Talk about a choice out of left field. Seth MacFarlane has been tabbed to host the 85th annual Academy Awards.
We'll give you a moment to digest that one. (Undoubtedly, many of our older readers are right about now are going, "Seth Who?")
MacFarlane, for the uninitiated, is best known as the brains -- and many of the voices -- behind "Family Guy" and other irreverent Fox cartoons. This will be his first-ever appearance on the Oscars stage -- let alone as host.
Clearly, it's a blatant attempt to reach out to younger viewers -- an audience Oscar has craved in recent years as TV ratings declined.
But it's also a risky move. MacFarlane is known for his crude humor and giddy skewering of pop culture -- something that may not go over exceptionally well during a ceremony with a reputation for being prim and up-tight. If the purists were on edge with Chris Rock a few years ago, how will this work out?
The Academy Awards hosts are typically big-name movie stars. MacFarlane's lone big-screen breakthrough came this past summer with "Ted" as the voice of a very lewd teddy bear. He also wrote, produced and directed the film.
As for his hosting resume, it's a light one. He was the emcee of a bleep-filled roast of Charlie Sheen on Comedy Central. He also was the season-opening host of "Saturday Night Live" a couple weeks ago -- a stint that garnered mixed reviews.
Neverthless, he's Oscar's main man.
"His performing skills blend perfectly with our ideas for making the show entertaining and fresh," said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron in a press release. "He will be the consummate host, and we are so happy to be working with him."
"It's truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars," MacFarlane said. "My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don't find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen roast."
The Academy Awards will be telecast Feb. 24 on ABC. Nominees will be announced Jan. 10.