By Mike Corbett Sometimes in life, you find two great tastes that taste great together, and delightful combinations are born. Other times, you take one perfectly fine thing, add in another element to spice it up, and end up creating an abomination. This is a story about that second type of combination, more specifically The Simpsons/Family Guy crossover, a thing that simply should not be.
Look, I’m not going to sit here and claim I’ve never found Family Guy funny. It’s definitely had its moments; some of those irrelevant, completely interchangeable cutaway gags are wonderful. That being said, it has absolutely no business being involved with The Simpsons, even in its current sad state of affairs. It’d be far better for both shows to just end, rather than mash them together. Unfortunately, there’s no money to be made in that idea, so we’re stuck instead with this upcoming monstrosity.
You could argue that Family Guy has no business being involved with The Simpsons purely because The Simpsons is a comedy institution, that in its best years turned out comedy gold on a weekly basis, all of which still holds up to this day. That argument however, doesn’t deal with the reality that The Simpsons is a far cry from what it once was, and sadly, in the eyes of most, has been playing second fiddle to Family Guy for the better part of a decade. The real argument for why the two shows shouldn’t be put together is simply that their comedy styles are far too different. Even as Family Guy has begun to influence it, The Simpsons brand of comedy is still far more measured, and often more thought out than Seth McFarlane’s insult everything, crass for the sake of being crass approach.
The video above does a great job in showcasing this clash in styles, none better than when Bart shows Stewie how to prank call Moe’s. Bart carries out his classic bit (with the admittedly cringe worthy” Lee Keybum” name) and then gives Stewie a chance, who responds with rape “joke”. Is the difference in comedy styles stark enough for you?
The Simpsons has been on the air for 25 seasons, and during that time, I bet the word “rape” has barely been uttered at all. The first time Seth McFarlane gets involved with the series, there’s an attempt to make sexual assault a punch line. That stuff isn’t edgy comedy; it’s barely comedy at all. It’s simply a sad attempt at being in-your-face and controversial, which is what Family Guy has been trying to do for years. They seem content to ignore that people enjoy their random non-sequiturs and endless pop culture references, and instead ham-fistedly work in as many references to hot button issues as possible. It’s how you end up with tasteless and completely unnecessary rape “jokes.” Now thanks to Seth McFarlane and whatever idiots dreamed up this crossover, that type of humor is in the world of The Simpsons as well.
This crossover was a stupid idea when it was conceived and it’s even worse in its execution. The Simpsons is a shell of its former self, but the series should have been allowed to hold on to whatever dignity it had left. Instead, Fox chose to cash all that in for a quick ratings boost. If no one on The Simpsons staff cared enough to step up and keep Family Guy’s brand of shock humor out of Springfield, then there’s really no reason for the series to keep going. Just end it now, before McFarlane rubs off on them.
Mike Corbett is a level 3 sketch writing student at the DCH training center an intern for the DCH blog. Find more Mike stuff HERE.