MacFarlane is not known for pulling his punches. His brand of comedy considers anyone and everyone fair game for ridicule, whether it's the low-brow high-drama life of Lindsay Lohan, or the extreme measures that two-time (and soon to be three-time) Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis undergoes for his craft. But the "Family Guy" and "Ted" creator has promised to marry his signature style with the softer sensibilities the Academy Awards are known for — in other words, don't expect a full-blown Ricky Gervais-alike, but don't expect a completely defanged MacFarlane, either.
Here's what else you can expect to see from MacFarlane tonight.
Monologue And Musical Numbers: A source close to the show tells MTV News that the host's opening number will feature a special appearance from a certain someone from a well-known space-based TV show. Any guesses? The opening bit will also include a song and dance number featuring a bevy of celebrity guests, including a certain "Harry Potter" character." All this is hardly surprising, since the man loves to sing and dance. See the numerous original songs on "Family Guy," and refer to his "Saturday Night Live" opening monologue, for more. With "Les Miserables" setting the tone for a musically-minded Oscars, we would be astonished if MacFarlane didn't take the bait and dream up some F-bomb-heavy dreams of his own.
Random Cutaways: If you've ever watched a MacFarlane production, you know what to expect here — the action will shift away suddenly and jarringly to a completely unrelated bit, and it will happen often. We're fully expecting at least five minutes of the telecast to dwell on MacFarlane bemoaning his freshly injured shin.
"Star Wars" References: That long-ago, far-away galaxy is back in the public eye in a very big way. It's fair to expect MacFarlane to get his "Hunger Games" and "Avengers" on during the ceremony, but even more certain is this: the creator of the one-hour "Blue Harvest" special, an unabashed "Star Wars" fan, is not going to be able to last the entire night without at least one swing at the Lucasfilm universe.
Ted: MacFarlane's feature-film debut will be on full display during the Oscars, as it's already been confirmed that Mark Wahlberg will be on stage with your favorite foul-mouthed teddy bear and ours at some point in the evening. Whether or not anything Ted says will actually make it to air? That's another question entirely.
A Better Time than Franco & Hathaway: Aw, we kid because we love. (The people, not the job they did.) We're two ceremonies removed from that fiasco, but even last year's turn from veteran host Billy Crystal worked largely due to nostalgia, not anything particularly new. Well, we expect plenty of nostalgia from MacFarlane as he skews Hollywood traditions of old, and plenty of new moves as well, including transforming into a motion-captured stuffed animal with a bad weed habit before our very eyes. That alone should be well worth the price of tuning in.