America’s Family Guy has been banished to the couch…

It’s been 4 days since the Oscars aired, and I am already tired of seeing, reading and hearing exactly how offensive, misogynistic and inappropriate Seth MacFarlane was as host. And here I was, thinking Peter Griffin was the only one that ever beat a dead horse. At least with “Family Guy”, you know the episode is going to end in 30 minutes.

For the better part of a decade, Seth MacFarlane has gained legions of fans with his brand of nothing-is-sacred comedy. From gays to various religions to the education system to the Hollywood elite to himself, Seth will make fun of anyone and anything.

I count myself among his fans. I like his biting wit and satirical views and only occasionally feel a bit guilty for laughing. My feelings of guilt are not Seth’s fault; his jokes are funny because they’re true. He gets a bad rap because he has the balls to tell them, while others, including myself on occasion, are too busy looking around to see if anyone might be offended before laughing. If we took the jokes for what  they are, parodies trying to point out the hypocrisy in our own views, then we would all laugh mightily and probably add a few years to our lives as we would finally stop being so damned uptight.

I’m not saying every joke was the best joke Seth has ever told. In fact, I agree with pretty much everyone that the ‘Jews run Hollywood’ and ‘all black people look alike’ jokes were tired a decade ago. But Seth was hired for a reason: to use his brand of comedy to get his more than 3 million followers on Twitter, fans of his two hit TV shows and fans of his recent box office record breaking movie to tune into the Oscars. Between hiring Seth and dropping the “85th” from the ads halfway through the promotion, the Academy was trying to rebrand the Oscars as a show Seth’s demographic would want to watch. It was a gamble that seems to have paid off. The Oscars did see an increase in viewership compared to last year when Billy Crystal, the Academy’s favorite darling, hosted for the 10th time.

The problem arises when Seth, as host, is expected to be something he isn’t. He can’t pander to the Hollywood elite during a one night gig and risk alienating his core fan base by giving an inauthentic performance. So, let’s take a look at some of the jokes that have people wishing Chris Brown would take Seth for a late night car ride in LA.

The Chris Brown/Rihanna joke seems like a good place to start. I’ve read claims that because this joke makes light of domestic violence “we’ll end up with more dead women.” I’d like to think this joke is more of a warning to Chris Brown than an attack on Rihanna for going back to him. This joke says to Chris: “We know what you did, and while Rihanna has forgiven you, we haven’t. We’re still watching; don’t make that mistake again.”

Seth’s comment about being a former exotic dancer was another joke deemed as an attack on women in general and Jennifer Aniston specifically. This was not a barb to Jennifer Aniston. It was a challenge to our stereotypical ideas that when you see a man and a woman and you are told one of them is a former stripper, you will automatically assume it’s the woman. This time, that wasn’t the case and as much as we’d like to think otherwise, women are just as capable and just as likely to objectify men. The box office success of “Magic Mike” proves that point. I’m sure you saw the memes this summer “this is the first time guys want to see a movie about a teddy bear and girls want to see a movie about strippers.” I’m not embarrassed to admit I doled out my 8 singles to see Channing Tatum body roll in larger than life proportions on the big screen. And if he was still performing in the Tampa Bay area, I’d make the two hour drive south to my hometown to see him in the flesh.

Speaking of nakedness, “We Saw Your Boobs” is a catchy tune. I didn’t have an issue with it, and obviously, neither did a number of the women mentioned as they were part of the bit. And if you notice, Seth mentioned very strong women in a number of very strong roles. If he wanted to make a true mockery of women showing skin, he would have used that opportunity to make a Kardashian sex tape joke. However, I do think Seth missed an opportunity to call out several other boobs we regularly see. I’m looking at you, Matthew McConaughey, your wardrobe must be the least expensive of all stars because you spend so much time on screen, and in real life, without a shirt.

That reminds me, the audience was okay with equating Ben Affleck’s bearded face to a Kardashian but not okay with John Wilkes Booth being the one actor to “really get into Lincoln’s head?” What does that say about us as a society? I’ll tell you – it says we are only concerned about gender equality when it’s convenient and we can’t joke about something that happened nearly 150 years ago.

Don’t agree? Tell me, where were your admonishing words when neither Time nor Newsweek bothered to feature Nancy Pelosi on the cover when she became the first female Speaker of the House, but both put John Boehner on the cover when he was merely the presumptive Speaker? Where are your condemnations over the fact that women earn, on average, $0.81 for every $1 a man makes, for the same job?

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to explain each of Seth’s jokes to you. It was a 3 hour and 35 minute show, and I do have a job. That means, I have to work longer and harder to be able to afford the same house as my male neighbor. Don’t worry about being outraged on my behalf; I know you’re busy condemning Seth MacFarlane for mentioning Quvenzhané Wallis’ name in a joke making fun of a man’s (George Clooney) penchant for dating younger women. So, let’s agree to put this topic, along with your delicate sensibilities to bed, shall we?


If I ruled the world…

If I ruled the world, one of the very first things I would do is create a harem of beautiful men to serve me. They need not be slaves or property in the true sense of the word, just be available to meet my every whim (while scantily dressed – I am not above objectifying men). I have three men in mind to get the group started and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the first one to you now.

Yes, that’s right. Seth MacFarlane is one of my top three. If you have eyes in your head, you can see that Seth is rather nice to look at but that is hardly the reason he will be one of the first in my harem once I rule the world. There will be others that fill the role of eye candy so Seth must have a higher purpose and thankfully, he has some amazing skills that will make him a great addition to my collection.

Firstly, he appears to be rather intelligent. As I’ve never had an actual conversation with him, I can only base this assumption on the references he makes in his television shows and his jokes. I know he has a team of writers but surely, some of things he says are from his own brain. One of my favorite jokes was posted on his twitter account: “If a macaque gets dismembered, I guess you’d call it rhesus pieces.” That’s just damn funny, it has a reference to my second favorite candy of all time (for the record, my favorite candy is Sixlets), it has an old world monkey reference and fun word play. See what I mean? Dude is basically a genius.

Secondly, Seth is equal opportunity. From gays to various religions to the education system to the Hollywood elite to himself, Seth will make fun of anyone and everything. His jokes are spot on and only occasionally make me feel a bit guilty for laughing. A good example also comes from Seth’s twitter account: “The lyrics to “Call Me Maybe” sound like the prelude to a horrific date rape.” This joke gained a ton of attention for making light of an incredibly violent and horrific act but as Seth says, “there’s no hell; you’ll be fine.” So, feel free to laugh.

Third, Seth is a proud and vocal atheist. Personally, I don’t know what I believe. I definitely do not subscribe to some bullshit book of fairy tales that disapproves of haircuts and eating lobster but is perfectly okay with a father offering up his daughters to a mob. But in times of stress and sadness, I find myself talking to someone/thing, sometimes bargaining, sometimes just getting my headspace clear. And, generally speaking, I’m okay with people believing in and talking to a fairy or wizard or weird creepy dude living in the sky, if that’s their bag. I’m not okay with people using their fairy/wizard/creepy dude to keep others from doing whatever it is that makes their heart sing. The more people that proclaim their status as a disbeliever, the more voices of reason we have in matters of public policy. And that’s a good thing.

Fourth, the man can croon. Besides the jack ass songs featured in Family Guy, I had no idea Seth could actually belt out a tune until Wil Wheaton* mentioned it a few years ago. Naturally, I headed to Youtube to have a listen. You should check out this one, and this one and this one. And when you are finished with these, just do a search for Seth MacFarlane singing and spend the next few days in auditory bliss.

But all of that pales in comparison to the cherry on the top of the Welcome to the Harem sundae: Seth is a liberal! There is nothing I find more attractive in a man than his leftist political views. He has a remarkable platform and uses it well.  His views are represented regularly in his shows and he doesn’t feel the need to apologize when he offends someone with more delicate sensibilities. My favorite example of his personal views appeared in an article published by The Advocate regarding marriage equality: “…I thought to myself, Why is it that Johnny Spaghetti Stain in fucking Georgia can knock a woman up, legally be married to her, and then beat the shit out of her, but these two intelligent, sophisticated writers who have been together for 20 years can’t get married? It’s infuriating and idiotic.”

Now, before you think the pedestal I’ve created for Seth is too high, let me reassure you that I do find fault with him. I think he may have a drinking problem. I’m not saying it’s an alcohol drinking problem but he definitely imbibes beverages from a cup as some sort of crutch. If you have ever seen him on a talk show, you will know what I mean. I first noticed his incessant drinking when he was a panelist on Real Time with Bill Mayer. In lieu of jumping into the debate with the two conservatives, Seth spent most of the episode clinging to his cup like it was the only thing that would save him. At one point, Bill Mayer called him out for being a lame panelist. I expected much more from Seth in this type of discourse and I was sorely disappointed. Since that show, I’ve noticed Seth always has a cup and is constantly drinking from it when being interviewed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for hydration, but I think Seth drinks as often as his shows beat a joke to death. Which is every single time a joke is told, over and over and over and over again. Fortunately, his drinking is not a deal breaker for me. So, Seth, drink up and get ready to serve me some lightly frozen grapes while we watch the latest Katherine Heigl romcom.

Be sure to check out Seth hosting The Oscars tonight. I’m sure he will knock it out of the park and will look very dapper doing it.

*For the record, Wil Wheaton would definitively be on my harem list. He’s nerdy and a little awkward and pretty easy on the eyes. Plus, he starred in one of my favorite movies of all time, so I’ve kind of loved him my whole life. But, he’s married and while I’m okay with the idea of having a group of men be at my beck and call, I draw the line at home wrecking. See? I do have standards.

Photo credit: Awards Daily