Everyone kind of expects Seth MacFarlane to be a huge jerk when he hosts the Oscars in a week or so — he's already given us a sneak peek, after all. But in new interviews released today, the Hollywood insider/outsider admits that his plan is to take it straight to the stars in the audience.
In a video interview with the Academy that's out today from Deadline, MacFarlane (correctly) espouses his belief that actors don't really have a sense of humor about themselves. MacFarlane clearly has every intention of exploiting this trait:
If there's one group that is unable to laugh at themselves it is Hollywood actors. You're uncomfortable, they're uncomfortable, the audience is uncomfortable. Let's just keep the boundary clear, and put an electrified fence up at the base of the stage, and just kind of make it this is the U.S. and this is Mexico.
Do we have another Ricky Gervais on our hands? In the video, MacFarlane gestures to himself when he says "this is the U.S." Make of that what you will, though he positions himself as an outsider in the industry, despite all that money he's made off Family Guy reruns. In a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly — he appears on the cover along with Ted of Ted and Stewie of Family Guy — MacFarlane tells Anthony Breznican that he doesn't feel like one of the "cool kids:"
No, no. I never have. There are a handful of shows that are darlings in the media, of the award-show community...Family Guy has always been on the outside.
Breznican points out that MacFarlane is a nominee himself for a song from Ted, to which MacFarlane repsonds:
Oh yeah. It's so ingrained in me that 'oh, we must be hated by everybody.' So it's become this sort of inability to process any kind of positive feedback. We all focus on the negative, you know.
Not unlike the stars he plans on mocking all night, MacFarlane knows that he, too, will face blowback from the ceremony, saying: "It will have been almost six months that I've been working on this. [Laughs] And I'm still going to get savaged in the press, so..." (MacFarlane predicts that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host next year and "they'll get rave reviews.") And if Hollywood and/or nice people need a new reason to poke fun right back at MacFarlane, they might have a good outlet — he admits he's having trouble with the dancing requirements of hosting this year's musical-dominant ceremony.
Leading up to the show, MacFarlane has been giving us a taste of his Oscar humor in various promos. If nothing else, he seems self-aware: