This is yesterday’s news, literally, but Microsoft pulled its sponsorship from the upcoming Family Guy variety special (where Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein will perform as themselves) because they heard the jokes and realized that this was full of “offensive” humour. Microsoft’s announcement makes it clear that they (or the people who greenlit this, anyway) had no idea what the show was about and simply chose to sponsor it because of the demographics:
We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of ‘Family Guy,’ but after reviewing an early version of the variety show, it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand.
There is, however, no truth to the rumour that Seth MacFarlane and the “Mac” from those John Hodgman commercials are the same person. Even though they’re both young and smug. (On a tangent, I now find myself rooting for the PC in those commercials. The Mac is such a smarmy, self-satisfied jerk, in the tradition of those kids from the Trix commercials.) But obviously this won’t help Microsoft any in their quest to make themselves seem hipper.
Actually, I can see the MacFarlane/Borstein thing being decent, or at least better than the other variety specials that the networks have greenlit in their ill-fated quest to bring back the format. One thing I actually do like about MacFarlane is that even though I find him unfunny, he does have genuine love for old-fashioned showbiz, particularly Broadway musicals and Vegas-style cabaret. He has, for example, done at least two parodies of songs from the Bob Merrill/Jackie Gleason musical Take Me Along, a show that only hard-core Broadway buffs seem to know about. I might actually watch this thing just to see if they choose to parody any songs as obscure as Take Me Along‘s “But Yours.”