Academy Awards 2013 Host

Oscars 2013: Seth MacFarlane is golden as Academy Awards host

Seth MacFarlane alienates Chris Brown, Mel Gibson and George Clooney during his often funny debut as Academy Awards host Sunday night.But he made Sunday's annual Academy Awards telecast into one of the best Oscar nights in years.

Yes, it helped that Sunday's winners were films that viewers might have actually seen and that First Lady Michelle Obama announced the best-picture champ.

It also helped that the evening's theme was musicals, since it's illegal not to love Catherine Zeta-Jones singing "All That Jazz" and Jennifer Hudson singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."

But MacFarlane was the engineer, and it's no coincidence Sunday's ride was a fine one.

Mark Davis/WireImage

Oscars host Seth MacFarlane, gets help from Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and actor Daniel Radcliffe perform onstage during one of the many opening numbers.

Oscars host Seth MacFarlane, gets help from Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and actor Daniel Radcliffe perform onstage during one of the many opening numbers. Even if, or maybe partly because, he set off several explosions in the Twittersphere.

After observing that "Django Unchained" shows "unthinkable violence, " MacFarlane mused that to Brown and Rihanna, it's a "date movie." He led a spritely song-and-dance number called "We Saw Your Boobs, " calling out actresses who have done topless scenes.

He dusted off a Mel Gibson racist rant joke and said the cast of "Chicago" was there because of concerns that "the show isn't gay enough yet."

Some of the Twitter world suggested MacFarlane was channeling Ricky Gervais. He wasn't. MacFarlane is a different animal, a perfect smile that only occasionally parts to reveal shark teeth.

Most of the time he could have stepped right out of a 1930s musical, which made him the perfect stealth host to yank Oscar into the 21st century.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Yes, MacFarlane actually said, 'I would argue that the actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth.'

The show had a few hitches. Half of MacFarlane's 16-minute opening monologue was about himself, leading some viewers to wonder if the Seth MacFarlane Show had pre-empted the Academy Awards.

But he accomplished what the Motion Picture Academy wanted when it plucked a guy best known for naughty TV animation to become Sunday night's worldwide face of the movies.

He kept the conversation lively.

While Brown and Rihanna were not immediately heard from, Wesley Lowery tweeted that he was "in the room with Chris Brown when that joke about him and Rihanna was dropped. It was awkward."

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