You could call him a failure because he was sexist.
You could call him a failure because he was racist.
You could call him failure because he was homophobic.
(He was All Three)
But more than anything he failed to recognize the host’s role at the Oscars or any award show. The tenor is the Oscars is how important film is, how important acting is, how these films change our lives and make the world a better place.
That kind of righteous self-importance is a comedy gold mine. A host deftly making fun of Hollywood and the movie industry serves as a counterbalance to the self-righteousness that inevitably comes with an evening of handing some millionaires trophies.
That’s why MacFarlane ultimately failed. If he had turned his (supposedly) ironic eye on the film industry rather than the sight of boobs he might have been a winner.