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September 4, 2013

The Couch Potato: "Family Guy" continues to churn out laughs

NEW CASTLE — There’s no doubt time flies.

One minute you are kid begging for a candy bar in the checkout line of the grocery store, and the next minute you’re trying to reason your way out of buying that same candy bar for your 5-year-old daughter.

Such is life, no doubt, but crazy nonetheless.

I started thinking about the concept of time this past week as I was watching what seemed like my 50th “Family Guy” episode of the past few weeks. I randomly watched an episode a few weeks ago and couldn’t help but hit the record button twice so that my DVR knew to start gathering future episodes.

I hadn’t watched “Family Guy” in a while, though I always found it to be funny and subversive over the years. It got me thinking about the first time I watched “Family Guy” and a rush of memories returned.

I was a junior in high school in 1999 and my buddy decided to have a Super Bowl party at his house that January. A bunch of us went over and watched the Denver Broncos pound the Atlanta Falcons into submission. When the game ended a few people took off but some of us remained to catch the premiere episode of “Family Guy” on Fox.

We were not disappointed as the show provided a number of laugh-out-loud moments throughout. Our absolute favorite gag came in the latter stages of the show as titular character Peter is found guilty of some ridiculous crime. Each member of the family shouts “Oh, no” one at a time, before the Kool-Aid guy crashes through the courtroom wall and shouts “Oh, yeah!” When he realizes his error, he gently steps back through the hole in the wall in embarrassment. We kept that gag going in school for about a month after that.

Over the years, I caught “Family Guy” every now and again, most consistently during college on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block late at night. These airings convinced Fox to bring back “Family Guy” after it had been cancelled in 2002. Adult Swim’s high ratings allowed “Family Guy” to return in 2005.

It’s obviously now 2013 and “Family Guy” continues to churn out the laughs. Mrs. Couch Potato has been less than thrilled to see my own personal return to the program. She chuckles every now and then, but mostly thinks the jokes are stupid.

(Except for one: We happened to be watching an episode about five years ago and Peter mentioned how patient he can be, and set up a cutaway gag to prove it by saying he made it through some of the Matthew McConaughey movie, “Failure to Launch.” The scene cuts to Peter watching the movie in a theater as Sarah Jessica Parker’s character says some ridiculously corny joke, to which Peter stands up and exclaims, “DONE!” and walks out. Mrs. Couch Potato and I still laugh about that one.)

So anyway, time does fly. I was 17, young, dumb and pretty much care-free when “Family Guy” came on the air all those years ago. Fourteen years later, I’m 31, feeling old and worried about everything. But “Family Guy” still makes me laugh.

The point is, time flies and things change, but not everything.


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