Before the Oscars, There Was ‘Ted’ and Marlee Matlin: This Is the Best of Seth MacFarlane

With the 85th Annual Academy Awards (now officially rebranded as 'The Oscars') taking its bow this Sunday, there’s no time like the present to get in on Hollywood’s biggest night of the year. But we don’t want to discuss nominees, who’s going with whom, or red carpet fashion. Nope; that’s been done to death. Instead, we’re honing in on first-time Oscars host Seth MacFarlane. The Family Guy creator was an unconventional and unexpected choice, for sure – especially given his comedic track record – but there’s no doubt dude can hold his own. So to get you ready for what could be the most memorable, entertaining and (hopefully) hilarious Oscars in years, we give you the best of Seth MacFarlane, in all its raunchy, offensive, and endearing glory.

1. He nails celebrity impressions – especially when said celebrities are simpletons 

If there’s anybody who does a better impression of Olympic swimming sensation and professional himbo Ryan Lochte than Ryan Lochte, it’s Seth MacFarlane. In this “Weekend Update” segment from Saturday Night Live, MacFarlane as Lochte waxes idiotic about the wonders of being dry and shares his excitement for fall TV, including Matthew Perry’s Goon – or Go On, as it’s known to the rest of us.

2. Even deaf actress Marlee Matlin isn’t off limits

To be fair, credit for this sketch from Family Guy Presents Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show mostly goes to Alex Borstein (who voices Lois Griffin on Family Guy) for not only nailing her impression of Oscar-winning deaf actress Marlee Matlin but also becoming the butt of the joke herself. You just know, though, that MacFarlane was likely the brains behind the operation, as evidenced by his Cheshire-like grin in the background as Matlin lets Borstein have it.

3. He gave grown men license to cuddle with their teddies

Who knew a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, womanizing teddy bear could be so charming? MacFarlane, of course. His comedic genius helped make Ted the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time, it earned him an Oscar nomination in the Best Song category for Ted’s “Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” and it gave men across America the cajones to admit that sometimes they, too, need a Thunder Buddy.

4. Peter Griffin still gives us something to laugh about

Fourteen years after its debut, Family Guy still brings in solid ratings for Fox to the tune of an average 7 million viewers per season. With wacky MacFarlane-voiced characters like bumbling blue-collar worker Peter Griffin, it’s easy to see why.

5. Beyond the fart jokes, he has a softer side

Seth MacFarlane isn’t all about being crude. In fact, he’s a skilled pianist and singer with a penchant for big-band standards and Broadway musicals. In this clip, the multitalented performer delivers a top-notch homage to Gene Kelly with “Singing in the Rain” at the BBC Proms with the John Wilson Orchestra.

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