it's not Will Ferrell. Will Ferrell can only be tolerated for 5 minutes after that it is torture watching him.

  • KS | February 27, 2013 8:31 AMReply

    This article is COMPLETELY biased. Fuck the author.

  • Ben | February 27, 2013 6:53 AMReply

    You criticise Seth MacFarlane for singing a song about boobs, then suggest Jimmy Kimmel is a better host because he's "genuinely funny", and the clip you provide is him making a joke about boobs on cable. Seriously?

  • PubbyPab | February 27, 2013 6:22 AMReply

    I agree that Kimmel can toe the line of begin edgy, but the real question is: Can he toe the line of end edgy?

  • joey | February 27, 2013 3:41 AMReply

    They should make it interesting. let the Razzie winners for Best Actor and Best Actress co host together. to add to the excitement, no one would know the hosts until the day before the Oscars. Who wouldn't watch this?

  • joey | February 27, 2013 3:40 AMReply

    They should make it interesting. let the Razzie winners for Best Actor and Best Actress co host together. to add to the excitement, no one would know the hosts until the day before the Oscars. Who wouldn't watch this?

  • joey | February 27, 2013 3:40 AMReply

    They should make it interesting. let the Razzie winners for Best Actor and Best Actress co host together. to add to the excitement, no one would know the hosts until the day before the Oscars. Who wouldn't watch this?

  • Alan B | February 27, 2013 2:25 AMReply

    More important than the right host is the right team that will jell together, and not try to one-up one another like MacFarlane and the producers tried to do this year with ridiculous dance numbers. Sam Mendes should produce, Kevin Spacey should host, Aaron Sorkin and his team should write, Rob Marshall should be the choreographer (because that is what he is). Spacey has the chops (singing, dancing, stand-up) to deliver the opening routine, but - more importantly - has the improve skills to deliver impromptu quips throughout the night. He is also a Hollywood insider, so he will likely receive less resentment from the nominees that he satirizes: for instance, someone like Affleck wouldn't try to insult Spacey like he did to MacFarlane the other night. I am not sure whether this team would bring the biggest ratings, but the critics would love it and the team would appeal to the older audiences who care about the Oscars.

  • Alan B | February 27, 2013 2:23 AMReply

    No wait, Jason Statham. He could mud-wrestle winners who go on too long and would deliver the most terrifying Karaoke routine this side of Pierce Brosnan.

  • E | February 27, 2013 1:23 AMReply

    Jason Bateman

  • Hannibal | February 27, 2013 1:13 AMReply

    to answer the journalist's question... I Don't Love George Clooney!! =P

  • Terence | February 27, 2013 5:47 AM

    Ditto - he is an Academy ass kisser.

  • Adrian Lopez | February 27, 2013 12:02 AMReply

    Have they ever asked Christopher Walken to host? He appeals to older and younger audiences. The dude is hilarious just being his odd and quirky self and he can easily pull off any singing/dance numbers as he does both. Why hasn't this been done yet? Who doesn't love Walken? And the man is highly respected among fellow actors.

  • Jimmy | February 26, 2013 11:27 PMReply

    Dude. Daniel Tosh.

  • Deez | February 26, 2013 11:06 PMReply

    Daniel Tosh. Done and done.

  • Ben | February 26, 2013 10:25 PMReply

    Definitely want to see Gordon-Levitt do it.

  • Ranch | February 26, 2013 10:16 PMReply

    JGL is an example of the BIG problem. Obviously he was doing a very poor version (in comparison) to Donald O'Connor's bit in SINGING IN THE RAIN (who did it without slanting walls). JGL is not a dancer so he needed "training wheels," and not a singer so he was out of breath and not very good when he had breath, and not a comedian so he wasn't very funny. And that's the big problem, what passes for talent today is dirty jokes that make us giggle, anything else just reminds of us the talent that used to be but no longer exists. So bring back the Family Guy guy or randomly select anyone from SNL, it doesn't really matter.

  • Dan | February 26, 2013 10:13 PMReply

    "to an almost tedious degree?" You really should qualify that as something which you personally found tedious. I loved all the singing and dancing.

  • s | February 26, 2013 9:21 PMReply

    NEIL PATRICK HARRIS

  • Kevin | February 26, 2013 9:08 PMReply

    Justin Timberlake is the list for any hosting gig.

  • Zack | February 26, 2013 9:05 PMReply

    Mila kunis and Seth rogan

  • Tony M | February 26, 2013 7:56 PMReply

    Craig Ferguson.

    He's the funniest guy on television, and one of the smartest. He would rock.

  • James DC. | February 26, 2013 7:36 PMReply

    Howard Stern. Ricky Gervais.

    Keep the cutting edge hosts coming.

  • X | February 26, 2013 5:43 PMReply

    Jennifer Lawrence should host the Oscars next year, but don't give her a script, just let her be herself in all her randomness and clumsiness!!!

  • Joe | February 26, 2013 5:40 PMReply

    Ahem... You seem to have forgotten the perfect hosts...
    The Muppets.

  • Matt | February 26, 2013 5:34 PMReply

    i say Jim Jefferies but i don't think they will ever let him would be hillarious to call somebody a C#%#t in front of such a large audience :)

  • FERGUS | February 26, 2013 5:10 PMReply

    Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Neil Patrick Harris or Filthy Frank should host !!

  • AHMED | February 26, 2013 5:12 PM

    LOL, Filthy Frank would be amazing ! His screams and ethnical jokes are simply hilarious !!

  • BillyLone | February 26, 2013 5:02 PMReply

    Has anyone ever ask Robin Williams to host? This guy can do comedy (high and low brow) and drama. He just needs to not go rambling off a tangent.

  • Brian | February 26, 2013 5:00 PMReply

    Why would you prefer Jimmy Fallon over Kimmel? Kimmel would make a great Oscar host-- his Oscar sketches are far funnier than anything that was on the show this year. But Fallon is a dull, witless, boring personality and the only one who laughs at his jokes is him-- and he can't stop laughing at them, no matter how devoid of humor they are. Ugh, press the button to vanish Fallon from existence.

    I do like the ideas of Clooney and Louis C.K. Clooney would recapture some of the honor/respect of the entertainment industry that's been missing, while also having a sense of humor about it. As would Kimmel. It's obvious with both of those guys that they really love Hollywood.

    And I"d be happy to have Chris Rock back or have Gervais do it. Guys like Louis C.K., Rock, and Gervais can be offensive at times-- but they're also hilarious. And if you're going to do something offensive, it better be outweighed by the funny. MacFarlane somehow managed the hat trick of simultaneously being offensive, unfunny, and boring.

  • What | February 26, 2013 5:33 PM

    Fallon was a fantastic, energetic Emmy host (this coming from someone who doesn't usually enjoy him) and Kimmel was a flat, disinterested Emmy host. Yeah, I'll take Fallon over Kimmel.

  • Matthew | February 26, 2013 4:46 PMReply

    What about a true crossover, versatile artist - like Justin Timberlake?

  • Smyth E. Alan | February 26, 2013 4:44 PMReply

    JGL - Meh. He could probably do so with some aplomb, but I wouldn't have him solo and there are myriad other actors I would enlist before him (below). Plus, it'd be way too soon after the previous 'Young Hollywood' attempt, and that's not a disaster to be revisited anytime so0n.

    Tina Fey/Amy Poehler - yes. People love them and they are actually witty and funny.
    Will Ferrell/Kristen Wiig - NO, NO, NO. Their intro at the Globes was terribly unfunny and went on forever. If a complaint about McFarlane was that his bits were unfocused, what the heck do you think a whole show of improv'd bits from these two will be like?

    George Clooney - yes for the reasons you've listed. And with him you'd probably get all or some combination of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, the rest of the Ocean's guys/gals, Ben Affleck, maybe Jimmy Kimmel [see his hilarious Matt Damon takeover show], and perhaps others even, in on the show as well. It would have a New Age Rat-Packish vibe...come to think of it, I would LOVE for this to happen.

    Louis CK - Another no, though it could be interesting. His humor is idiosyncratic like McFarlane's, except he's awkward where Seth is 'edgy'. That can drive into the same tasteless areas that McFarlane did but with far, far more disastrous results; and he can't sing or dance his way out of them. Much like the problem when Chris Rock hosted, some reigning in of the host's forte will neuter his effectiveness.

    Jimmy Kimmel - this is really just a matter of time, right? I've enjoyed his post-Oscar show and I like his show in general, and he's ABC's late night prince so his time is a-coming.

    Other choices: Robert Downey Jr, Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Hanks, Steve Harvey
    Other No-NOs: Ryan Seacrest, Justin Timberlake

  • T | February 26, 2013 4:26 PMReply

    Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.

  • BillyLone | February 26, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    Jimmy Kimmel won't be any different from Seth MacFarlane. Gross-out, frat boy humor.

    Hosting the Oscar is a tough gig. How do you come up with material that will at minimum make everyone crack a smile? The audience is made up of people of all ages, races, creed, profession, sexual orientation and cultural background.

  • BillyLone | February 26, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    Jimmy Kimmel won't be any different from Seth MacFarlane. Gross-out, frat boy humor.

    Hosting the Oscar is a tough gig. How do you come up with material that will at minimum make everyone crack a smile? The audience is made up of people of all ages, races, creed, profession, sexual orientation and cultural background.

  • Jarod | February 26, 2013 4:10 PMReply

    C'mon, people need to get a sense of humor, the "I Saw Your Boobs" bit was hilarious! I thought Seth did a pretty good job. The theme of the awards was suppose to be musical, so having him do all his little show tunes was fitting to the theme. This writer blows goats.

  • Jarod | February 26, 2013 4:10 PMReply

    C'mon, people need to get a sense of humor, the "I Saw Your Boobs" bit was hilarious! I thought Seth did a pretty good job. The theme of the awards was suppose to be musical, so having him do all his little show tunes was fitting to the theme. This writer blows goats.

  • Jarod | February 26, 2013 4:09 PMReply

    C'mon, people need to get a sense of humor, the "I Saw Your Boobs" bit was hilarious! I thought Seth did a pretty good job. The theme of the awards was suppose to be musical, so having him do all his little show tunes was fitting to the theme. This writer blows goats.

  • Jarod | February 26, 2013 4:06 PMReply

    C'mon, people need to get a sense of humor, the "I Saw Your Boobs" bit was hilarious! I thought Seth did a pretty good job. The theme of the awards was suppose to be musical, so having him do all his little show tunes was fitting to the theme. This writer blows goats.

  • Jarod | February 26, 2013 4:05 PMReply

    C'mon, people need to get a sense of humor, the "I Saw Your Boobs" bit was hilarious! I thought Seth did a pretty good job. The theme of the awards was suppose to be musical, so having him do all his little show tunes was fitting to the theme. This writer blows goats.

  • John | February 26, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    Craig Ferguson or Conan would be my top choices for next year!

  • John | February 26, 2013 4:03 PMReply

    Craig Ferguson or Conan would be my top choices for next year!

  • rodie | February 26, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    How about Mindy Kaling? She'd be hilarious.

  • Ant | February 26, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    Why only people from snl or someone who you like because he hosted snl twice and thought he did such a wonderfull job. I thought Seth did a great job. I still want Eddie Murphy to do it and yes I know he was on snl but I loved him in raw and delirious. I'm sure he could tame it down for the censors(hopefully not).

  • dennis | February 26, 2013 3:46 PMReply

    jimmy kimmel would be an excellent choice for the next oscar host.

  • Rob c | February 26, 2013 3:30 PMReply

    I have to agree that Clooney would be an odd choice. Did anyone notice that despite he getting his own gold statue for Argo, he made no effort to get a few words in on the speech at the end. I actually think he could care less about awards. From what he displays, success is it's own reward. Grow a Jesus beard? Check, Bang the WWE girl with the longest legs in showbiz? Check... Personally, I think he is too cool to ever even give hosting serious consideration. Despite having a known sense of humor, it's just not this thing. Bring back Ricky Gervais. The celebs are terrified of him (for the money they make, they deserve more fear than a botox treatment going horribly wrong), he is viciously witty and again seems like he does not really give a damn about the awards.

  • Smyth E. Alan | February 26, 2013 4:22 PM

    Clooney respectfully realized that this was not his moment and let Affleck get the last and longest word in. He was not 'making no effort'; and he got plenty of words in backstage outside of the show broadcast proper.

  • Gisela Diaz | February 26, 2013 3:12 PMReply

    Thank you, jerk, for not volunteering to do that disgusting thing again. If it were up to me I will publish the winners of the Oscars in the newspapers and avoid the whole "ceremony" completely. It's a waste of time.

  • Ella | February 26, 2013 3:10 PMReply

    Tina and Amy. They did a great job at the Golden Globes. Kristen Wiig with Will Ferrell could be also fun. Or Hugh Jackman. His opening musical number was fun and managed to poke fun into nominated movies without really insulting people.

  • Chris | February 26, 2013 3:00 PMReply

    George Clooney has such an ambivalent disdain for the self-congratulatory spectacle aspects of the Oscars that him hosting would be like Ron Swanson being elected president.
    "Hello. Welcome to the Academy Awards, an intolerable ordeal made worse by a ban on alcohol, similar to the Great Depression, only no one is working hard. Some of you will be given gold plated statues signifying that this year you are more popular than other people are. Many more of you will receive no statue at all. But in a much more real way, all of you are losers because you care. Here is Anne Hatheway to present the first of these meaningless prizes. Please clap for her whether you want to or not."

  • The Dude | February 26, 2013 4:18 PM

    If George Clooney has so much disdain, why he campaigns harder than anyone but Weinstein every year? I don't buy that.

    Woody Allen, Joaquin Phoenix, those guys really dislike those awards; Clooney only likes to pretend he's better, but he's always chasing them.

  • The Dude | February 26, 2013 4:17 PM

    If George Clooney has so much disdain, why he campaigns harder than anyone but Weinstein every year? I don't buy that.

    Woody Allen, Joaquin Phoenix, those guys really dislike those awards; Clooney only likes to pretend he's better, but he's always chasing them.

  • The Dude | February 26, 2013 4:17 PM

    If George Clooney has so much disdain, why he campaigns harder than anyone but Weinstein every year? I don't buy that.

    Woody Allen, Joaquin Phoenix, those guys really dislike those awards; Clooney only likes to pretend he's better, but he's always chasing them.

  • pluiedenovembre | February 26, 2013 2:46 PMReply

    I can't believe how many people writing for online publications can't spell In Memoriam correctly...

  • Ryan | February 26, 2013 2:33 PMReply

    Zach Galifianakis, along with his two ferns.

  • Connor | February 26, 2013 2:31 PMReply

    Emma Stone

  • dan | February 26, 2013 2:22 PMReply

    Seth Macfarlane again! Practise makes perfect!

  • bohmer | February 26, 2013 2:21 PMReply

    I love Louis so much I don't want to see him commit to this nonsense. Levitt is a no brainer choice for me.

  • Rob | February 26, 2013 2:12 PMReply

    Neil Patrick Harris!

  • Phil | February 26, 2013 2:09 PMReply

    Daniel tosh!

  • Mike | February 26, 2013 1:57 PMReply

    Kristin Chenoweth - She did a great job on the red carpet and has a fun personality

  • cirkusfolk | February 26, 2013 1:50 PMReply

    I'd say Jimmy Fallon over Kimmel. Definitely.

  • Ur mom | February 26, 2013 3:30 PM

    I'm also going with Fallon!! He said he would love to do it!!

  • Jack | February 26, 2013 1:47 PMReply

    Will Ferrell, Kevin Spacey, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Jimmy Kimmel, Neil Patrick Harris, Conan O'Brien, Stepehen Colbert

  • DG | February 26, 2013 1:45 PMReply

    Any of those would be great except Clooney

  • brace | February 26, 2013 1:38 PMReply

    Amy, Tina & Kristen Wiig

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