FOX TV animation regulars Family Guy are set to meet The Simpsons in 2014.
Whilst TV animation crossovers are nothing new (I’m sure many of you remember 1987’s The Jetsons meet The Flintones) this might be the biggest official crossover event for quite some time. Family Guy has often twisted its rules and had cameos from creator Seth McFarlane’s other series (such as The Cleveland Show and American Dad) in some episodes. Springfield’s residents have not only played host to Jay Sherman (star of The Critic in the 1995 episode ‘A Star is Burns’) but also to different animators; recently inviting the likes of Bill Plympton and John K to animate opening titles to the show.
The Critic was a short lived TV series that ran for 33 episodes and came from the mind of Simpsons producers Al Jean, Mike Reiss and shared executive producer James L. Brooks with Matt Groening’s family sitcom. Although no doubt amusing to American audiences, as a kid I found the introduction of Jay Sherman a little confusing as his show didn’t play much over here in the UK, but in retrospect the show certainly deserved an extra life, if only for Maurice LeMarches semi-regular Orson Welles impersonations.
Even a Simpsons/Family Guy crossover is nothing new, as the heads of the Simpson and Griffin households have both appeared in each others shows in the past. Notably in ‘Treehouse of Horror XIII’, Homer clones himself many times and variations in the field of clones include a fat Homer, 1980’s Homer and Peter Griffin, a sly dig at the likeness of the two characters. In the Family Guy episode ‘PTV’ Stewie Griffin runs over Homer Simpson with his tricycle in homage to The Simpsons opening, to the bemusement of Peter Griffin. Most recently Homer appeared in the Family Guy episode ‘Ratings Guy’, notably voiced by Dan Castellaneta, the official voice of Homer Simpson.
Other instances and cutaway gags have taken place in both shows, so you could say this has been building up for a while. A supposed rivalry between the two shows has raged for many years with South Park finally taking its gloves off in 2006 with ‘The Cartoon Wars’ series of episodes, in which Family Guy and The Simpsons are both given the South Park treatment. Whilst the episode was more a response to the Danish cartoon news, it fuelled any illusion that there was a bitter feud between the shows. Any rivalry between Seth McFarlane and Matt Groening is downplayed by the pair with McFarlane talking of the “great relationship” he shares with Groening, who admits that Family Guy and American Dad “have definitely staked out their own style and territory”.
The 2014 show will be a Family Guy episode and not a Simpsons one, and by all accounts both the Griffins and the Simpsons will get along well as Peter finds a drinking buddy in Homer, Louis becomes pals with Marge, Meg has Lisa to find her talent and the old school pranks of Bart are of great amusement to Stewie.
Whilst we still have to wait until 2014 to find out if the episode is any good or not, internet forums and comments sections of websites have been lighting up with a mixture of indifference and anger at both shows. If you fancy giving us your 2 pence worth please let us know what you think to this crossover in the comments section below… or you could wait until 2014.