Fox animation mogul Seth MacFarlane is still surprised he was asked to host this year’s Oscars since it wasn’t that long ago that he couldn’t even get a ticket to attend it.
MacFarlane — the creator and star of “Family Guy” and other Fox shows — will host this year’s Academy Awards, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 24, on ABC.
“Tell me how you got the job,” Jay Leno asked him Friday night on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”
“Everyone else said no!” MacFarlane said. “Whoopi [Goldberg] said no. Alec Baldwin said no. … Eventually they got to me.” (Fact is, he may not have been entirely kidding — the Oscar host gig is a high-profile yet thankless job, and there aren’t that many stars who are willing to take it on.)
MacFarlane said the Oscar organizers apparently came up with him after they saw him host “Saturday Night Live” last year. In fact, MacFarlane has been making a number of high-profile hosting appearances in the last few years, including acting as emcee on some of Comedy Central’s celebrity roasts. Historically, MacFarlane was best-known for his work behind-the-scenes as a producer, creator, writer and voice on his various Fox shows. And he supplied the voice of the title character in last summer’s movie comedy, “Ted.”
He also told Jay he’s never attended an Oscars show in his entire life, although he once told a woman he was dating that he could get them tickets for it — which didn’t turn out to be true.
What does MacFarlane himself watch on TV? We were interested to hear him talk about that (in the above clip). He said that during a recent bout with the flu, he watched a number of vintage TV miniseries — “The Winds of War,” “North and South” (about the Civil War) and “Roots.” And he also watched old episodes of “All in the Family.”
In Part Two of the interview, MacFarlane revealed that some celebrities do get offended when they’re skewered on “Family Guy.” The names he mentioned: Ellen Cleghorne (“SNL”), movie star Adrien Brody and “Sanford and Son” star Demond Wilson.
That name elicited this surprising response from Jay. “Demond?” Jay asked. “Maybe because he hasn’t worked in 20 years?” Ouch.
MacFarlane also talked about the James Bond tribute that’s being planned for the Oscar telecast — featuring all six living James Bonds: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.