Like Maggie Simpson and the baby with the unibrow, many fans of The Simpsons have long considered fans of Family Guy their mortal enemy. Speaking as an early Simpsons purist, it always felt as though the animated Fox rival is a sub-par rip-off that uses broad, lowbrow humor to appeal to the masses and lacking the brains, sharp wit, and heart of The Simpsons. Even more distressing, as the quality of The Simpsons has declined over the past few years, Family Guy — and its ubiquitous creator and future Oscar host Seth MacFarlane — seemed to only to get more popular and part of the cultural dialogue.
That’s not to say MacFarlane and Family Guy haven’t taken their fair share of hits from the animation community in the midst of all this. In the classic episode of South Park titled “Cartoon Wars” which skewered the fellow button-pushing comedy, Eric Cartman cried “Don’t you ever compare me to Family Guy“, while The Simpsons made an even louder statement by quite literally making Peter Griffin a Homer Simpson clone during a Treehouse of Horror episode. But while South Park may be standing strong on their stance about Family Guy and its writers room full of manatees, The Simpsons might be calling a truce for good.
Fox has confirmed to Hollywood.com that Family Guy‘s MacFarlane will voice a role on The Simpsons during the Season 25 premiere in 2013. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, who originally reported the news, The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean explained, “We wanted to come together in a bipartisan way to make Fox Sunday night rock.” The episode titled “Dangers on a Train,” MacFarlane will reportedly play a married man who attempts to woo Marge. (Good luck, she’s already turned down the advances of bowling instructor Jacques and her obsessed high school prom date Artie Ziff!)
Though a Simpsons/Family Guy peace offering is actually nothing new (Dan Castallaneta aka Homer Simpson, once cameo’d on Family Guy), it’s hard to say if the same can be said for the fans. Twitter reactions from fans have ranged from zingers (“‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane will guest star on ‘The Simpsons. He’ll play a guy who comes to Springfield and steals everything,” wrote @MancowMuller) to discouraged sentiments. (As one EW commenter griped, “Just when I thought The Simpsons couldn’t sink any lower…”) It all feels a little bit like Springfield is making peace with Shelbyville but the townsfolk are all still a little too mad about that lemon tree to be nice. After all, it was ours first and you tried to take it as your own. Maybe its just remaining bitterness about a Simpsons long since past, or its MacFarlane getting a taste of his own medicine. In this case, the medicine tastes like turnip juice.
Will you watch Seth MacFarlane’s appearance on The Simpsons? Or is the Family Guy creator and all things Family Guy as welcome to Simpsons fans as Lyle Lanley in North Haverbrook?
[Photo credit: Fox]
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