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September 1, 2014

Microsoft backs out of MacFarlane's Fox comedy special

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 26th 2009 9:09PM
seth_macfarlane_foxWell, it seemed like an unusual pairing when it was announced. Kind of like oil and water. Well, the oil slick has hit the proverbial fan. Microsoft has withdrawn its sole sponsorship of Fox's Seth MacFarlane comedy special. That's the special that Fox was promoting like crazy yesterday all during the NFL games, the special called Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show.

In the grand tradition of show business, though, the special will go on November 8, just without Microsoft commercials. Fox is looking for alternate sponsors. Here's my first call if I'm at Fox -- Apple. Don't you think those Mac/PC ads would send a message to viewers who might still think Microsoft is behind this?

It would also be a brilliant PR move by Steve Jobs and Apple. After all, they could say, "Hey, we're not afraid of the content in Seth MacFarlane's show. We have a sense of humor."

I'm not saying the folks at Microsoft don't, but you have to wonder. When the corporation chose to back the program -- Almost Live Comedy Show was part of a big marketing deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. – it was to give the new Windows 7 operating system a big launch.

The Windows 7 ads have been blanketing the airwaves. The MacFarlane hour was sure to be seen by the right demographic that Microsoft wants to opt for the OS upgrade.

But did anyone at Microsoft know what kind of humor to expect from Seth MacFarlane? They had seen American Dad and The Cleveland Show and Family Guy, right?

On October 16, the execs got a preview of the special. As Variety reported, the bits with Seth and Alex were in the Family Guy style. They made fun of the Holocaust, deaf people, feminine hygiene and incest. You know, typical MacFarlane stuff.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson: " ...After reviewing an early version of the variety show it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand. We continue to have a good partnership with Fox, Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein and are working with them in other areas."

Yeah, right...

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bbrown

No, Apple does not need to take over after M$ backed down. MacFarlane is not funny anymore and any respectable company would be smart to stay away from him as more and more people are figuring that out as the days go on. The fact that 3 of the 4 shows on Sunday nights belong to that man is ridiculous. Family Guy isn't what it once was and has run its course. I think the last time I laughed at an episode was the Star Wars episodes and I refuse to even try The Cleveland Show.

October 26 2009 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BugKiller

I think if Steve Jobs has a sense of humor, he'd go nowhere near Seth MacFarlane.

Seriously. Have Apple produce something from Matt and Trey or Mike Judge; guys who're actually funny and can constuct a comedy plot, as opposed to stringing together 5 random pop culture vignettes from the '80s surrounded by pure idiocy only a Dane Cook fan would love.

Seth MacFarlane = Dane Cook = Carlos Mencia

Unfunny, unoriginal douche bags.

October 26 2009 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

> "It became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand."

This from the company that created the Dean Cain OMGIGP ads?

October 26 2009 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RevJonathan

I used to be the biggest Macfarlane fan out there, but he's just not funny anymore. He's been in a dry spell for a while. Maybe that has more to do with this. What if the variety show just isn't very good?

October 26 2009 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RevJonathan's comment
NLP

Tried to post a couple of times yesterday, but whacky things kept happening - guess that's 'cause these posts are involved with Microsoft . . . . And site's acting glitchy again!

Anyway, I used to be a huge Family Guy fan. Those first shows were just brilliant. When the show was canceled, I wrote Fox, signed the petition, even bought the t-shirt.
And, I'll be darned!, they actually brought the show back.

But now, as you said, he's just not funny anymore. It became really clear when MacFarland felt the need to devote an entire episode to trashing Fox News. Now he's become just another idiotic, robotic, Hollywood Cadillac liberal who can't tell the difference between news programs and personal opinion programs. At least the South Park guys aren't afraid to be "politically incorrect."

October 27 2009 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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