Nearly two dozen individuals have hosted multiple Oscar ceremonies, from Bob Hope (19 times!) to Billy Crystal (9) to, uh, Chevy Chase (twice). Seth MacFarlane almost joined this illustrious group, but he declined the opportunity.
“I got asked back the year after I hosted,” the Family Guy creator said on a recent episode of WTF with Marc Maron. “I guess because the numbers went up. I was making [his Western-comedy A Million Days to Die in the West] in Santa Fe, I was so wrapped up in that that there was no way I’d finish this and stay alive if I tried to do the Oscars as well.” MacFarlane, who courted controversy with his “We Saw Your Boobs” musical number (sample lyric: “We haven’t seen Jennifer Lawrence’s boobs at all”), was tempted to return for round two, but “I realized the only reason I’d be saying yes is to kind of show up the detractors. That’s not a good enough reason to put in that kind of work.”
The honor went to Ellen DeGeneres, instead.
MacFarlane noted that hosting Oscars has “no upside”: The best you can hope for is that people don’t hate you, like when James Franco left Anne Hathaway out to dry at the 2011 ceremony. “It’s hard to know how I would approach it If I was to host it again,” he said. “It’s a high profile thing. All eyes are on it. It’s an easy thing to sh*t on. It’s so easy to sh*t on the Oscars because you don’t have to read the news, you don’t have to know history, you don’t have to do any work. You just have to sit down, watch, and tweet. That’s all you gotta do.”
As for “Boobs,” well, to quote his idol Frank Sinatra, regrets, MacFarlane’s had a few… but this doesn’t sound like one of them. “I’ve never mentioned this, but that gag came about because I read a lot of the press. You should never read your own press, but I read a lot of press leading up to the Oscars and it was a lot of really angry, foaming-at-the-mouth kind of stuff,” he told Maron. “It got to the point where I had to comment on it in some way. My original idea was very tame, old style song and dance. In a way, you helped create what you despise. It’s this idea of creating an alternate Oscars that was exactly what they were afraid would happen. That’s what gets forgotten. They always forgot context.”
You can listen to the entire WTF episode here.