The Advocate cornered Seth MacFarlane, the multi-talented creator of venerable envelope-nudging Fox animated hit The Family Guy, for an off-the-velvet-cuff conversation about how homosexuality figures into his own brand of flashback-reliant comedy. Despite an affection for musical numbers that would suggest otherwise, MacFarlane is straight. Still, he's had the opportunity to explore his same-sex-loving side through his voicing of Family favorite Stewie, who's evolved in recent seasons from a nefarious infant hellbent on world domination, into perhaps the only TV diaper-pooper grappling with his own sexual identity. Some highlights from the highly entertaining exchange follow, including a graphic proposition for frequently outraged Family-monitors, The Parents Television Council:
The Advocate: The Parents Television Council voted the episode, along with many others, "Worst TV Show of the Week." Do you appreciate that honor?
Seth MacFarlane: Oh, yeah. That's like getting hate mail from Hitler. They're literally terrible human beings. I've read their newsletter, I've visited their website, and they're just rotten to the core. For an organization that prides itself on Christian values—I mean, I'm an atheist, so what do I know?—they spend their entire day hating people. They can all suck my dick as far as I'm concerned.
Which character do gay fans respond to the most?
Generally they respond to Stewie, because he's arguably the most complex character. He originally began as this diabolical villain, but then we delved into the idea of his confused sexuality. We all feel that Stewie is almost certainly gay, and he's in the process of figuring it out for himself. We haven't ever really locked into it because we get a lot of good jokes from both sides, but we treat him oftentimes as if we were writing a gay character.
If a house party full of America's gay celebrities literally burst into flames, which one would you run in to save first?
John Travolta. But if he's not there for some reason, how about David Hyde Pierce? I'm acquainted with him and he's a good man. And if we ever did a Family Guy Broadway musical, we would need him to play Stewie?"
Naming Travolta—well-established as a loving family guy himself—was a clever response to the loaded question, as it offered a clear indication that MacFarlane chose not to take the gay-life-or-death scenario at all seriously. That should come as a handy excuse should he ever run into Bruce Vilanch at an industry event in the future, wearing a peeved expression and tight-fitting top reading, "Seth MacFarlane could have chosen to rescue me from the Towering Queenferno, but all I got was this lousy T-shirt!"