‘Family Guy’ Was Nearly Part of ‘Weird Al’s Canceled Children’s Show

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic neglected to hire Seth MacFarlane
‘Family Guy’ Was Nearly Part of ‘Weird Al’s Canceled Children’s Show

“What if Pee-Wee’s Playhouse was set in a dank cave and starred the ‘Amish Paradise’ guy” was the basic premise of The Weird Al Show, the short-lived 1997 Saturday morning kids program starring “Weird Al” Yankovic. While it only lasted for a mere 13 episodes, you have to admire any children’s show that featured Randy “Macho Man” Savage wrestling a hamster. 

Directed by future Ant-Man filmmaker Peyton Reed, and featuring a roster of impressive guest stars that included comedians like Patton Oswalt, Michael McKean and Emo Philips, The Weird Al Show understandably accrued a cult following over the years.

Although, in retrospect, one of the less successful aspects of the show were the regular animated segments, in which Weird Al voices a rotund superhero named “Fatman.” You know, like Batman? We’re guessing that Al didn’t exactly burn the midnight oil while coming up with this particular parody.

But The Weird Al Show very nearly featured cartoon characters that would go on to star in one of the most successful (and potentially never-ending) animated series in history.

Reportedly, Seth MacFarlane came in for a meeting with Yankovic and “pitched characters that would eventually turn up in Family Guy. As Yankovic later told Rolling Stone, MacFarlane came in to meet him while they were auditioning writers: “He was very, very low-key, unrecognizable from the Seth MacFarlane of today. He had all these wild ideas, and one was basically Family Guy. He laid out all the characters, every single one.”

Yankovic claimed that he found MacFarlane’s ideas “hilarious,” but he didn’t offer him a job, reasoning that “CBS is never going to let us get away with this.” 

Yeah, it’s hard to imagine a network children’s show okaying a cartoon in which, say, a mime blows another mime’s brains out.

Yankovic seems to have some regrets about passing on the opportunity to hire MacFarlane, claiming that it’s always “bugged” him that his show didn’t become the Tracey Ullman Show for Family Guy, a reference to how Ullman’s sketch series was home to the early Simpsons shorts. And who knows, maybe Weird Al would have similarly sued MacFarlane to get a taste of those massive Family Guy’s profits?

While the Family Guy characters never showed up on The Weird Al Show, Weird Al has been referenced on Family Guy, as the focal point of the documentary An Inconvenient Tooth

And Weird Al’s classic Michael Jackson parody “Eat It” was briefly played in the episode in which Peter accidentally performs oral sex on his mother-in-law. Yankovic shared the clip on social media, but neglected to provide any context for the joke.

All of which just validates Weird Al’s initial judgment that these characters wouldn’t be a super-great fit for a Saturday morning kids show. 

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