LOS ANGELES – Despite getting advice from Billy Crystal and working as hard as he can to prepare to host the Academy Awards, Seth MacFarlane says his hosting gig is a “one-off” and that he’ll be “flayed by the press” no matter what he does.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday from the Dolby Theatre, where he’ll host the 85th annual Oscar ceremony Feb. 24, the entertainer was alternately confident and self-deprecating.

“I’m not feeling a lot of pressure from myself,” he said. “There is sort of a comfort in knowing that no matter what you do, you’re going to get the same reactions in the reviews. So I could put on the worst or the best show in the world and I will still be flayed by the press.”

Still, he said he’s spent five months trying to strike a comedic balance that will satisfy the fans of his animated shows and the comparatively highbrow audience inside the theater.

“I’ve set myself up for the hardest job in the world because the fans of ‘Family Guy’ and ‘Ted’ and the shows and whatnot that I do are expecting one thing. If I deliver that, this crowd will walk out,” he said.

He promises to add bite to the show –“The whole point of their bringing me on was to give it a little bit more of an edge”– but acknowledges there will be a lot of ego in the audience.

“You have a room full of people who are at the top of their game … and yet this is also the group with the thinnest skin on the planet,” he said, “so it’s a tough group.”

Giffords, Kelly promote gun-control in Vogue

TUCSON, Ariz. – Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, talk about their continued push for gun regulation in the upcoming issue of Vogue.

The couple has formed a political action committee in hopes of preventing gun violence and changing laws to require compulsory background checks for gun buyers. The PAC will also work to limit the size of ammo magazines and to ban the sale of assault weapons to civilians.

Kelly said “now is the time” to do something in the wake of recent mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.

The article appears in the March issue that will be available on newsstands Tuesday.

Giffords, 42, was among 13 people wounded in a January 2011 shooting rampage that killed six outside a Tucson supermarket.

Brown hired as Fox News contributor

NEW YORK – Fox News Channel is hiring former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown as a contributor, and the Republican made his debut in prime time on Wednesday.

The network said Brown will offer commentary across several programs, starting with Sean Hannity on Wednesday. Brown lost his seat to Elizabeth Warren in November and declined to run in a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by now-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Brown said he’s looking forward to challenging elected officials to put the country’s needs ahead of their partisan interests.

Fox has been remaking its contributor lineup in recent months, cutting ties to Sarah Palin and Dick Morris while hiring Brown and Dennis Kucinich.

– From news service reports