The Griffins Come to GW

In envisioning a speech to a class of graduating Harvard students, it’s not unlikely for one to picture a sea of bookish co-eds listening to a scholar or prominent alum sound off on the triumph of personal success. Speaking at Harvard’s class day last June was a different brand of scholar, offering ready sarcasm and realism to boot – not only through his own voice, but with a little help from characters from the television show “Family Guy.”

“Still have your ideals do you? Going to make the world a better place? Be an agent for change? Volunteer? … Save the whales, maybe? … No, you’re going to sell out,” said “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, as Stewie, the baby plotting for world-domination in the animated series.

How’s that for blunt?

Seth Mac Farlene – Rhode Island School of Design graduate, atypical Harvard class day speaker and humorist extraordinaire is the creator of “Family Guy,” the television show with quirky characters Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin and Quagmire.

and a slew of others. To Griffin family enthusiasts who resurrected the series after its 2000 and 2002 cancellation with impressive DVD sales and the niche popularity of re-runs aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, “Family Guy” falls under the umbrella genre of smart cartoon – a quick and brutally funny series recounting the adventures of the buffoonish father Peter Griffin and his family in their (fictitious) home of Quahog, Rhode Island.

MacFarlane will be at the Smith Center this Saturday at 8 p.m., showcasing his talents (he regularly does the voices of not only Peter, Stewie and Quagmire, but also Quahog’s news anchor, Tom Tucker) in an interactive stand-up routine set to energize, engage and insult.

Not only is the floor open for discussion of “Family Guy,” but his more recent (and arguably less popular) series, “American Dad!” More good news for “Family Guy” fans: he’s set to show never-before-seen footage of new episodes to those in attendance.

So, is this show part of a massive tour effort? Nope. The only other recent shows have been at Stanford in April and at Harvard’s class day this past June, meaning that MacFarlane’s visit to D.C. is anything but run-of-the-mill.

Christina Smart, President of Moongate Productions and a 1994 GW graduate, assures that MacFarlane’s show at GW will be something special.

“While Seth gets tons of requests for live appearances, his schedule rarely permits it … This appearance at GW will be his second proper show this year,” she told The Hatchet.

Certainly busy, MacFarlane has executive produced, performed and written for both “Family Guy” and “American Dad!,” and he’s now set to executive produce a live action show (to be called “The Winner”) featuring Rob Corddry from “The Daily Show.”

In past shows, college students have asked for internships and, most memorably, whether Seth wanted to get stoned after the show, Smart said.

“At the Stanford show, someone asked Seth to insult them. His response was ‘You want me to insult you? Okay, you supported the war in Iraq’ … which got massive applause,” said Smart in an e-mail to The Hatchet.

So whether it’s unreleased episode footage, an internship or just a chance to see MacFarlane in action – it all comes at a price, specifically $25 to $35 when purchased through Ticketmaster.

Tickets for Seth MacFarlane’s talk at the Smith Center this Saturday at 8 p.m. can be purchased through any Ticketmaster outlet: www.ticketmaster.com and (202) 397-SEAT or (800) 551-SEAT.

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