Who wants Seth MacFarlane to return as host of the Oscars?
You do? Let's skip the "why" and go straight to the bad news then: He's done.
Or says he's done.
There's a difference between both phrases, and what eventually happens could be determined by time (his own) and ego (especially his own).
But for the moment, a reprisal in 2014 now seems remote. Monday MacFarlane tweeted, "Traumatized critics exhale: I'm unable to do the Oscars again. Tried to make it work schedule-wise, but I need sleep." He went on to make a suggestion as a replacement: Joaquin Phoenix. (That's a joke, by the way, and a pretty good one.)
Some critics were indeed traumatized by his hosting chores on the 85th Academy Awards in February. As were some AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) members, and Jews, gays, women, anti-obscenity-on-the-airwaves groups and . . .
No need to go on and on with this list: "We Saw Your Boobs" says it all.
But ratings among young viewers soared (up 20 percent from the Billy Crystal-hosted ceremony in 2012), and after the smoke, dust and bile cleared, talk of a return had begun. Not long after the show, MacFarlane insisted he was not coming back; Monday makes two denials.
But could he return and is all this a clever publicity stunt? Sure. This is show business where money -- and a welcome ratings surge for Hollywood's biggest night -- speak far louder than taste, bruised feelings, sexist gags, and so on. Deadline reported a few weeks ago that Neil Meron and Craig Zadan -- who will also produce next year's show -- had indeed recently pitched him on a return engagement.
They are nothing if not persistent. They'll be pitching again.