10:35am PT by Seth Abramovitch
Seth MacFarlane Bows Out of Oscars
"Traumatized critics exhale: I'm unable to do the Oscars again," MacFarlane writes. "Tried to make it work schedule-wise, but I need sleep."
But MacFarlane has high praise for his producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, both of whom defended his divisive performance at February's 85th Academy Awards, which was widely criticized for its brazen political incorrectness.
"However, I highly recommend the job, as Zadan and Meron are two of the most talented producers in the business," the Family Guy creator says of the pair, who have signed on to produce next year's telecast.
MacFarlane's decision is consistent with what he told one Twitter follower just days after his Oscars debut: that there was "no way" he'd sign on to the high-pressure gig again. Still, the producers had voiced interest in bringing him back, and MacFarlane was rumored to be considering it.
With MacFarlane now out of contention, the derby begins to land an emcee for next year's ceremony -- a prestigious but notoriously precarious gig that has gotten the better of James Franco, Anne Hathaway and David Letterman. It requires someone with extraordinarily steely nerves, someone who can evoke Hollywood glamour while playfully poking fun at its more self-serious side.
MacFarlane has his own thoughts on his successor.
"My suggestion for host is Joaquin Phoenix," he deadpans.