This year's host Seth MacFarlane was no different. I like good wit. I like a carefully sarcastic or timely, well-crafted comment. Unfortunately, MacFarlane has none of these. He was largely tasteless, crude and classless. Between the first twenty minutes of the Seth and Captain Kirk show in which MacFarlane demonstrated his talent by singing a song about boobies to the concluding "let's rub salt in the wounds" Loser Song, MacFarlane's idea of witless humor was far from doing something that is to honor the best in film. It wasn't the idea that for him nothing is sacred, but the idea that it lacked taste.
Seth MacFarlane is, however, just another of the horrendous choices made by the Academy to host the Oscars. The great hosts like Johnny Carson, Bob Hope and Billy Crystal seem to be of late more of an anomaly. I realize that MacFarlane is the flavor of the moment, but he is hardly a tried and true performer at the level of those above. Now admittedly, there were a few like Steve Martin and Jon Stewart (2008) who did well, but there is also Anne Hathaway and James Franco, David Letterman, Chevy Chase, Ellen Degeneres, Rob Lowe, Jon Stewart (2006) and then there was the attempt to have an Oscars with no host in 1989 which most agree was the worst Oscar show ever.
The problem is does the Academy choose a host who is truly capable and has some standing or do they pick someone who is the current flavor but will probably be around for about twenty minutes? Some choices that didn't work once worked fine a couple of years later, like John Stewart. There is no sure fire way get a host that will succeed. Still, one gets what they pay for and if you pick the creator of edgy - a nice way of saying tasteless - shows like Family Guy and Ted, you are going to get pretty much more of the same. I cannot really blame Seth MacFarlane for being Seth MacFarlane, but I can blame the Academy for offering the job.