Seth MacFarlane enters “The Matrix” in Oscar promo spot.

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

A clever pop culture reference with a Viagra joke thrown in … this is Seth MacFarlane’s Oscar night, all right.

MacFarlane, who expanded on his animated TV empire (“Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “The Cleveland Show”) in 2012 with his first feature film, the hit comedy “Ted,” has been tapped to host the 2013 Academy Awards presentation. One of the first promo spots for the show has been released, and suggests McFarlane’s trademark sense of raunchy humor will carry the day.

In the commercial, Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus is speaking to Keanu Reeves’ Neo in an iconic moment from 1999’s “The Matrix.” As Morpheus asks Neo to choose between the red pill and the blue pill, Seth MacFarlane pop into the scene, dressed just like Neo, and … well, you can probably figure out the punch line for yourself, but it has to do with the well known effects of another sort of blue pill.

MacFarlane mentions in the ad that “we’ll be celebrating all your favorite films,” so it’s quite possible that we’ll be seeing a whole bunch more gags during the show that incorporate clips from well known movies. Other Oscar hosts have delivered similar material in the past, most notably Billy Crystal, but this ad delivers MacFarlane’s distinctive variation on the theme. At very least, it’s better than hearing him sing.

The 2013 Academy Awards will be broadcast Sunday, February 24 on ABC.

Check out the Seth MacFarlane's Oscar promo here: