Hopefully, Oscar is ready for Seth MacFarlane, because MacFarlane sounds ready for him.
The “Family Guy” creator and “Ted” director and co-writer will live the dream of many a film fan by serving as host of this year's Oscars, as ABC airs the Motion Picture Academy's 85th ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Sunday from Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.
Since being named by first-time Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“Smash”) as a surprise choice for the job, MacFarlane has become an Oscar nominee as well: He's up for writing the lyrics to the “Ted” song “Everybody Needs a Best Friend.”
“In general, we're trying to make this a more ubiquitous Oscars,” MacFarlane says. “I think that a lot of times, there's pressure to keep everything about the movies that are nominated that year. While that is a big part of this, we're also trying to find ways to broaden it a little bit.”
To that end, a salute to the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise is planned. Music superstar Adele will give her first live rendering of the latest 007 adventure's “Skyfall,” another nominee for best song.
Also scheduled is a tribute to movie musicals of recent vintage, including Oscar's best picture of 2002, “Chicago,” of which Meron and Zadan were executive producers. And Barbra Streisand will offer her first Oscar performance since her tune “Evergreen” (from “A Star Is Born”) won in 1977.
The Oscar gig is the peak of MacFarlane's high-profile appearances of late. He hosted the season premiere of NBC's “Saturday Night Live” — which many consider the main factor in earning him the Academy Awards stint — and Barbara Walters put him on her “10 Most Fascinating People of 2012” list. But to fans of “Family Guy,” as well as “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show” (which he co-created), MacFarlane has long been a star.
“Surprisingly, it's not that much different,” he says of his current showbiz status. “After the (Oscar) ceremony is over, it might be, but not on a day-to-day basis so far. The only changes have been working on the ceremony itself and the amount of preparation. I've been drowning more than I ever have before in my own schedule, but other than that, it's been more or less the same. Amusingly enough, I still get as many remarks from people about the Comedy Central Roasts I've done as about the Oscars.”