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Seth MacFarlane

September 20, 2007|Mike Flaherty

MacFarlane is the naughtily ingenious creator of Fox's animated sitcom "Family Guy," which returns for its sixth season this Sunday, one week before the return of his other Sunday night, boundary-stretching cartoon, "American Dad." The 33-year-old Kent, Conn., native stopped slaving over his cels long enough to chat about his love of show tunes and fueling the rage of would-be censors.

I understand the "Family Guy" season premiere will be an hourlong "Star Wars" spoof.

The power goes out in the Griffins' house and they're looking to entertain themselves, so Peter tells them the story of "Star Wars." It's a parody-slash-homage with a Zucker Brothers-Mel Brooks spin on it.

So you're ribbing "Star Wars" and "Spaceballs" at the same time.

Yeah. I loved "Spaceballs" as a kid. I'm not sure how well it's held up . . .

Any guest appearances this year?

Paris Hilton will be guesting as herself. She'll be a love interest for Brian [the family dog]. James Woods and Drew Barrymore will be back. We have an episode in which Stewie kidnaps the characters from "Star Trek: The Next Generation"; we have nearly the entire cast on board to provide voices. A nice little reunion.

And musical vignettes?

That's something we try to keep alive on the show. We have Frank Sinatra Jr. coming back -- he and Brian will do a number. Unfortunately, Stewie's rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan's "I've Got a Little List" from "The Mikado" had to be cut, so it will be on the DVD.

You specialize in rude, envelope-pushing humor and yet at the same time have this fascination with Broadway musicals.

The [musicals] give the show some class. The analogy I point to is the song "Every Sperm Is Sacred" from "Monty Python's the Meaning of Life." It's hilarious and it's dirty and it's raunchy, but at the same time it's beautifully done.

Speaking of dirty, the Parents Television Council has named "American Dad" the worst series on TV . . .

Really? It surpassed "Family Guy"?

. . . and it has called "Family Guy" "disgusting, depraved, repulsive, raunchy, ultra-raunchy, despicable, frightening and destructive." Do you feel an odd sort of glee when you hear that?

Those guys are neck-deep in a subculture of hate -- they spend their lives in a rage, and that is not healthy. I know people who object to the shows, but they do it with a wry smile and, "Well, it's not my cup of tea, but at least you're having fun."

Thanks for your time, and continued good luck making people angry.

They should be happy. Where else are people going to hear show tunes?

-- Mike Flaherty

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