back to article Microsoft ropes in Family Guy to pimp Windows 7

If Windows 95 made you Mick Jagger, and Windows 98 made you David Bowie, then Windows 7 is going to make you a Family Guy or American Dad. Microsoft has coughed up to take over the talent behind the apparently subversive comedies to celebrate the launch of its must-succeed operating system this month. Or as Microsoft puts it …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    I thought Win95 was all about Buddy Holly (or Weezer)

  2. Ray0x6

    thought this was a joke at first

    oh wait, it is

  3. Mark McNeill

    They've been there, surely

    Hasn't MacFarlane already covered Windows?

  4. Ian Davies

    Just awful

    This is the most appalling example of commercial prostitution I think I've ever seen. When the Simpsons did the "Mapple" episode, it was funny *because* it wasn't official and didn't show undue reverence.

    Microsoft aren't going to pay for an episode that rips the piss out of Windows 7, so how on earth is McFarlane and co. going to come out of this undoubtedly sycophantic puke-fest with any shred of credibility?

  5. Chris Wood

    What about Weezer?

    On the other hand, the bundling of Weezer's Buddy Holly video with Windows 95 probably helped them cross over into the mainstream at the time.

    Maybe Microsoft should be looking for up and coming talent willing to whore themselves out rather then established names.

  6. NB

    extremely disappointed

    I respected Seth MacFarlane a lot before I read this. Shame it turns out that he too is a soulless corporate cock sucker.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Let'shope Farlane follows Bowie and Jaggar. Fucking hate Family Guy. It is seriously unfunny. I find myself for once siding with Mr. Cartman on this. That show has fewer laughs than a funeral. Of a little girl. Who died of leukemia. After three years of crippling and tortuous illness, death finally came as a blessed release. But then the insurance bills came in, and then came in some more. So dad finally couldn't afford it all anymore so he wound up sticking his head in an oven. A combo-microwave oven, which let me tell, is no fun. AND STILL THIS FUCKING FUNERAL WOULD BE FUCKING FUNNIER THAN FUCKING FAMILY GUY

    Oh, and the Microsoft angle: pure class. I thought they had really hit the nail when they combined someone who can't make a funny to save his life with another guy who can't predict a technology to save his company. But now they've one-upped it: take one guy who has a proven track record of not being funny, and combine that with a company with a proven track record of producing shit. I wonder what the result will be....

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Are they giving up

    on the non US Market?

    At least with Mick J & David B, they were pretty well know around the world but Family Guy? Please.

    Add Fox and how dumb Fox news is considered to be, then frankly, 'Times are a changing'. The signs are that microsoft is getting pretty desperate.

    I rember seeing the queues at a PC Shop in Iceland when W'95 was released. The Windows 7 launch is a damp squib by comparison.

    No I'm not a Dillon fan and from what I have heard so far his Christmas record is a big Miss.

    The microsoft Ad people really need one of these up their a***.

  9. richard 69
    Gates Horns

    sweet jesus christ...

    will these people try and maintain some sort of dignity?!

    i used to like family guy and american dad. will be very hard to watch now that the beast has had it's paws all over these shows.....a real shame....

  10. The Original Ash

    Oh wow...

    The only thing I remember about the most recent Family Guy episode was how many rape, disability, racist, and sexist jokes their were.

    Microsoft Windows 7: Simple, for all the family. As long as they're homosexual paraplegics falling down stairs while engaging in forced sex.

  11. Stef 2

    Oh Seth

    First The Cleveland Show, and now this!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Not just Family Guy

    I was watching Episode 3 of the new season 9 of Smallville this week, and I don't know if anyone else noticed but the Windows Logo was prominent everywhere. I don't actually remember the content of the episode it's self, as for me the show became a "Spot the Windows" logo competition.

    It actually detracted from what should have been a really good episode, being a fan of the show. This was product placement gone mad, and it'll be a real shame if Family Guy goes this way. I wonder how this will affect the airing of both these shows in the UK with our product placement rules?

    I did find it annoying, and although I still watched, I'm not convinced it's money well spent. It didn't make me feel that I need Windows to battle zombies. In fact, it just reminded me that if I wanted a PC to become a Zombie, I need Windows.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stewie or Steve Ballmer??

    You shall all buy Window 7 and then victory shall be mine!!!

  14. Martin Lyne


    This sounds most heinous.


    "together with FOX, we're simplifying entertainment". Make of that quote what you will (obviously, sitting on your arse watching something and laughing was too complicated for some)

  15. EvilGav 1

    Jagger "not done much since" ?

    Are you high ?

    Bridges to Babylon album released in 1997, followed by world-wide sell-out tour, Jagger's fourth solo album released in 2001, Stones' greatest hits in 2002 included new tracks and was followed by another sell-out tour, A Bigger Bang released in 2005 and again followed by a sell-out world-wide tour.

    The Stones have done more since pimping Windows 95 than some bands ever achieve in their entire career.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    "We have simplified the PC with Windows 7, and together with FOX, we're simplifying entertainment,"

    Does entertainment really benefit from being simplified? And the reference to Wiindows makes it even more mystifying - do they mean like, humour so simple it doesn't work any more? Or that drives you nuts trying to understand it?

    These press releases are always supposed to sound bouncy and fun, but always end up sounding like your Mother's just told you that the creepy unmarried uncle who gets a little too tactile is coming to your 15th birthday party. Hey shit, maybe that's it! Windows 7 is going to be represented by the old geezer with the zimmer frame from Family Guy! Now that does fit.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    What the deuce?!

  18. Anonymous Cowardess


    When I think of "Start me up" and Windows I think of how MS shot itself in the foot by choosing a song that contains the lyrics "you make a grown man cry". And I can't relate Windows and Heoroes in any way, so that campaign must have completely passed me by. But I don't think of the Berlin wall either, but of "Christiane F." Am I getting old?

  19. Ian Ferguson

    Ad free?

    Please explain how it can be "commercial-free" and with "no ads or promos" when the whole thing is one big advert. It's like saying there's no advertising on QVC.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the problem?

    Regardless of who they pay to promote their new product, how is this any different than seeing Apple stuff in practically every big budget tv series and movie that comes out of Hollywood? In almost all Hollywood movies the kit of choice is always Apple, the PC, the phone, MP3 player - tons of product placement. Apple marketing should be so proud that despite a less than 10% share of the market, movies manage to make it look like they are everywhere and in every computer room/internet cafe/home on the planet.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, the irony...

    Brilliant though it is (I love it!), Family Guy is basically about the life of a *really* stupid character. In fact, in one episode, he is diagnosed by his doctor as being mentally retarded.

    The perfect fit for a MS Windows advert!

  22. Xander


    Your funeral comment made me laugh. Perhaps this is why you don't get Family Guy humour...

    Also - Seth has been known to take quite a number of aggresive shots at FOX before so clearly has no trouble attacking the people who buy his food. Hopefully this will follow into this Windows debacle...

    Here's hoping for half an hour of blue screen, furious screaming, resets and system hangs before finally saying "ah screw it" and re-installing XP.

  23. Lord Lien
    Paris Hilton

    Seth been taking corporate cock....

    Seth been taking corporate cock for a while, remember the BK stuff he did & plastered all round YouTube. Keep milking that cash cow Seth... I know I would :)

    Paris cos she likes money too.

  24. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    It was good once....

    Shame, FG and AD were quite good and occasionally still are, but recently it's all gone a bit Carry-On. Gone is the clever writing and witty suggestive jokes, in comes the pathetic toilet humour. Anyone remember the class of Carry-On Screaming, then the disaster of Carry-On England? That's was is happening to FG, not so much AD, AD still has a shred of dignity unlike Mr McFarlane.

    FG's coffin has been finally nailed shut with this little annoucement. FG an MS shill, who'd a thunk. Still there's no accounting for people's behaviour when the cash till rings!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This simplifies things

    I thought Family Guy was shit anyway, so this just gives me another reason never to watch it again.

  26. TeeCee Gold badge
    Gates Horns

    This makes perfect sense.

    Let's see. Loads of people say it's really great and the advertising puff drips with praise. Then you get your paws on it and have a look yourself, only to find that it's best described as a terribly bad joke which could only possibly be appreciated by tasteless morons.

    Now work out whether I'm talking about Family Guy, American Dad or Windows 7.


  27. The BigYin

    MacFarlane! You sell out!

    Family Guy has been going downhill for the last 4 seasons, but this is a feckin' joke.

    BK was bad and this is worse, I guess you're just to busy coining it in to give two damns about credibility.

    Your fans brought Family Guy back, now I hope the backlash sinks you.

    An ex-Family Guy watcher.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    If they make it as funny as the episode where Quagmire discovers internet porn then it'll not only make me piss my pants laughing, but I may even poo a little as well.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows in cartoons

    South Park the movie with the Bill Gates scene... not everything that mentions Windows is bad.

  30. johnnytruant

    "selling out" and "corporate c*ck"

    I used to think like that too. But the thing is, if you were offered an eye-wateringly large amount of money to do what is basically your job already - what would you say? MacFarlane is in the business of making TV. When a potential client approaches him and says "make us some TV in return for the massive pile of money", it's a pretty tough call to say no. How many clients have you all turned down on the basis you don't entirely like what their business does? I suspect it's the same as me - none.

    The animator Don Hertzfeld says no to corporate work, constantly. As a result, he's managed to produce about one short (but brilliant) film every two or three years. I respect his decision to not "sell out", but equally, he could have bought himself a hell of a studio, and a lot of time to work in it, just by doing one or two adverts.

    I'm as anti-microsoft as the next tux-lover, but I'd do pretty much anything for them if it meant I could pay off my mortgage, send my kids to uni, AND retire onto a nice yacht with change to spare. It's easy to not care about what other people think of you when you've banked enough from a few weeks work to buy those people multiple times over.

  31. andy gibson

    Animated comedy

    ALL animated comedy goes downhill after a few years. The Simpsons deserves far more scorn than FG or American Dad for continuing long after it's no longer entertaining, so don't just single out FG.

  32. David S

    @AC 11:16

    You should be grateful to the Apple Marketing folks. When the inevitable alien invasion happens (it's coming, you know it is) the invaders will be convinced by our emissions shell to turn up with a toolkit for subverting every piece of apple hardware on the planet.

    Most of us won't notice.

  33. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    "MacFarlane! You sell out!"

    Am I the only one who doesn't understand any of this vitriol?


    Damned-near all commercial TV programming is smothered in a thick, thick layer of advertising, product placement and name-dropping! How is taking the ad money from just one corporation for the duration of a show any better or worse than taking it from 5 or 10?

    The more successful the show, the more ads it tends to have, and the more it can charge for the slots. To squeeze in more room for adverts, the most successful TV shows are generally much shorter than their less-successful / niche counterparts. Where one show might have a 45 minute running time, a successful one might have 40 minuets of actual content, or even less. And that's including the credits.

    You hypocrites!

  34. Paul Hates Handles

    You know what'd be great?

    ...Futurama pisstake of Windows 7. And Shit Leopard.


  35. Anonymous Coward

    In what way are they making gawking at a rectangular box in the corner of the room more simple?

    Being the Silver Fox I'm already foxy enough that I don't have to watch Fox, which is as foxy as a man in a red jacket and black hard-hat blowing a small trumpet astride a large horse.

    However I'm sure at least one observation is in order.

    Most people turn the TV over (or even - God forbid - off) when the adverts come on. But advertisers have grown wise to this and so all adverts are now broadcast with the kind of volume you'd expect during a volcanic explosion or Motorhead gig.

    Given that this program is basically a half-hour advert for Bill's old company:

    Will I be able to listen to it without being permanently deafened;

    Will the adverts be any louder than the program;

    Will it be any less dreadful than the rest of Family Guy, and finally;

    Who came up with this really stupid shitty idea?

  36. Saucerhead Tharpe

    Please God don't be as bad as the Simpsons

    I don't know if folks here saw the Ricky Gervais penned Sky HD launch episode, truly cringeworthy.

    I fear this will be really, really bad.

  37. Mostor Astrakan

    Well, they could have asked someone else...

  38. Anonymous Coward

    regression in many senses

    3.1 -> 95 -> 98 -> 2000 -> XP -> Vista -> 7.

    I estimate this to be a rather dated OS that (a) has passed it's original release date by 2 years (assuming they aren't being y2k compliant), or (b) technology dating from around 1994 (i.e.somewhere between 3.1 and 95).

    Did I miss out Bob?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    South park's reponse

    Makes me curious how the competition (i.e. south park) is gonna make fun of this. South park and Family guy have been battling for ages. Can't wait for the south park episode!

  40. Anonymous Coward


    "Microsoft's commercial activity, which has an uncanny lack of burying any remaining cred its hired "talent" still has. "

    We can but hope.

  41. Matt 95
    Thumb Down

    Half hour commercials.

    Half hour commercials. Wonderful. Kids toys weren't enough.

    Seth, you sadden me greatly.

  42. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Paris Hilton

    A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

    As Groucho Marx once said “I have my principals, and if you don’t like them I have some move over here….” Or something like that. I think of "Start me up" was the best song for Windows......

    "You make grown men cry"

    Paris, who also makes groan men

  43. The BigYin


    "Damned-near all commercial TV programming is smothered in a thick, thick layer of advertising, product placement and name-dropping!"

    Not so in the UK....right up until the spineless nancies caved in and ITV et al can now engage in crass product placement like the USofA can.

    Where's the "Off" button....

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. Michael 28


    Hmm..... bet HE won't be using it!... or will he? MWUhahahahahah!

  46. John Bailey

    Teh horror..

    Just had a mental image of Steve bouncing around the set shouting giggidy giggidy giggidy..

    Going got poke a pencil in my mind's eye now...

  47. Dana W


    I hope hes going to find some way to make Microsoft look like fools, and pay for the privilege . Oh I hope...... Perhaps an unctuous pseudo-commercial that will Make Microsoft look even more foolish. Its not like Microsoft's marketing department could tell the difference. If done right it could hurt them worse than the Seinfeld spots.

    Family Guy is the LAST thing I watch on TV. If this commercial is done with any sincerity it will kill it dead, Once its dead, I'm finally free of the babble box. "Futurama I can wait for the DVDs"

    I'm just hoping at the end, someone will ask him if he is going to be using Windows 7 and he looks into the camera and says "No way, I use a Mac."

    Family guy had finally pulled out of the slump in the new season, so this is a real blow. I expect them to peddle tasteless jokes, but Windows 7? That's just sick. Even I have standards.

    The only good thing about this is NOTHING will make Windows 7 "cool" and anyone who thinks Family Guy's demographic is kids and teens hasn't been listening to the jokes, most of which are securely aimed at the over 40 set.

    This will be every bit as much a victory for Microsoft as the Zune HD, the new "media Player" no-one is talking about. I just hope it does not take Family Guy with it.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Family Guy's target demographic?

    I always thought the person it was trying hardest to please was Seth MacFarlane.

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