Two years after the worst Academy Awards telecast I’ve ever seen and one year after a desperate attempt to make Billy Crystal relevant again, Seth MacFarlane better live up to the impossible expectations I’ve set for him during this year’s Oscars. Recently, Anne Hathaway offered him a little hosting advice while simultaneously admitting that she and James Franco sucked a big bag of dicks when they ruined my favorite awards show for me in 2011:
“This is my advice to Seth – based on my own experience,” Hathaway tells EW. “You have to try to strike a balance between keeping the people of the room entertained and keeping the people at home from thinking you’re nuts. The instinct is to play to the room, because otherwise the audience there gets really bored and restless. Me with my theater background, I played to the back row of the Kodak, which has 3,500 people. To the people at home, it could come off as a little over-the-top. I’ve never seen [the whole thing],” she says of her ill-fated hosting gig. “But I felt like I made a rookie mistake.”
The rookie mistake being, of course, that over-compensating for your co-host’s complete lack of enthusiasm and comedic timing by being Miss Sunshine McChipperson will backfire. The only positive thing I have to say about that ill-fated gig was that Anne Hathaway can pull off a tux and a ponytail.
When Entertainment Weekly asked Seth MacFarlane for his response to Anne’s advice, he answered very Seth MacFarlane-y by being polite and using big words in his best NPR voice (I imagine):
“That’s interesting. That shows a lot of successful self-analysis. I wouldn’t have quantified it in exactly that way, but she’s showing a really intelligent response to that,” MacFarlane said. “That’s why Johnny Carson was truly the greatest. It was in his bones to play to a television audience. The audience in the room, you have to be aware of them, but it’s a balancing act.”
I happen to be really good at reading between the lines, so here’s what I think Seth is really saying: “Anne totally blows goats as an Oscars host but she’s too bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to publicly insult.”
That being said, I do think she had her work cut out for her with the co-host they paired her with. Hopefully James Franco won’t be allowed anywhere near the Oscar stage this year unless he’s accepting an award for Best Squinter, and Seth MacFarlane keeps his Stewie voice to a minimum.