Sundays with Seth: Farts, the Worst April Fool's Gag of All Time and More Farts
by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 12th 2010 4:53AM
I don't know if you've heard. But, apparently, the bird is the word.
'Family Guy' snuck in a nice callback to the season seven episode, 'I Dream of Jesus,' when Peter burst out with "Surfin' Bird." We got just a taste of Peter's classic dance and performance, but it was enough to bring back the laughs from that excellent episode.
Luckily, the night didn't need to rest on its past glories, as Seth MacFarlane returned to Sunday night dominance. With the failure of 'Sons of Tucson,' FOX dusted off 'American Dad' and brought the series back early to pinch-hit with new episodes. While 'Family Guy' didn't bring us the promised crossover event -- that was apparently an April Fool's joke on us -- they did play the cruelest joke you could imagine on their cast: they told them all they were going to die.
It's fun to over-think the logic of shows like this. When newscasters Diane and Tom announced that the end of the world was just a prank the network had played, it made me wonder why no one noticed that this story wasn't being covered anywhere else. In their defense, they did have Stephen Hawking in on the set-up, which may have been genuine news. In further defense, it's a freaking cartoon! What the hell am I doing?
I have decided, though, that there may not be a right time for me to tell my son that I don't like being around him. You can never trust that the world is going to end when they say it will, and that damned doctor just might save you and get you off of that deathbed. No, it's better to just never tell them something like that.
Peter was right in one thing, though. No matter how much you screw up, and how much your kids say they hate you, it is all too easy to buy that affection right back. Whoever said money can't buy love wasn't trying to win the love of their children. It may not work on the ladies, but kids are shallow creatures. Sometimes ice cream or candy can do the trick; it's a helluva lot cheaper than an X-Box 360.
Peter's attempts to bond with the kids before that purchase brought some of the most hilarious visuals. When Peter's head went out of the shot so he could do some meth, I knew it was coming, but it was still funnier than I expected. The wall that didn't have a hole in it, and then his relapse again when listening to Stewie, was brilliant, as was Brian's appearance later, having found it in the trash.
'The Cleveland Show' did manage a crossover, while moving forward the overall narrative of the larger MacFarlane-verse. Quagmire certainly had a busy night. He tricked Joe into letting him sleep with Bonnie on 'Guy,' which Joe took in stride, while earlier he revealed to Cleveland that he'd had sex with Loretta's body; it was her death that spurned the appearance of the 'Family Guy' cast.
It was just a short piece, but it was always funny to see the recurring gag of Cleveland sliding out the front of his house in the bathtub. Only, Cleveland always survived the ordeal. Loretta landed in the classic twisted limb fashion made famous on MacFarlane cartoons, but perished. The montage at the end showcased why her death didn't really matter. She served no further purpose for Cleveland or Quahog, so it was a reasonable progression to provide closure to Cleveland's connections to his former hometown, and firmly establish him and Cleveland Jr. in their new family.
I could have done without all the farting, though. I am a guy, but I'm not that guy who giggles every time someone farts and has whole stories and anecdotes surrounding the act. It's gross, it stinks and it's not even remotely entertaining. I know that's hard to read as it challenges everything you've learned about men, but that's how I feel.
I can tolerate the gag from time to time, but it reached the point where Cleveland's gas served no further purpose to the plot of the episode, and was just there to give boys something to giggle over. He even got a fart card. It did set up that dramatic karaoke finish to the episode, but I think I could have remembered he was having gas problems without having to hear about it all episode.
Maybe you thought the farts were the funniest parts. I found it far funnier when Tim the Bear lamented to Arianna that he should have pooped on the stage to win the crowd. With the way they were clamoring for the fart horn, Tim dropping a load on the stage may have just sealed his victory.
The farts continued into 'American Dad.' I'm not sure if the plan was to return with this episode, but it's always a winning formula to have Roger take the lead. I was a little surprised to see him actually commit to joining the police academy, making lasting genuine changes to his lifestyle for the duration of the training.
Roger's a very "Ooh, a piece of candy!" kind of guy, like James Woods, but I actually enjoyed Stan taking him under his wing and training him to be the best police officer the city has ever seen. Until he got a taste of power and corruption and the bastard Roger we all know and love was front and center again.
Reginald, the koala, was back again and the flirtation he shared with Hayley escalated tremendously when they went on a double-date. Reginald's girl was a mess, lying down in the theater when stricken with acid reflux, while Hayley abruptly dumped her boyfriend when she realized Reginald was available. I guess the plan is to explore this relationship for awhile, which might help to make Hayley a more interesting and viable character in the show.
Highlights of the Night
-- "Have fun on your spinoff, Joey!" --Quagmire to Cleveland on 'The Cleveland Show' (It's a reference to 'Friends' spinoff' 'Joey' for all you kids who don't remember a time when 'Family Guy' wasn't on the air)
-- "How 'bout we do a song that's not whiny bullcrap," Peter to Coldplay on 'Family Guy,' moments before getting kicked out of the band
-- The entire end sequence of 'Family Guy' with Peter as the newbie on 'Call of Duty,' because I'm that guy. I have the worst possible aim, and that's exactly why you won't see me on any public servers playing with real gamers.
[You can find clips and full episodes of 'Family Guy,' 'The Cleveland Show' and 'American Dad' on SlashControl.]