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January 10, 2013

What's Worrying Seth MacFarlane about the Oscars?

TV/movie director, all-around renaissance guy Seth MacFarlane says he's worried — worried about making the Oscars as funny as can be on Feb. 24. If the show lets the humor of the noms ceremony shine through, however, MacFarlane may not have so much fret over. Read what he told us.

By Amy Amatangelo

Beverly Hills, CaliforniaViewers got a taste of what to expect during the 85th Academy Awards when this year’s host, Seth MacFarlane, and actress Emma Stone announced the 2013 Oscar nominees.

MacFarlane, who himself is a nominee for Original Song for the movie Ted, had fun at many of the nominees’ expense with jokes that ranged from Hitler to Harvey Weinstein. He and Stone brought a more casual feel to the press conference, exchanging quippy banter and generating a fair amount of laughs from the audience.

The telecast’s executive producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, told television critics that they wanted the nominations to have a different feel. Their goal is to make the show, which airs live Feb. 24 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern/4:00 p.m. Pacific on ABC, current and relevant.

MacFarlane, who is known for his outrageous and boundary pushing humor, said he expects that some of his jokes Oscar night might be controversial.

“There’s always that one joke that stirs up the pot a little bit,” he told television critics after the nomination announcement. “We’ve been through it on Family Guy on many, many occasions."

"In some ways," he continued. "I’m sure there will be a few things at the Oscars that will generate a little buzz in that regard. Hopefully not too excessive. Our goal is to mix it up a little bit.”

MacFarlane said he does intend to call nine-time Oscar host Billy Crystal and get his advice. The opportunity to host came as a complete surprise to MacFarlane and he accepted the gig because it “sounded like a blast.”

“When was the last time you read a post-Oscar review where somebody in the entertainment press said ‘What a great host?” he asked. “You go into it knowing even if you put on the greatest show in the world, you’re probably going to be lambasted in the press. So you might as well enjoy yourself. Do the best you can."

"I’m worried about making it as funny as it can be — and as fun as it can be.”

Amy Amatangelo blogs at tvgal.com, is published in the Boston Herald and tweets at @AmyTVGal.

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