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Seth MacFarlane hosts the Oscars: Excited? Maybe.

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Of course, Ricky Gervais, creator of the British version of “The Office,” made viewers sit up and pay attention when he hosted the Golden Globes for the first time in 2010. Awards show hosts will typically gently poke fun at some celebrities in attendance, and the camera will cut to the star in question laughing good-naturedly. Gervais went a little more for the throat. “I like a drink as much as the next man,” he commented at one point. “Unless the next man is Mel Gibson.” When he returned in 2011, he took aim at a movie starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. “It was a big year for 3-D movies,” he noted. “It seems like everything this year was three-dimensional. Except the characters in ‘The Tourist.”

So maybe the Oscar planners are hoping that bringing in MacFarlane, whose movies and TV shows have similarly irreverent senses of humor, will bring some life to the telecast.

I definitely hope so. But I hope that MacFarlane can move beyond his “Family Guy” safety zone to be a host that would appeal to everyone.

For example, he’d come to attention just days before the hosting announcement was made during the Emmys telecast, though accidentally (at least, I assume). MacFarlane strolled out to present an award and began talking, with only one problem – there wasn’t a microphone in front of him. A microphone came up from the floor, but not before MacFarlane had realized his mistake and headed for the one across the stage. Of course, the comedian recovered admirably.

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