Top 20 Celebrity Reaction to Family Guy Parodies

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Top 20 Celebrity Reaction to Family Guy Parodies

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
These celebrity reactions will to Family Guy parodies will shock you! For this list, we'll be looking at household names who responded to this animated sitcom's sendups of themselves and their work. Our countdown includes Dan Rather, Liam Neeson, Jon Stewart, Gal Gadot, Marlee Matlin, and more!
Transcript

Top 20 Celebrity Reaction to Family Guy Parodies


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Celebrity Reactions to Family Guy Parodies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at household names who responded to this animated sitcom’s sendups of themselves and their work.

Which “Family Guy” celebrity caricature made you laugh the hardest? Let us know in the comments.


#20: “Today” Hosts

“Mister Act”

You know that you’ve made it when “Family Guy” makes fun of you. At least that’s what the third-hour “Today” hosts told themselves. Peter immediately catches Lois’ attention when he mentions the “Today” show. While Lois is eager to talk about Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, she writes off the third-hour hosts as “nonsense people.” A few weeks later on “Today,” Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin, and Al Roker had a good laugh over the clip. Dreyer called it a career highlight while Jones jokingly blamed Roker for the savage burn. Craig was just glad that two cartoon characters were watching their show. Considering that “Family Guy” is the king of nonsense humor, they should consider it the highest compliment possible.


#19: Dan Rather

“Petarded”

Have you ever noticed that when news anchor Dan Rather speaks, he sometimes puts an distinct emphasis on his “S’s,” almost as if he’s whistling? Well, the “Family Guy” writers noticed, and you definitely will too after seeing this clip. As Stewie watches the news, Rather reads an alliteration where almost every word begins with “S.” This causes Rather to shoot steam out of his ear like a teapot, requiring a crew member to move him over. Rather hadn’t seen the clip until someone brought it up on an Ask Me Anything Reddit. He responded with a reaction video, cracking up over the steam joke and proclaiming his love for it. We wonder what Rather thinks about some of the show’s other jabs at him.



#18: Rush Limbaugh

“Excellence in Broadcasting”

On the political spectrum, Seth MacFarlane and Rush Limbaugh are on opposite ends. You’d expect “Family Guy” to take plenty of shots at Limbaugh, but you wouldn’t think the late conservative commentator would lend his voice. Yet, Limbaugh made multiple cameos in the “Laugh It Up, Fuzzball” trilogy. He also played a key role in an episode where Brian temporarily goes to the far right. Discussing why he accepted these guest spots, Limbaugh explained that he saw it as a chance to branch out from his fanbase. Plus, he thinks MacFarlane is really “talented.” Despite the numerous Republican jokes, Limbaugh didn’t find anything in the script that he wanted taken out. Since Rush will be Rush, though, he did accuse Fox of “burying” the episode.


#17: Sarah Snook

“The Lois Quagmire”

If they ever make a live-action “Family Guy” movie, Sarah Snook of “Succession” should be in the running to play Lois. They could even have Brian Cox as Carter Pewterschmidt! Peter references Snook’s likeness to his wife when he sends a mean tweet to her. Confusing Snook for her character, Shiv Roy, Peter tweets that her father will never give her the company. We don’t think Shiv would appreciate Peter’s comment, but Kendall Roy does. The same night the episode aired, “Succession” won big at the SAG Awards. Although Snook wasn’t at the ceremony, she posted her reaction on Instagram. She also shared her “Family Guy” clip, citing it as one of three things that happened that day. The third apparently involved cookie faces.


#16: Jonathan Lipnicki

“Welcome Back, Carter”

We’d say that every former child star goes through an awkward stage, but let’s be honest. Everybody goes through an awkward stage. Nevertheless, Peter is beyond horrified to find that Jonathan Lipnicki has mutated from the adorable “Jerry Maguire” kid to… well, this. Although some of his fans felt “Family Guy” went too far, the real Lipnicki tweeted, “It was all in good fun,” adding that he had done some voice work for the show. When TMZ asked him about the gag, Lipnicki stated that it was an “honor.” Lipnicki also showed off his abs during the interview. “Family Guy” might’ve portrayed him as a pudgy, big-mouthed adolescent, but Lipnicki has actually gotten quite ripped. So, we guess he got the last laugh.


#15: Robby Krieger

“Foreign Affairs”
Peter is a lousy teacher, but he does give Chris and Meg a mind-bending lesson on film and music history. Venturing into the desert while tripping on ​​peyote, Peter and his two eldest children pay tribute to Oliver Stone’s 1991 musical biopic, “The Doors.” While Robby Krieger was vaguely familiar with “Family Guy,” the “Doors” parody had eluded the band’s guitarist. Almost a decade after the episode first aired, Krieger filmed a reaction video for the Doors’ YouTube channel. Krieger can be seen smiling and chuckling throughout. He even cracks up at Peter’s final line alluding to the Manson Family. Although he seemingly enjoys the bit, Krieger claims that the Doors didn’t do ​​peyote in the desert… at least not all together.


#14: Jon Stewart

Unknown Episode

Although Jon Stewart voiced himself on “American Dad!,” he’s only been mentioned in passing on “Family Guy.” According to MacFarlane, though, he got an angry, hour-long phone call from Stewart about a “Family Guy” joke. MacFarlane didn’t specify what the joke was or which episode it was from, but it apparently involved the 2007-2008 Writer’s Strike. While both comedians supported the strike, Stewart would return to his show about a month before it officially ended. It’s been theorized that the inside joke regarding Stewart saw Peter grow a horse leg and kick Brian for standing behind him. Whether or not this was the joke, Stewart wasn’t pleased with MacFarlane. MacFarlane acknowledged that the joke might’ve crossed a line, but he stood by its message.



#13: Gal Gadot

“Family Guy COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness PSA”
We can’t say that Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” video was the worst thing to come out of March 2020, but what was intended to uplift humanity only inspired laughs and facepalms. A year-and-a-half after Gadot sang along with her fellow celebrities, “Family Guy” commented on the cringe-worthy video. Encouraging people to get vaccinated, Stewie notes that another variant could lead to another lockdown, leading to more of Gadot’s singing. Gadot has acknowledged that her well-intentioned video misfired, and has learned to laugh about it. She shared the “Family Guy” PSA on Twitter, writing, “I promise I’ll NEVER do that again if you get vaccinated!” Gadot even encouraged her followers to “watch the whole video.” “Family Guy’s” official Twitter account responded, “since you’re vaccinated, we forgive you.”

#12: Sarah Palin

“Extra Large Medium”
When Chris dates a young lady with Down syndrome named Ellen, she mentions that her mother is the former governor of Alaska. It’s a clear jab at Sarah Palin, who has a son with Down syndrome who was about two when this episode aired. On Facebook, Bristol Palin referred to “Family Guy” as “a particularly pathetic cartoon,” calling the creators “heartless jerks.” Sarah Palin shared similar criticisms on “The O’Reilly Factor,” calling them “cruel, cold-hearted people.” MacFarlane discussed the controversy on “Bill Maher,” noting that Andrea Fay Friedman, who voiced Ellen and has Down syndrome, released a statement saying that the joke was directed at Palin, not her son. Friedman added, “I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor.”


#11: An Audience of Celebs

“59th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2007)
Stewie and Brian kicked off the 2007 Primetime Emmys with a musical number paying tribute to television. Well, more specifically, all the garbage on television. The tune is set to the melody of “The FCC Song,” which already borrowed from the show tune “Volunteer Fireman’s Picnic.” Throughout the song, the duo references the surprisingly creepy premise of “Two and a Half Men,” the ages of the “Desperate Housewives” cast, and Isaiah Washington’s dismissal from “Grey’s Anatomy.” While Washington wasn’t present, T. R. Knight was in the crowd. The camera cuts to reaction shots in the audience with Charlie Sheen, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, James Gandolfini, and Edie Falco all laughing along. Their last jab comes at the expense of “The Sopranos.”


#10: George Lucas

“Laugh It Up, Fuzzball” Trilogy
Although “Family Guy” and “Star Wars” have Fox in common - well, Disney now - MacFarlane and company likely wouldn’t have produced “Blue Harvest” without Lucasfilm’s blessing. Despite getting permission, MacFarlane didn’t have the best feeling when they screened the episode for George Lucas at his ranch. The crew half expected Lucas to say, “You know what? We can’t allow this to air.” To their relief, Lucas “laughed a few times,” cementing his approval. With the second “Star Wars” parody, Lucas did take issue with a certain four-lettered word and some other dark jokes, but he ultimately signed off. With the third “Star Wars” parody’s release, MacFarlane said, “they don’t allow everything but, they allow a lot. They allow ‘Family Guy’ to be ‘Family Guy.’”

#9: Cary Elwes

“Ratings Guy”

Cary Elwes has many memorable roles to his name. According to Peter, though, his only noteworthy contributions to pop culture are “The Princess Bride” and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” Peter articulates this in a scathing fan letter to Elwes. Some celebrities might call or email in response to a joke like this. Elwes went a step beyond, showing up to the “Family Guy” offices shortly after with a letter for Peter, which he read aloud in the writers room. MacFarlane reflected, “The way he did it was just so epic and classy and hilarious that we now know we’ve got to bring him on the show for real.” Since then, Elwes has indeed lent his voice to several characters, including Dr. Watson.


#8: Alyssa Milano

“Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington”

This might be cheating since Alyssa Milano was in on the joke, but it’s still technically a celebrity reacting to a parody. Defending the cigarette company that he works for, Peter makes a joke at the “Charmed” actress’ expense. Little does Peter know that Milano is watching the episode live and she has a lawyer on standby to sue if anybody ever pokes fun at her. Fun fact, Joel is played by Ricky Blitt, one of the episode’s writers. It’d be one thing if Milano voiced a caricature of herself, but having Milano make a live-action appearance is what makes the joke so memorable. While Milano didn’t really sue “Family Guy,” another celebrity on this list did. More on that later.


#7: James Woods

Various

Where many “Family Guy” caricatures require an impressionist, James Woods has voiced himself on numerous occasions. Woods was flattered when the show’s school was called James Woods High, paving the way for him to guest star. Although he’s depicted as an eccentric antagonist who torments the Griffins, Woods stated in a 2015 interview that he enjoys making fun of himself, so much so that he doesn’t demand compensation. Three years later, though, the increasingly controversial Woods tweeted that he turned down a “Family Guy” episode due to its anti-conservative nature. Woods hasn’t voiced himself since 2016 while the school has become Adam West High. Although his “Family Guy” days are likely over, we’d love to hear the unreleased recording sessions between Woods and Seth MacFarlane.

#6: Willem Dafoe

“Lois Kills Stewie”

We’d gladly take an Evil Monkey living in our closet over a Green Goblin under our bed. Through a cutaway gag, Stewie reflects on how Willem Dafoe used to reside beneath his crib. Voiced by David Anthony Pizzuto, Dafoe pops his head out from under the crib, waiting for Stewie to fall asleep. The Oscar-nominated actor smokes a cigarette to pass the time, slithering back under. Where exactly do his legs go? Although Dafoe wasn’t familiar with “Family Guy,” somebody told him to check out the clip on YouTube. Dafoe thought it was “weird,” but he also found the cameo “pretty cool,” having a good laugh about it. Now if only Joe could learn to pronounce Willem’s name correctly.

#5: Marlee Matlin

“Airport '07” & “I Dream of Jesus”

An Oscar winner and inspiration to deaf performers everywhere, Marlee Matlin has been parodied multiple times on “Family Guy.” In addition to neglecting her farts while passing by Stewie, Matlin struggles to book movie tickets over the phone. While Alex Borstein voices her, Matlin’s agent supposedly got in touch, asking why they didn’t enlist the real Matlin. Borstein and Matlin later confronted each other on “Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show.” Matlin jokingly criticizes Borstein’s impression and teaches her some suggestive sign language. Behind the scenes, Matlin defended the various parodies of herself, stating, “the day we censor humor is a sad one for sure. All I gotta say is, ‘Lighten up, people.’” Matlin would also eventually land a role on “Family Guy,” voicing Stella.

#4: Adam West

Various

Outside of Batman, the late great Adam West is perhaps best remembered for voicing a fictional version of himself on “Family Guy.” Although you could argue that Mayor West isn’t as absurd as some real-life politicians, he’s still eccentric to say the least. MacFarlane’s collaboration with West began on “Johnny Bravo,” planting the seeds for the mayor of Quahog. Over the course of nearly two decades, West led a crusade against “water-stealers,” dedicated a statue to Dig'em Frog, and destroyed the Noid. In various interviews, West has acknowledged how absurd his dialogue is, but he never had a problem with making fun of himself. You can tell how much MacFarlane admired West. And considering that West compared MacFarlane to Batman, the feeling was mutual.



#3: Adrien Brody

“And Then There Were Fewer” & “Friends Without Benefits”

Brief yet brutal, the Season 9 premiere took a shot at this Oscar-winning actor’s star power. But hey, that’s not true, Tom. The house is packed when Meg goes to see that 3D movie where Mr. Brody does sit-ups. Of course, the 3D gets a little too real with Brody’s nose poking out of the screen. Despite making fun of him, MacFarlane reportedly let Brody know at a party that he was a fan of the movie “Splice.” While MacFarlane wanted to let bygones be bygones, Brody couldn’t help but take offense to the mockery. MacFarlane didn’t go into great detail, but apparently there were “hard feelings.” It’s also worth noting that “Family Guy” isn’t the only MacFarlane cartoon that made fun of Brody.

#2: Liam Neeson

“Prick Up Your Ears”

Liam Neeson is a great actor, but the Northern Ireland native doesn’t put on the most convincing American accent. “Family Guy” made fun of this with Neeson, voiced by writer John Viener, struggling to play an All-American cowboy. When Neeson’s sons brought the clip to his attention, it marked his introduction to “Family Guy.” In an ironic twist, MacFarlane contacted Neeson years later about starring in his cowboy comedy, “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” Neeson agreed to play the film’s villain, but only if he used his Irish accent. Neeson has also voiced himself on a few occasions, including one episode where he beats up Peter. That’s what happens when you make fun of someone with a very particular set of skills.


#1: Carol Burnett

“Peterotica”

Some celebs laugh along with “Family Guy” parodies. Others take offense, but legendary comedian Carol Burnett stands out as one of the few who actually sued. At Quagmire’s favorite store, Burnett’s Charwoman character from her variety/sketch show can be spotted. Although her screentime is brief and tamer than some other “Family Guy” caricatures, Burnett argued that Fox had committed copyright infringement and violated her publicity rights. Sources reported that Brunett sought between $2 and $6 million in damages. Judge Dean Pregerson ultimately threw out the lawsuit, citing the First Amendment as “Family Guy’s” ace in the hole. However, Pregerson said that he “fully appreciates how distasteful and offensive the segment is to Ms. Burnett.” Hey, she got off easier than Jimmy Fallon did.
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