Just How Awful Was Mr “Family Guy”?

Jaime Weinman explains why Seth MacFarlane was picked to host:

The overall theme of the Oscars, as James Poniewozik noticed when he linked to the promo [above], was that it was supposed to be “an Oscars that guys can enjoy.” MacFarlane is known for his guy appeal, and ABC, the network that broadcast the Oscars this year, is known for having the most heavily female audience on TV. Unfortunately, this wound up coming off as pandering, with the network desperately trying to load the show up with what they consider “guy” stuff like breast jokes and Star Trek. And what was supposed to be their biggest coup, a reunion of all six James Bonds, fell through when one or two of the Bonds refused to do it (and I don’t mean Lazenby). It might be that the desperation to attract men to ABC accounts for some of the mean-spiritedness of the evening, apart from the famous Family Guy tendency toward that type of joke.

Alyssa likewise pans MacFarlane’s performance:

What bothers me more than anything else about these jokes is how boring they are. I’ve heard variations of them countless times from people who think they’re hilarious, and act as if no one has ever unearthed such comedic gems before, and they’re always wrong. They are the scraps of humor actual comics left on the table a decade earlier in their careers after they learned that playing to people’s dumbest, most stereotypical assumptions is not actually the same thing as joke-making. But the laziness of MacFarlane’s brand played particularly poorly at the Oscars given the movie industry’s very real problems with both women and derivativeness, in a celebration of what’s supposed to be Hollywood’s best, the things that the profits of things like The Avengers make it possible to keep in production.

I also tend to think that brutally unfunny “cunt” puns are to humor what sponsor content is to journalism. Yes, the fantastically untalented MacFarlane went there. Jesse Walker is more succinct:

Seth MacFarlane hosted. His manatees didn’t work very hard on his jokes.

Update from a reader: “I don’t recall any “cunt” puns from MacFarlane, but the Onion did post something using that word that they later removed.” Another answers:

The pun that MacFarlane did was in the final song sung over the credits. It referred to Helen Hunt, and the way the song was going, it would have made “sense” for the next line to end with cunt. But he sang “a” but ended with “dorable” thus saving us and the censors.