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The Modesto Bee Pat Clark column
[January 17, 2013]

The Modesto Bee Pat Clark column

MODESTO, Jan 17, 2013 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- OK, everyone who wants to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the Oscars instead of Seth MacFarlane next month, raise your hands.

OK, everyone who didn't raise their hands, go online and watch video of MacFarlane as he co-announced the nominations for the Academy Awards earlier this month ...

Raising that hand now Maybe yes, maybe no. It all depends on your tolerance for inappropriate one-liners at the expense of those you're supposed to be honoring -- coupled with your tolerance for otherwise harmless jokes that simply fall flat.

MacFarlane may be vying to be the American answer to Ricky Gervais, the latter of who's repeatedly insulted pretty much everyone in the audience when he's hosted the Golden Globes in the past. Fey and Poehler took over the Globes gig Sunday night and totally killed it -- the right way.

Oh, sure, they went for the jugular of many a Hollywood insider: Director James Cameron likely still is losing blood nearly a week later. But "Saturday Night Live" alums Fey and Poehler managed to do it in just enough moderation to get away with it. Plus, they're really likeable, so people seem more willing to roll with it.

MacFarlane was equal parts charming, awkward and downright mean at times in the brief nominations announcement. He was joined by actress Emma Stone, who tried her hand at a bit of (stilted-if- yeoman) comedy, as well.

MacFarlane might want to consider this: Hitler jokes almost are never a good idea.

The selection of MacFarlane as host of the Oscars was intriguing when that announcement was made. He's got a hip factor and a sharp wit. Still, I'm not a fan of any of his animated shows: "Family Guy," "American Dad," "The Cleveland Show," et al. They're just excuses to be shocking and vicious, cloaked in the guise of child-like animation.

Cheap stuff, that.

There's no denying that the guy's crazy talented -- heck, I even saw him singing, and quite well, on some show recently. Crazy talented seems to be the deciding factor in audiences accepting all sorts of inappropriate humor.

Of course, inappropriate doesn't suggest some of the stuff he tosses out isn't funny -- it is. It just might make you feel like you need a shower after laughing, even if you only do it on the inside.

Clearly, awards-show hosting gigs have turned into massive celebrity roasts with multiple roastees -- that is, everyone who's anyone in Hollywood.

Nevertheless, over on Sunday's Golden Globes, Fey and Poehler handled it all in completely fabulous fashion. These two have their timing down to perfection and just the right balance to make their biting remarks seem more adorably naughty than downright ugly.

The entire Globes show was far and above last year's Gervais-led snore. The biggest miss in this year's telecast was the fact that Fey and Poehler weren't on stage often enough.

The Fey-Poehler duo would be welcome at the helm of any and all awards shows that cross the TV airwaves. Oscars Yes, please. Emmys Of course. Grammys Oh, why not Of course, the loosey-goosey atmosphere at the Golden Globes -- coupled with the constant flow of champagne -- likely helped the Fey-Poehler aesthetic. The Oscars are a far more buttoned-down affair. Which is all the more reason to question the MacFarlane choice to host the Feb. 24 ceremony.

Take note Jeremy Renner fans, the Modesto native's latest film release, "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," opens a week from today. The Beyer High grad continues to be a favorite on the "Today" show, where he showed up again this week, along with "Hunters" co-star Gemma Arterton, to promote the action film. Renner was scheduled to be on the Jimmy Fallon show this past Wednesday, as well.

Those appearances found him across the country in New York after a stint on the aforementioned Golden Globes in Los Angeles on Sunday, where he presented the film "Zero Dark Thirty," one of the nominees for best picture. Renner isn't in that movie, but he's close to director Katherine Bigelow, having starred in (and been nominated for) her Oscar-winning film "The Hurt Locker." ___ (c)2013 The Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.) Visit The Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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