A rousing musical number called “We Saw Your Boobs.” William Shatner, as Star Trek’s Capt. James T. Kirk, beaming back from the future to declare the show a total disaster. A reenactment of the movie Flight done entirely with sock puppets. And a whole lot of jokes that skirted along—and sometimes right over—the edge of bad taste. Love it or hate it, Seth MacFarlane’s turn as Oscar host will definitely be talked about—which is almost certainly what the Academy was banking on when they hired the man behind Family Guy for the job. Here are some of the highlights and low blows. Check back for updates throughout the show.
Throughout his Oscars monologue, Seth MacFarlane received “tomorrow’s” headlines from William Shatner (who appeared as Star Trek‘s iconic Captain James T. Kirk.) Since some of MacFarlane’s “future” segments — including a sock puppet re-enactment of Flight and his musical number “We Saw Your Boobs” — bombed, Shatner was trying to help the host salvage the show and his reputation. And with every improvement — Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum’s elegant dancing, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe’s song and soft-shoe — the next day’s headlines were kinder to MacFarlane — slightly. By the end, MacFarlane’s future review said “Best Oscars ever, says everyone but Entertainment Weekly.” Thanks for the shout out, Seth!
Image Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
You’ll want to be right here on EW.com tonight as Oscar host Seth MacFarlane enters “that perfect Goldilocks zone, of classic showmanship and fresh comedy that keeps everything relevant.” [FART JOKE.] [STEWIE VOICE!] READ FULL STORY »
Question: Can an Oscar nominee help or hurt himself by hosting Saturday Night Live in the heat of the awards’ race?
One month after Silver Linings Playbook star — and Best Actress nominee — Jennifer Lawrence hosted, Django Unchained actor and Best Supporting Actor nominee Christoph Waltz took the Studio 8H stage at 30 Rock. For the most part, he lived up to his reputation as a generous supporting player — squiring Regine and playing a partygoer in a Tippy sketch. But when he did step into the main spotlight, there was something delicious about his cruel gameshow host, something creepy about his secret admirer, and something glorious about his Djesus Uncrossed parody trailer. READ FULL STORY »
Seth MacFarlane is well aware of his Achilles heel — it’s his Achilles heel.
“It’s the dancing that’s just kicking my ass. I’m not a dancer,” the soon-to-be Oscar hosts admits in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, which goes behind the scenes of the Academy Awards to see just how the Family Guy and Ted creator intends to pull off the biggest live show of the year. With the animated TV hits Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show to oversee, a comedy Western film starting in the spring, and a particularly song-and-dance heavy awards telecast to emcee, everyone needs a piece of him right now — while MacFarlane is just trying to hold it all together.
After releasing Music Is Better Than Words, an album of swinging jazz songs, he feels he has the song part of “song-and-dance man” down, but a flu virus has left his vocal chords scratchy at a time when he’s pre-recording some comedy bits for the Feb. 24 show. “For the Oscars, it’ll be fine,” MacFarlane promises. “It’s Family Guy that’s always a nightmare. … Sometimes I have no choice but to record even if I’ve got a cold, and you can hear it in the fact that Stewie, Quagmire, and Peter all have a cold at the same time.” READ FULL STORY »
During the audition process, Saturday Night Live godfather Lorne Michaels often asks prospective cast members what cast they grew up with. That is, what edition of Saturday Night Live did candidates initially fall in love with. Are they fans of the Adam Sandler/Chris Farley years or Eddie Murphy’s reign, or are they admirers of the late great Phil Hartman? It’s a difficult question for someone as young as Justin Bieber, who’s only 18 and presumably still gaining an appreciation for the show’s legacy, but at least he demonstrated a willingness to fail — an essential element of any comedy and a somewhat rare characteristic for a pop star. Bieber likely didn’t win a ton of new converts with his comedy, but his dedicated fans seemed to appreciate his effort… and his singing… and his Bieberness. Still, TV ratings were soft.
Remember, gang: This poll is about who was the best SNL host, according to whatever subjective criteria one uses to determine this sort of thing. Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the vote, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the other four will advance to compete against Christoph Waltz on Feb. 16. Ultimately, we’ll eliminate the less memorable hosts and crown a new Mr. or Ms. Saturday Night. Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote below. READ FULL STORY »
The Saturday Night Live Christmas show is always a spectacular, almost in the Radio City Music Hall sense of the word. Martin Short and Paul McCartney shepherded a team of celebs who helped make the last episode of 2012 joyful and triumphant. Alec Baldwin and Sam Jackson chimed in, and there were cameos from Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig, Tom Hanks and Jimmy Fallon. It’s SNL‘s version of those SportsCenter commercials, where all your favorite funny people just happen to hang at Studio 8H.
As someone who was weaned on SNL during Short’s brief tenure back in 1984 (and later fell back in love with his comedy during his Jiminy Glick phase), I greatly enjoyed his monologue and sketches — and wish he had done even more. Larry David isn’t impossible to imitate, but his version of the HBO curmudgeon set in Charlie Brown’s world was an all-timer in my book. READ FULL STORY »
Jamie Foxx came out with both barrels blazing on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live. The Django Unchained star, who starred on In Living Color in the 1990s, was either a breath of fresh air or a throwback to an expired comic edginess, depending on your own sensibilities. His riff on Tyler Perry’s next Alex Cross installment was one of the most memorable sketches of the season, while his short-fused “Bitch, What’s the Answer?” gameshow host felt a little out of place so early in the show.
The online peanut gallery seemed polarized, which is normally the sign of a solid show. Jeremy Renner’s show three weeks ago was also heavily scrutinized, but he rocked our Saturday Night Live best-host poll, winning a solid 46 percent of the vote. Certainly, the most recent host always starts strong, so it will be interesting to see if Renner’s support holds up. READ FULL STORY »