New branch of Seth MacFarlane Inc. opens on the Internet
By Barry Garron
The guy behind "Family Guy" and the wag behind "American Dad" is set to launch a new attack on our funnybones. Beginning Wednesday, Seth MacFarlane will present "Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy," a series of animated shorts, each about a minute or so long.
Under the deal with Google, Burger King and Media Rights Capital (remember them? they're the company that has taken over the programming of CW on Sundays), MacFarlane and his writers will create a total of 50 animated shorts, rolling them out at the rate of one or two a week. You can find them at either youtube.com/bk or sethcomedy.com. (If you go to the site before Wednesday, you can see trailers of the shorts, each a few seconds long and without the punch line at the end.)
Late last week, some members of the press, myself included, got a preview of the first 10. They range from mildly funny to hilarious. There are no recurring characters, just fast zingers, typically with pop culture figures, programs, movies or trends. My guess is that fast food restaurants are probably off-limits.
The first one has a dog giving clues on "The $25,000 Pyramid" and Super Mario saving a less-than-grateful princess. Each rates a solid belly laugh. MacFarlane supplies a lot of the voices but he also relies on voice talent from his other projects, including Alex Borstein, Seth Green and Alec Sulkin. Of the initial batch, MacFarlane said he wrote half and a small staff hired for the project wrote the other half.
I asked MacFarlane if he had thought about repurposing these clever shorts. He said it's possible they could be anthologized on DVD or on a TV program or even transformed into a book of cartoons but there were no definite plans. It's even possible that one or more of the shorts could inspire a TV show in much the same way "South Park" was born. That, too, is not yet in the cards.
Once the YouTube web site is up and running, visitors can enter a sweepstakes to--and I'm quoting the press release here--"win the chance to buy Seth MacFarlane dinner at a Burger King restaurant." Well, it beats getting one of those doofus paper crowns.