What a nice surprise for host! Let's be honest. Seth MacFarlane hadn't been on those short lists we pundits keep of likely folks to emcee the 85th Annual Academy Awards, but he's an ideal choice, even if largely unknown to the masses.
Hats off to the academy chiefs for not casting by Q Score and star power. No doubt they learned their lesson after employing James Franco and Anne Hathaway two painful years ago. Those celebs were just pretty actors powerless to give their audience anything better than the dreck penned by hack writers.
MacFarlane won't let a similar fiasco occur because he's a savvy scribe who's also a showman – the perfect combo. He's a savage comedian who is fearless about outing hypocrisy in Hollywood.
Also, he performs shtick spot on, as he recently demonstrated deftly on "Saturday Night Live" as airhead Olympian Ryan Lochte. He sings and plays the piano -- preferring old-fashioned standards over more modern pop and rap. Other than that, he's widely considered to be rather hip.
He's also an award winner. MacFarlane bagged two Emmys for his TV series "Family Guy" -- voicing the dastardly tot Stewie and writing the song "You've Got a Lot to See."
And, hallelujah, the Oscars finally have an emcee who's a significant filmmaker. MacFarlane's recent directorial debut, "Ted," was a superhit that could end up winning Golden Globes, which have those separate categories for comedies.