Thursday, April 06, 2006

Cartoon Wars!

Last night's "South Park" took several jabs at "Family Guy." Over the years, the Big Three (including "The Simpsons") cartoons have taken potshots at one another, and many times not so complimentary.

The first salvo was "The Simpsons" versus "Family Guy," in the 14th season's "Treehouse of Horror," as Homer clones himself a la Multiplicity. At one point, the camera pans over all the Homer clones and stuck in the middle of it is Peter Griffin.

"Family Guy" returned last year and there was a long rant from Stewie about "The Simpsons" and overzealous fans in "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter." And recently, there was a Naked Gun (!) spoof ending with Stewie running Homer over in the garage, mimicking the famous "Simpsons" opening. Peter takes a look down and says, "Who the hell is that guy?" in the episode called "PTV."

"South Park" has been reverent of "The Simpsons" but has made some points, especially with the idea that they can't do anything that "The Simpsons" hasn't already done, in "The Simpsons Already Did It." This concerns an episode where Butters, as Professor Chaos, keeps coming up with ideas to rule the world that end up copying "Simpsons" episodes, as friend Dougie (General Disarray) keeps reminding him. As Matt Stone and Trey Parker point out through their characters, there's nothing really anybody can do that's totally original anymore.

"The Simpsons" took a shot at "South Park," also in the 14th season three years ago, in "Bart of War," as Bart and Milhouse watch an episode where Stan and the gang are watching a band comprised of Steve Guttenberg, Calista Flockhart, and Farty the Crippled Robot. Farty farts out an O.J. Simpson that starts killing everyone.

Then last night's "South Park," entitled, appropriately enough, "Cartoon Wars," probably made because many people ask Parker and Stone whether or not they like "Family Guy" because it seems to be the same type of humor and such--took some swipes at the show. The town (and America) is in a furor that "Family Guy" is going to depict the prophet Muhammed, in a reference to the recent editorial cartoons. First, they had Ayman al-Zawahiri, in real video, talking about how angry he was. The fake subtitles said, "The show isn't even that funny. The jokes are interchangeable and have nothing to do with the plot." Cartman later says the same thing when Kyle says, "You should like 'Family Guy.' It's your type of humor." Cartman obviously becomes Stone and Parker's opinion on the matter.

The thing that really spanked "Family Guy," though, was the actual spoof of their episodes. Everything was the family talking to Peter, and always going to the "Remember that time..." gags which allow "Family Guy" to go on plot-unrelated jokes. Even better, this seems to be a two-parter where we'll learn "the truth about 'Family Guy' writers."

That leaves "Family Guy" as the only member of the "Big Three" that hasn't taken a shot at both of the other cartoons--it needs to do a "South Park" and then all of them will have taken a shot at both of their counterparts. Love this stuff. Love it.


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