|Cast member Scott Grimes, co-creators Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and Seth MacFarlane|
At one point in the episode, Stan (the jut-jawed, trigger-happy American Dad) gives his son Steve a quick lesson on gunman ship:
Steve, shooting a gun is like being intimate with a woman. First, you inspect it to make sure it's clean. Then you grab it on the butt and jam the magazine in. If it doesn't fit, make it.And so it went. As much sex and violence as censors will allow, crammed into a cartoon. Then, on monitors, we watched in horror as dozens of elves were machine gunned to death in the snow.
The credits rolled, and critics sat in stunned silence. Even MacFarlane made a few cracks about the unease in the room.
As Linus might say, "And that's what Christmas is all about in 2010, Charlie Brown."
While American Dad fits with Fox's Sunday "animation domination" schedule, the edgy animated series seems suddenly out of step with the new wave of family comedies that found audiences last season.
He also has a movie in the works, but is tight-lipped on details on the live-action project. "It's about a man and his teddy bear," is all he'd share at press tour.
After the reading, I asked MacFarlane what "Canadian Dad" might look like if he were ever to spin off that series. Said MacFarlane: "He's probably be a polite, easy-going guy with great health care and a low crime rate."