Thursday, May 10, 2007

Family Chicken

Last night while drinking and watching Adult Swim, I realized that, from one perspective, Family Guy and Robot Chicken are essentially the same show, with the major differences being that the latter is not traditionally animated and that it is more or less a more efficient vehicle for joke delivery. Both shows rely on humor that twists pop culture references — often obscure ones, and often into subversive shapes. But Family Guy makes a vague attempt at framing the jokes in a plot, as was pointed out in the episode of South Park in which Cartman discovers that Family Guy is written by manatees dropping "idea balls" — each bearing a noun, verb or pop culture reference — into a chute, which are then grouped into units of five and form a joke. Robot Chicken at least dispenses with the idea of stringing the jokes along a 30-minute plot and just lines up the jokes, disjointedly and rapidly. The end result: similar humor, but with Robot Chicken running at only 15 minutes per episode.

Now if either show could just be consistently funny.

1 comment:

  1. Manatees are very ethical writers. Either everything is okay to write about, or nothing is.