I never liked Family Guy, but now that they’re doing an episode with such delightful people as Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove, I’m clearly on board.
In an episode being produced for next season, the Griffins’ liberal dog, Brian, gets bored and frustrated because he feels he no longer has anything to complain about with Barack Obama in the White House. So Brian becomes a Republican and starts listening to Rush Limbaugh (who, apparently, also sings a song).
Limbaugh has actually been on the show once before, so the novelty isn’t huge, and Rove, of course, is well on his way to converting himself into a media personality who is beloved by all in the TV news industry. (The fact that he has no intellectual integrity is not a problem in an industry that also likes Newt Gingrich and James Carville.) Part of that strategy is getting a reputation for being a “good sport,” which explains why a Family Guy appearance will help his career.
More interesting than the guest stars is the irony of the plot summary: it’s being announced at a time when it’s clear that liberals have plenty to complain about with Obama in the White House and that (as with Clinton) they may spend the next four to eight years fighting a rearguard action against conservatives (including conservative Democrats), no matter who has the power.
But I admit that’s not Family Guy‘s fault; animated shows can’t stay on top of the headlines, except for South Park, and even that show isn’t as current as it used to be. Maybe by the time the episode airs, the headlines will have changed again and it will once again seem timely. But sometimes it’s better for a cartoon, with its long lead time, to ignore current headlines altogether. The picture to the left is from The Simpsons‘ episode “Sideshow Bob Roberts,” first written in early 1994 when Democrats controlled everything, health-care reform seemed likely to pass, and conservatives like Limbaugh and Sideshow Bob were being written off as marginal figures. By the time the episode aired, health-care reform was dead and the Republicans were on track to take back Congress (which they did, not long after the episode aired), and the show had become timely by refusing to be tied to specific ripped-from-the-headlines news items. Just another reason why season 6 The Simpsons is better than Family Guy.