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October 7, 2015

American Dad and Family Guy - Comic-Con Report

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 26th 2008 4:15PM

Brian and Stewie from the Family Guy panel

I have come to an epiphany when it comes to American Dad and Family Guy: a studio audience is needed. I came to this realization after attending both the Comic-Con panels for these respective shows, which showed clips from their respective series. Scenes that I would have generally smirked at or given a chuckle made me laugh out loud along with the rest of the audience. Which brings me to one of two conclusions: either laughter is contagious, or I am just a lemming.

Either way, an enjoyable two hours was spent with casts from both shows as they did some table readings, provided some clues to upcoming episodes,and provided clips from some previously run and new episodes of both shows.

The American Dad panel featured a table reading by the voice actors of the show. This included Seth MacFarlane himself as well as ER's Scott Grimes, Ruth MacFarlane and Wendy Schall. They only provided one scene's worth of reading as the last two scenes where shown as animated with the pre-recorded voices. As the show is quite physical the reading was a bit fragmented as the lines of dialogue were interrupted by script notes throughout. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable experience. Mostly because we got a chance to match up the voices with the personalities who do them.

There was no news from the American Dad panel, but there were some tidbits of information that came from the Family Guy panel, which featured the two Seths -- MacFarlane and Green -- as well as the producers and writers of both Family Guy and the upcoming The Cleveland Show. After viewing a fairly funny clip from the episode "I Dream of Jesus", written by former Simpsons writer Brian Scully, the following morsels of information were dolloped out to the crowd:

  • Upcoming episodes will feature: A new dog in the Griffin house that is always happy, which will make Brian leave; Stewie and Brian go back in time to 1939 Poland and, unfortunately, bring Mort Goldman along; a takeoff on the 'Sliders' premise with Stewie and Brian traveling to different parallel universes.
  • It was also announced that this this season will see a sequel to the Star Wars parody "Blue Harvest". As mentioned previously it will be a parody of The Empire Strikes Back and the title will be "Something Something Something Dark Side".
  • There is no official word on a premiere date for The Cleavland Show; however, MacFarlane said that they were "putting a helluva lot of work on the show." "You will not be disappointed," he added. Mike Henry, who is the producer of Cleveland, said of the show "we have a nice bunch of folks here, and we are pretty psyched."
  • James Woods will be returning for Family Guy sometime this season.
  • During the audience Q&A there was a question on whether or not the two Seths check with each other concerning their Star Wars parodies. Seth M. said that they do check with each other to make sure they are not doing the same bits. By the way, Seth Green is working with his Robot Chicken team to produce a new Star Wars special. "And the race begins," Green jokingly said about his Star Wars special and Family Guy's upcoming "Blue Harvest" sequel. "No rivalry," he quipped, "It's all love."
  • When asked if he has had professional training for his singing voice, Seth M. admitted that he has trained for a number of years with a couple in their nineties to whip his singing voice in shape.
  • Another audience member asked why Stewie was no longer trying to kill his mother. Seth M. said they try to get back to it (like they did during the 100th episode), but "It's hard to do this one note thing." He added that, despite being a cartoon, the character of Stewie needed to expand. So, they let him grow.

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Uh... No more "Stewie and Brian" adventures please. Brian's travels with Peter and Stewie's interactions with his mom have always been better and are far less overused.

July 27 2008 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know, that's funny about the audience thing. People often complain about sitcoms with laughter as "telling you when to laugh" but I'm pretty sure that's not the intention. At least--I don't think it was the original intention. I think it's more to provide that "watching-with-an-audience" feeling. I actually went to a taping of The Class, last year, and found that we in the audience were laughing a lot...and I for one was actually laughing out loud, and I don't usually make sound when I laugh...even when I'm laughing hard. It definitely is a different experience watching something with other people.

July 27 2008 at 3:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Poster

July 27 2008 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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