That crashing sound you heard was the collapse of the final vestiges of taste, civility, respect, decency -- whatever you want to call it - after the allegedly classy Oscar producers named "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane as the host of the 85th annual Academy Awards next February. MacFarlane used to be the highest-paid sleaze ball in television. He is now the King of Hollywood.
Hollywood, bow to your king. Pick up your pukesicle and lick, lick, lick. You deserve each other.
The first-time producers of this new cultural low are Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who both know something about dwelling in the gutter. They produced the outrageously fictional nonfiction movie, "The Reagans," that even CBS declined to run. Among other beauts, they made up a scene in which the president preached in the White House that AIDS sufferers deserved to "die in sin." The word "classy" is not in their political vocabulary.
They found their match in MacFarlane, who, during one Oscars interview, was asked if Obama would win the presidential race. "I think at this point, Obama can walk out with his penis out on stage and he'd still be able to win." Yes, Hollywood, your new king is that refined.
For his part, MacFarlane has tried to deny he was bringing a flame-thrower to Oscar tradition. "We're not going to turn the Oscars into 'Family Guy,'" he insists. But the descent from Bob Hope and Johnny Carson to Seth MacFarlane is from the clouds in the sky to the bowels of the sewer.
MacFarlane also joked that he hopes people don't remember he hosted Comedy Central's very mean-spirited Charlie Sheen roast. That was when he predicted Sheen would soon be dead, and read the personal obituary he'd written, declaring the actor was found dead in his apartment, then stopped. "I just kinda just copied Amy Winehouse's obituary," he said. Then he added: "I only had to change three things: the sex of the deceased, the location of the body, and the part that says 'a talent that will be missed.'"
This is the Oscar producers' definition of "new and fresh." It's about as fresh as something that's curdled in the back of your refrigerator unnoticed since the 1990s.