Is Family Guy Still Funny?

I got into an interesting conversation over at Backpacking Dad’s blog and it involved the TV show Family Guy of all things.

Basically he was saying that he used to like the show, but not anymore. He said he’s changed as he’s gotten older, matured a lot after having kids and no longer finds it funny. He was especially turned off when they joked about the death of a fictional shaken baby on Sunday’s episode. And to his credit, he did not want to call for a boycott of the show or go on an anti-Family Guy crusade. He was merely trying to point out that his tastes have changed and he is no longer in the Family Guy demographic.

And that’s fine. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. But I commented on his blog because it seemed like he was insinuating that he used to be immature and at that point he loved the show. Now he’s mature with kids and he no longer finds it funny.

I just don’t understand.

Yes, having a baby has changed a lot in my life. My priorities have changed, the number of hours of sleep I get has changed and I have changed more diapers than I can count. I don’t go out as much. I don’t have time for everything that used to be in my pre-parent life. But you know what hasn’t, and probably never will, change? My sense of humor!

Shows like Family Guy, South Park and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are crude, offensive and they push the limits of good taste. Basically, they all crack me up! They cracked me up before Will was born, and they still make me laugh today.

If you’re not familiar with these shows, they make fun of everything. Nothing is sacred. Blacks, Indians, Latinos, gays, women, rednecks, midgets, abortion, rape, incest…you name it, one or all of these shows has made light of it somehow. Some of BackPacking Dad’s commenters said they liked Family Guy, but as soon as they saw or heard about the Shaken Baby joke, they recoiled in horror and pledged their eternal avoidance of Family Guy.

Because apparently it’s ok to make fun of blacks, indians, latinos, gays, women, rednecks, midgets, abortion, rape and incest but they all draw the line at shaken babies. Because THAT would be going too far right?

Give me a break. I truly believe with shows like these, it’s either all or nothing. Everything has to be fair game, or the show shouldn’t even exist. People get offended at different things, it all depends on their background and personal beliefs. If you back down from one, then you might as well cave to them all.

And I really don’t like the insinuation that if you become a parent and you still watch Family Guy or South Park, then you’re immature. Screw that. Why should our sense of humors change just because we had children? So there’s a dead baby joke. As long as it’s funny and well written, I’m fine with it. It’s not encouraging people to kill their babies. I don’t feel that my son is threatened by the dead baby joke. If it’s funny, I’ll laugh. Because if I ever turn into an uppity prude whose sphincter is puckered up tighter than Joan Rivers’ face, just take me out to the pasture and shoot me.

I love my son, offensive TV shows or no offensive TV shows. If you don’t like these shows, that’s cool. There’s no need to watch something you don’t like. But when maturity is listed as one of the reasons you don’t like it anymore, it implies the rest of who do still get a kick of it are immature adolescents, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

So how about Internet? Do you watch these shows? Are you offended? Did you used to watch them but not anymore because you’re a parent? Whether you agree or disagree, I’d like to hear different opinions. In the meantime, I leave you in the capable hands of Mr. Peter Griffin.

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22 thoughts on “Is Family Guy Still Funny?

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. Making fun of certain stereotypes about races or genders is one thing. It’s cruel and ignorant but whatever. I do not think that there is anything funny about rape or incest or babies being hurt. You DO have to draw the line somewhere. There is a difference between being a flawed human (having prejudices) and being a monster (hurting/killing people).

    (But maybe my opinion doesn’t matter so much since I NEVER liked Family Guy. It wasn’t so much about being offended as how annoying the voices are.)

  3. Everybody needs a Redneck around now and then, especially when things get broke up or somethin/someone needs killin’!! LOL

  4. I think Family Guy is hilarious. I just love the whole set up of the show (“that’s more boring than the time I….” etc). This show, along with South Park are basically making fun of people who ARE racist or sexist…or just stupid. And I like that. :)

    And, my daughter (10.5 months) CRACKS UP every time Family Guy comes on. She loves the opening song. Is it bad that I think that’s hilarious? ;)

  5. My husband has always loved Family Guy, The Simpsons and any other show that pokes fun at life…the world…and everything in it. Fatherhood hasn’t changed that one bit. Personally, I don’t watch any of it because I don’t have the brain capacity anymore to retain anything that I see on TV, but that’s another issue altogether. I am not offended by those programs and probably WOULD watch them if I wasn’t such a veggie. To be quite honest, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making fun of the cruelties in life…or cracking jokes about the many stereotypes that seem to control the universe. I almost think it’s “healthy” to be able to laugh at the absurdities that come out of people’s mouths…and at some of the horrible things some of us endure. I know that there are things in my own life that I would probably break down and cry about every day if I hadn’t learned to deal with them through laughter. Call it a defense mechanism or whatever…I don’t care. It makes my life much more fun and enjoyable! I dress my kids in “Postpartum Survivor” tshirts after experiencing SEVERE postpartum depression with my 1st born. Was going through that fun or easy? No, but I survived and looking back on it I would rather laugh than drown in my sorrows or feel guilty about how I felt. These shows are just there to get more people to see the lighter side of things and to laugh at some of the really shitty luck some of us have. They’re probably more therapeutic than people even realize!

  6. Jenn: I don’t think it’s ignorant or cruel but I have a twisted and dark sense of humor. You kind of have to if you’re going to be a fan of those shows. And like other posters have said, the show really makes fun of stereotypes by BEING a stereotype. But it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

    Vic: You better save that redneck mentality for next weekend. We’ll have no kids, open bar and we’re sharing a hotel room. This is going to be ugly.

    Katie: I couldn’t agree more. Well said.

    Andrea: EXACTLY! The “Postpartum Survivor” shirt is DEFINITELY something I’d put on Will. For me, it’s a defense mechanism and the best way to get over something is to laugh at it. MJ and I went through two miscarriages before Will was born and it sucked, but when the show made a coathanger crack…I died laughing. Not because I think aborted fetuses are funny, but because it provided a release.

  7. I’ve been a mom for almost a decade now and nothing distracts me from choking those little hellions like a Family Guy Marathon.

  8. I don’t see anything wrong with these shows at all-I don’t necessarily think the humor is THAT funny…but it can be some times…over the top is funny.

    If you don’t like it…don’t watch it:) Simpsons have been around for how long? Gee I bet it’s not because it’s too horrific for television;)

  9. Family Guy is one of my favorite shows. I’ve been shocked by what they managed to get past the censors, but that won’t stop me from watching it.

  10. Everyone takes things way too seriously. These are jokes people. Having said that I don’t watch either show anymore. I used to watch both. Eventually I quit watching but it was long before I became a parent. I still like Family Guy most of the time but I just don’t take the time to watch it.

  11. I can attest to Aaron’s sick sense of humor. His dead baby jokes drove drove an annoying girl that he dated away (Tom Brady jersey anyone) and pushed me and my husband together. Thanks Aaron!!

  12. Well, if you think that was really funny, try this simple test:

    – imagine your child
    – imagine your child lying in a hospital bed
    – imagine the ventilator disconnected
    – imagine your child isn’t breathing anymore

    Now, repeat the joke.

    Did you laugh?

    If not, it wasn’t really that funny, was it?

  13. George, are you kidding me?

    Are you asking if I think my child dying is funny? The answer is obviously no. Now are you asking me if a teenager on Family Guy giving birth to a baby at the prom, ditching it in a dumpster and then the discarded baby goes on to sing a song called “Prom Night Dumpster Baby is funny, the answer is hell yes.

    Newsflash, TV isn’t real life.

  14. I can imagine an anvil dropping on my son’s head and him falling off a cliff, and I don’t find that funny. But when it happens to Wile E Coyote, both myself and the Roadrunner think it is hilarious.

  15. I think that everyone has their own personal sacred cows and that anything you say about that subject that isn’t rainbows and kittens will make them upset and cause a visceral reaction. The Family Guy definitely plays into that with making deliberate jokes that elicit those responses from people. It’s what that show is and that is what it is (can I say is more in one sentence? I DON’T KNOW).

    I do find that my sense of humor has changed slightly over the years (whether it’s a product of parenthood remains to be seen) but I still appreciate that visceral sense of humor.

    However, I’ve never found The Family Guy to be particularly funny nor do I watch it with any regularity, mostly because I don’t care for watching cartoons, however grown-up they may be. It’s just not my thing, you know?

    But I don’t find shaken baby jokes (or dead baby jokes) funny and I probably never will. I didn’t see this episode and I don’t know if I’d have laughed or not, but I never found those dead baby jokes particularly funny (remember that book of jokes?). That said, one of my favorite off color jokes is so off color that I can’t repeat it here. It’s that offensive.

    I guess it’s all in who you are and I don’t think that who I am has changed *that* much parenthood or no.

    Besides my waistline.

  16. “Because if I ever turn into an uppity prude whose sphincter is puckered up tighter than Joan Rivers’ face, just take me out to the pasture and shoot me.”

    Hilarious.

    My husband watches Family Guy & The Simpson’s. I watch with him, because he enjoys it, and occasionally it makes me laugh (or roll my eyes either one works). It doesn’t offend me, because one it’s TV (TV = not real), and two IT’S TV. We would all be stuck watching things like Growing Pains, The Brady Bunch, and Little House on the Prairie if we had to walk on egg shells just out of fear of offending someone. If you’re offended, don’t watch. Period. I’d be lost without The Office, and if they were take Family Guy off the air I’m sure The Office would be right behind it. Oh, and saying that you use to like Family Guy, but don’t now because you’re a parent is ludicrous. Who the hell are you? Don’t lose your sense of humor just because you have a kid. In fact, having a sense of humor will help you survive raising your kid(s).

  17. I think Family Guy is freakin’ hilarious! That said, I don’t laugh at their dead baby jokes. Eh, whatever…I don’t need to find all of it funny to love the show!

  18. I haven’t found the current season of Family Guy all that funny, but the reason I’m not laughing as much is because it doesn’t hit that offensive high-mark I’ve come to expect. It hasn’t seemed that over-the-top offensive to me this season, which makes me laugh less.

    (The OJ Simpson episode that aired last Sunday is the one that has made me laugh hardest this season. I loved it.)

    I love Family Guy. I love that no one is safe from them. I love Seth MacFarlane for giving FOX the finger.

    I find it odd that the shaken baby joke offended this guy, but Herbert the puppy toucher isn’t even mentioned. That character bothers me more than anything else on that show, but I deal because I know it’s ok to laugh at things that are horrifying or uncomfortable.

    I’ve been watching Family Guy since it first aired in 1999 on FOX, I watched it when it moved to [adult swim] and back to FOX again.

  19. Haley, I agree. The newer shows haven’t been nearly as good as when it first came out. It seems like MacFarlane is reaching nowadays, almost like the writers are trying too hard. But it’s still pretty comical and it’s usually good for a couple laughs. I still pop in the old DVDs when I want to laugh my ass off though.

  20. I’m the same way, I watch the dvds all the time. When we can’t figure out what to watch, fall back on Family Guy. (The dvds are better anyway, you get all the profanity and other “offensive” extras-like Peter Griffin’s crotch shot getting out of a limo…ugh.)

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