Almost a year ago, on Thanksgiving Eve 2008, Rosie O'Donnell dug up the corpse of the variety show genre in order to string it up onstage on NBC before an unwilling public. Besides the whole genre graverobbing thing, the problem was that the corpse had already been dug up a few years earlier by Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson for their atrocious Nick & Jessica's Variety Hour, and so the only things left in the coffin were a few petrified pieces of rotten skin, the faint scent of decay, and a note that said, "Hey, you should hire some Segway dancers! People love Segways! And dancing!" And so, after shoving the rotten pieces of the long-dead genre's skin in her pocket for good luck, that's exactly what Rosie did for her live variety abomination, Rosie Live! She had Segway dancers! And the Gloria Estefan giant cupcake dancers! And Conan O'Brien looking really uncomfortable! Obviously, no one watched, the rotten remains of the variety genre were re-interred, and the Segway dancing community's dream for a star of their own was cruelly delayed for yet another year.
But now Seth MacFarlane is ready to dig up the variety show coffin yet again, because it's always fun to desecrate a grave!
"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane is stepping in front of the camera to star in a variety special for Fox next month.
MacFarlane will partner with thesp Alex Borstein for "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," to air Sunday, Nov. 8, at 8:30 p.m.
Instead of commercial breaks, "Almost Live Comedy Show" (which is a working title) will run for a full 30 minutes — but with marketing messages throughout the program for Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system.
Hmm, well if "Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show" is only a working title, I have a suggestion. How about: Seth MacFarlane Sells You Windows 7, Cause That's A Thing That You Need, Live! Or: Family Guy Presents: A Bunch Of Microsoft Commercials: Live! Or: You May Think That Variety Shows Are A Hopelessly Hokey, Antiquated TV Mush Pile, But You Have No Idea How Exactly Hokey, Antiquated, Or Mushy (Buy Windows 7!) Till You Watch This!: Live!
Really, any one of those would work.
Fox One president Jean Rossi compared the integrated Windows 7 ads to the early days of television, when vaudeville-style shows like "Texaco Star Theater" featured live commercial messages pitched by stars between acts.
"We're going through the run-through (on Wednesday), so how this will look we don't know yet," she said. "But Seth and Alex will step offstage and into the commercial and do a pitch."
In one segment, for example, the duo will use what is described as ridiculous and bawdy comparisons to describe what's "as simple as Windows 7" and what's "more difficult than Windows 7."
Sounds peachy. Just top-drawer, really top-drawer. After all, everyone loved Texaco Star Theater when it was on in 1948, right? A great number of those people are probably still alive. And maybe they haven't seen TV since then, so they won't know about all the giant strides forward we've made in TV broadcasting and comedy. So this will definitely be a treat for those possibly non-existant, old, pop-culturally-isolated people!
On the other hand, those old, pop-culturally-isolated people might be offended by this 30-minute Windows 7 commercial with Family Guy songs. I mean, ridiculous and bawdy jokes about Windows 7? That's pretty edgy. And sharp. It's a sharp, edgy edge on top of a pile of edges. Ridiculous is one thing ("Windows 7 is as simple as laughing at a baby porpoise."); bawdy is one thing ("Windows 7 is as simple as makin' whoopee!"); but ridiculous and bawdy ("Windows 7 is as simple as makin' whoopee while laughing at a baby porpoise!") is a tough combination to stomach.