back to article Microsoft drops Family Guy like a hot deaf guy joke

Microsoft proved that one thing Windows 7 won't install is a sense of humour yesterday, by hastily pulling out of its sponsorship of a Family Guy/American Dad variety special. The vendor announced two weeks ago that it would blow some of its Windows 7 marketing budget on "an upcoming television event devoted to the comedy of …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Hermes Conran

    Have they ever watched an episode?

    Good work FG take the money and run!! Giggity!

  2. Mr Bear


    Microsoft signed up without anyone having seen an episode of Family Guy? It kind of explains a lot really.

  3. Fred 1

    The ultimate low point

    Not moral enough to be associated with Microsoft.

    I can't think of a worse indictment for anybody.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Chalk one up for fart jokes and the greased up deaf guy

  5. Adam Foxton

    "Subliminal Messaging" from big business?

    Already been covered in Mr Griffin Goes to Washington.

    I can just imagine Mr Griffin Goes to Redmond...

    Lois, in kitchen: "My, those leaves are changing awful early this year"

    Ballamer, in office: "BUY WINDOWS 7."

    Lois: "We'll have to watch out, those Leafers will be here real soon"


    Lois:"What's that, Brian? Chris has fallen down a well?"


    Also, jokes about incest/the holocaust are part of the staple Family Guy diet. And what's the problem with jokes about deaf people? It's not like they can hear them. And if they can, they'd already have been so pissed off about the greased-up deaf guy they'd not be watching it.

    Rather than doing a variety show they'd have done much better paying the creators to change Brian's laptop from a Mac to a Windows PC and have Stan Smith end up ranting about Apple being UnAmerican. Oh, and missing out bits like this:

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The truth behind this is very simple

    MS realised that their own ads for Win7 are already sufficiently crude and offensive that they had no need of Macfarlane's assistance

  7. Martin Lyne

    It actually

    Made Seth look like a sell out for a few days - although had you ever watched any of the shows, you'd have known this kind of pull out was coming. Family Guy rips the shit out of Fox, literally the hand that feeds it. You think a cheesy sponsorship would work just fine?

  8. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    I look forward with eager anticipation

    to Peter Griffin et al mercilessly ripping the piss out of Microsoft over this one in a future episode of Family Guy.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Your description of MS trying to be cool somehow made me think of Jon Arbuckle "going wild"!

  10. Stef 4


    Perhaps the Microsoft Marketing Morons should have actually watched an episode of Family Guy before signing up.

    How could they have been so naive?

  11. Paul RND*1000

    Clueless marketers :)

    My guess is that the MS marketing people have never seen an actual episode of Family Guy/American Dad, but their kids keep telling tell them how awesome the shows are, the ratings are good, and marketing drones understand that those must mean it's hip, edgy, and popular and thus a good thing to glom onto, right?

    Then they see, for the first time ever, what they've hooked up with and realize that they're about to score the biggest PR own goal since the Polish Photoshop Affair.

    I wonder how much mickey-taking the shows' writers can indulge in now before Microsoft get all huffy and send in the lawyers?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I designed Windows 7, or did it design me?

    I was in a taxi, and I thought.... wouldn't it be great if I could see at a glance all the things I had open. So I told Microsoft, and as I was writing the email to tell them, my laptop's battery went flat because I was running 20 things on a big screen in a laptop in the back of a taxi.

    If only I was a real person, I would have known that my priorities in a laptop in the back of a taxi, are to not run out of power and not clutter up my small screen with stuff.

    Did I design Windows 7? Or did Windows marketing dept design me, to fit what Windows 7 offered?

  13. Scott 19
    Paris Hilton

    He ain't stupid

    Agree to million's of dollars to front Hole-in-a-wall 7, make the ad as rude and close to the edge as you can (or in Seth's case a normal show) and watch the ad men run a mile.


    Do you think these ad men watched the show? or just typed the word hip and trendy into a search engine (not google of course).

    PH cause MS would be better spendding there money on getting here to sport a Windows 7 tattoo

  14. frank ly

    The Evil Monkey must have upset someone

    1. Choose a popular, hip, with it, well regarded cartoon show.

    2. Book an episode for a promo/placement etc.

    3. Finally figure out out what the show is about.

    4, Run Away !!!!!

  15. David Simpson 1


    Family has to be one of the world's least funny Simpsons rips, should be familiar territory for Microsoft.

  16. Hungry Sean
    Gates Halo

    the problem with Family Guy

    is that it's shit. Formulaic and offensive with no heart. American Dad is basically the same pap with slightly different drawings. It's not funny either, sorry. Much as I don't like to say it, Microsoft got this one right.

  17. Ben Rosenthal

    you can't cancel an episode

    once the Manatees have picked their idea balls out of the pile!

  18. Anonymous Coward


    While I agree with what you're saying, your comment is painful to read.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Microsoft W@*kers !!!!

    Hey, Microsoft you're w@*kers for hooking up with Family Guy!!!

    Hey, Microsoft you're w@*kers for not hooking up with Family Guy!!!

    . . . Jeeezuz Christ . . . the people on this site.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure about this

    Did Microsoft think it wasn't sufficiently PC (ba-dum-tish) or did they suddenly realise that MacFarlane et al just aren't funny.

    The only thing funny about the Family Guy is not that it takes the piss out of American stereotypes but that so few Americans seem to realise this. Bit like the Colbert Report.

  21. Frank Bough
    Gates Halo


    Family Guy's so shit even Microsoft don't want to be associated with it. I knew it was bad but, whoa!

  22. Haku


    I just tried searching for "best cartoon" on, the first result was a picture link for a video of Family Guy.

    Lazy marketers strike again!

  23. Tony Humphreys

    What, back up a minute...

    Theres a Cleaveland Show!

  24. steogede
    Gates Horns

    @Fred 1

    >> Not moral enough to be associated with Microsoft.

    >> I can't think of a worse indictment for anybody.

    I don't think Seth will be that upset. He tries to make his show edgy, it's just that till now he never realised just how edgy. If you are so edgy that even Satan himself doesn't want to be associated with you, that's saying something.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Can't catch me..

    Shay Bill, wanna come over here and do some yard work for me, perhaps you could bring some of those nice young marketing boys in those tight tight shorts?


    giggity giggity goo all riiight..

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: As for MacFarlane...


    According to Chortle (: "Fox still plans to air the special – costarring Alex Borstein, voice of MacFarlane’s Family Guy wife Lois – on November 8, but plans to have another sponsor attached."

    They're still being corporate whores, just bending over for someone different now.

    Also, it hasn't been lost on everyone that MacFarlane not that long ago signed a deal with Fox that would (supposedly) net him $100 million... not exactly as if he needs the money.

  27. Martin 44


    Reminds me of when Parker & Stone of South Park fame wrote the online show Princess for Shockwave. They only agreed if they had full creative control, that got pulled funnily enough. Worth watching though...

  28. Quatroux


    Young & hip demographics? How old was the data they gave Microsoft? I’m guessing they got a look at the current demographics (post-American Dad & Cleveland) and started wondering if daytime soap operas or televised dog fighting wouldn’t be a better fit. Throw your logo on a stadium and move on. Leave Fox-imation to the folks that don’t know how to get a Tivo to stop recording their shows.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Martin Lyne your right, Simpsons have always ripped into fox too, eitherway I though this would haev been blindingly obvious and I am supprised the touted it in the first place.

    Don't get me wrong Family Guy is great and at times hallariously funny but unless you are advertising something like acohol then Family Guy has to be a no go, Simpsons would have been a better shout here.

    I also agree with alot of the other comments about the Windows 7 adverts, they are truely appaulling, who designed them?

    I wish they came up with the same idea for Vista...

    "I had always thought Network Connections which I use reguarly, was far too acessable, why don't we hide it under granies underwear so it is hard to find and then even once you know where is it you don't ever want to go there!"


    "I was riding in the back of a cab when I though I know I just polish off that document for the office before I get home, four hours later and in bed I finally heard the laptop boot up after installing what must have been the biggest four updates ever seen, by the time I pulled myself out of bed to turn it off the BSOD had done it for me!"

  30. Steve Taylor 3

    Anti Cool

    > As for MacFarlane, he has arguably dodged the same cred bullet that has hit the likes of Mick Jagger and David Bowie.

    And Brian Eno. I've always thought his ambient stuff was a bit drab anyway, but him designing "The Microsoft Sound" (Win95) didn't do much for his suppercoolcuttingedginess.

  31. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    I'm sure MS will get their FG/AD 'publicity'

    Doubt it will be to their taste or what they'd have liked. In the name of comedy and parody, Seth has free-run to rip the piss out of MS just as he does with everyone and everything else. It wouldn't surprise me to see MS threatening to sue.


  32. Kevin 9

    Probably well played for MS

    They really don't want to be associated with a show like that. I found the first couple seasons funny, but not so much anymore. The show is too offensive for a main stream company like Microsoft to associate themselves with. The last thing they need is the religious right or conservative organizations around the world to have such an easy target to demonstrate around. There are enough companies and people with an agenda to push against Microsoft that they were probably already planning how to use these pawns to their own ends to hurt them.

    Good on them for coming to their senses.

  33. James O'Brien

    @Tony Humphreys

    I had the same reaction as you when I saw that. Quick Google search and it appears to be accurate... I need to watch more TV

  34. DJ Particle
    Jobs Halo

    Seth would have ROASTED Microsoft IMHO! ;)

    My theory is that MS finally realized that MacFarlane, being a fan of Apple/Mac hardware (his personal machine is a Mac, and of course there was the "I have an iPod like the rest of the world" joke on the show), would have set up MS to look like fools. ;)

    Steve, because this is a win for him either way.

  35. asdf
    Thumb Up

    simpsons over family guy, please

    The Simpsons have always been entertaining (especially when something bad happens to Ned) but really comparing Simpsons to Family guy is like comparing Paul Blart Mall Cop to Observe and Report (didn't like Seth Rogan until this flick, I got the biggest fucking shotgun you have ever seen, lmao). By the way just curious do the British readers get to watch Family Guy? I know the Simpsons were on in Germany (had to change many of the jokes though as American humor tends to be more crude than most countries enjoy).

  36. Annihilator
    Thumb Down

    @Tony Humphreys

    I'd advise you roll that welcome mat back up and burn it instead of leaving it out for the Cleveland Show. Have never seen such tripe in my life.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freakin' sweet!

    <quote>At least they don't put their feminine ointments next to the mustard, Lois. That was the worst hot dog I ever ate.</quote>

    Didn't they think they were asking for trouble?

  38. Jeremy Chappell


    Heh, clearly nobody at Microsoft has actually watched Family Guy. That **might** have been a good move. Probably too busy "shaking their windows"...

  39. Anonymous Coward


    WTF?! So it took them two weeks to realise what FG is like? Before agreeing to "use" the show, no one bothered to watch a boxset? No one is spared on FG, everyone is fair game to them, didn't these stupid MS marketing drones realise how low FG can descend?

    FG used to be good, but it's all gone a bit Carry On. You know, when CO Screaming was good, then At Your Convinience was bad, then England was just tripe, and pathetic!

  40. ElFatbob
    Thumb Up

    i for one..

    am glad that FG has not had it's moral compass tainted by association with Microsoft...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @ AC Posted Tuesday 27th October 2009 16:59 GMT

    There was a Simpsons episode where Bill G is going to "buy out" Homer's invention. When Homer agrees, a couple of Bill G's thugs break everything in Homer office and destroy his invention. Asked as to why he's destroying everything he says, "You didn't think I got rich writing out checks did you?"(or something like that)

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Family Guy....

    .... has humour?

  43. Kanhef

    Didn't they learn

    from the last time they tried combining new-OS advertising and TV shows? The Gates/Seinfeld ads were just last year, and turned out to be an epic failure:

  44. John 104
    Gates Halo

    Family Guy - Fail

    Famiy guy has got to be one of the worst, most offensive shows in television history. It's a sad testiment to people that it was not only concieved, but is still on the air after all these years.

    As for the MS ads. Well, at least they aren't doing the typical Apple ad campaign, which is to bash the shit out of your competition's product while making no claims as to how well your own product performs.

    Microsoft FTW.

  45. Mei Lewis

    Agreeing to work for Microsoft is he edgiest thing McFarlane has ever done

    Just look at how many people are pissed off about it.

  46. Chris Seiter


    Who's that fluffy bundle of love? It's Princess, bleh.

    My wife found the clips a while ago, and it was even better because her mom has a dog named Princess.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Edgy? Microsoft!?

    Microsoft can't even come up with an 'edgy' series of ads to counter the "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac". How the hell would they be able to judge 'edgy'. Or know how to market to anyone under 55.

    Perhaps they figured that only the literate watched Family Guy and they covered that cohort through online advocates already. No sense wasting budget on the converted. Might as well sponsor Fox News and Glenn Beck to cover the rest.

  48. shawnfromnh

    Now they're really in a bind.

    So now MS will have to find a show that is more like their userbase hmmm. Well then they're stuck with porn and illegal downloaders and I can't think of a show that is either of those at this moment.

  49. Big-nosed Pengie

    A title

    I'd love to see Canonical jump in and sponsor that FG show.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You think that the marketers at Microsoft would have watched Family Guy before agreeing to pay, I mean deaf people, Feminine hygiene, and the holocaust are all standard fare.

  51. Andy Neale

    I'm Deaf...but not offended by FG

    I'm Deaf....and I love Family Guy*...Typical political correct reaction. Always somebody else getting offended on your behalf.

    Bring it On !!!

    * Subtitles...Alrightttt... !

  52. Will Shaw


    Do we get to watch Family Guy???? Between them and the Simpsons THERE'S NEVER ANYTHING ELSE ON!!!!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    In my humble opinion, Microsoft have probably just put themselves in line for a lot of agro in future episodes. They are now, very likely, a future target. Come ooooooonnnnn seasion 9!

  54. Get the puck outa here

    I get it!

    Family Guy is the only thing on TV unfunnier than Seinfeld.

  55. Anonymous Cowardess


    "I know the Simpsons were on in Germany (had to change many of the jokes though as American humor tends to be more crude than most countries enjoy)."

    Erm, no. I think it has more to do with whoever does the German translations of The Simpsons having no grasp of contemporary English/American at all. Sometimes you need to do a "sounds-like"-translation back to English to get what it means. E. g. "fabric of the universe" was translated as "Fabrik des Universums" (factory of the universe), when it should have been something like "Struktur des Universums".

  56. MarkJ

    Ah, Microsoft.

    What next, inviting the Rolling Stones to the launch party to perform 'Start me up' (again) but letting Keith and Ronnie go to the bar first?

    Or is Richard Stallman doing a keynote speech?

  57. Dana W

    Too funny

    I was right! They saw the early drafts of the show, and realized that they were paying Seth McFarlane a LOT of money to make Microsoft look foolish. The leaked clips I saw were making the average Windows user sound like someone who would buy Seven Ultimate so they could brag about how they needed it for better Tweeting.

    Pity for them they didn't have enough sense to examine the rest of their commercials that way.

    As to the "Family Guy sucks" crowd, A: Family Guy is humor for those of us who like to see just how offensive and anti-pc a show can go. "Family Guy picks on everyone" and B: The Simpsons hasn't been funny since Windows 95 came out. THAT on the other hand WAS funny. in a sad pathetic, me too kind of way.

    I just hope the unfinished show gets leaked!

  58. Get the puck outa here

    Hey, what's this? It's got a good beat!

    It seems that Microsoft has no idea how to advertise its products, and looks increasingly desperate and out of touch with each ad campaign. Since The Mary Whitehouse Experience has been off the air longer than Seinfeld, but was much funnier in its prime, I think Microsoft should do a combined ad for both Windows 7 and Songsmith, with Ballmer as the embarrassing dad who can't dance.

  59. Daniel B.
    Gates Halo

    I'm not surprised...

    I would expect Family Guy to do the same as the Simpsons, as both usually rip the shit out of Fox. I'd actually expect Seth to pull a "Wayne's World", that is make fun of Windows 7 in the show. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's what actually happened and Microsoft's PR people used the incest/holocaust jokes as their 'reason' to pull out.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like