Top 10 Times Family Guy Made Fun of Its Own Network
VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
WRITTEN BY: Kim Mabee
Even its own network isn't safe! For this list, we'll be looking at all of the hilarious moments where Family Guy has not-so-subtly taken a jab at its own network, Fox. Our countdown includes jabs at "FOX News", network budget cuts, cancelled shows and more!
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Family Guy Made Fun of Its Own Network. For this list, we’ll be looking at all of the hilarious moments where Family Guy has not-so-subtly taken a jab at its own network, Fox. Which of these made YOU laugh? Let us know in the comments!
#10: Sons of Tucson
“Excellence in Broadcasting”
In this ninth season episode, Stewie makes fun at Fox’s decision-making, particularly in regards to shows they’ve aired in the past. He foresees trouble in Brian’s decision to move in with conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, but notes that Fox has had plenty of other bad ideas too. To illustrate his point, a promo pops up for a series that once aired on the network called “Sons of Tucson.” If you’re wondering what the show was, don’t worry, so were we. The sitcom was described as formulaic and forgettable and quickly canceled. This isn’t the first time “Family Guy” has made fun of the Arizona city, as the Griffins once sent Peter there because they believed it was the dumbest city in the United States.
#9: Here Comes Fox News
The residents of Quahog are furious when they learn about town hero Pawtucket Pat’s dark past, and Brian rallies behind them to protest his statue. During the protest, Peter points out that Fox News is pulling up to the scene. What we see is the car from “The Dukes of Hazzard”, the General Lee, with a confederate flag and Fox News written on the side - poking fun at the news network’s conservative stances. We’re also shown a store that sells tiki torches and New Balance shoes, referencing 2017’s white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
#8: Everything Fox News Says Is a Lie
“Excellence in Broadcasting”
During a season seven episode, Lois auditioned for a role as a journalist for Fox News. To no one’s surprise, Brian was less than thrilled with the idea. During Lois' stint on Fox, she learned that Fred Savage had been pretending to be Rush Limbaugh. So, when Limbaugh appears during the season nine episode “Excellence in Broadcasting”, Brian doesn’t hesitate to address it. But, Lois says that even though she herself was the one who reported on it, it was a lie because everything Fox News says is a lie, even if it was true at one time. We have to wonder, does Fox pay attention to what their own shows are saying about them?
#7: Budget Cuts
Fox canceled “Family Guy” after three seasons, before fans convinced them to revive it. This third season episode is one of the few in which the Griffins mocked Fox before their cancellation, and may have been indicative of things to come. In a moment of anger, Peter bad mouths Fox, and Lois cautions him. Peter seems unbothered, and thinks Fox won’t do anything about it. But, seconds later we see some clunky animation as Peter walks through the living room, suggesting that Fox slashed the show’s funds. The show was canceled a few months after this episode premiered, making the reference even more hilarious.
#6: Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubemen
Some of the best moments from the series come during the cutaways, and the ones featuring Al Harrington are no exception. He’s an overly enthusiastic salesman on a commercial where he’s overrun with Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubemen. Apparently that business venture didn’t work out, because he makes another appearance auditioning to be an anchor on Fox News. In his brief appearance he uses the same tone he did in his commercials, not holding back in referring to Fox News as fear-mongering and politically biased. Fox ended up hiring Lois instead, but we personally think he would have been a refreshing and comical addition to the Fox News family.
#5: Liberals Hate America
“Ocean’s Three and a Half”
In yet another great cutaway, “Family Guy” throws subtlety out the window as they reference “Hannity & Colmes”. This Fox show featured conservative Sean Hannity and liberal Alan Colmes discussing political issues. In the cutaway however, Droopy Dog stands in for Colmes. Sean Hannity angrily declares that liberals hate America, while Droopy Dog searches for a diplomatic response. Taking advantage of Droopy’s docile demeanor, Hannity interrupts and shouts over the top of him, using non sequiturs to ‘prove’ his point. The scene manages to mock both presenters, Colmes for his passive nature and Hannity for incendiary rhetoric.
#4: Martin Luther King Day
Lois’ career on Fox only lasted one episode, but the writers packed in as many jokes about their home network as they could. As Lois tries to convince Brian that Fox news isn’t so bad, she goes along with him on a tour of the studio. While they check out the nursery, they notice there are very few kids there because it’s Martin Luther King Day, but not the one you’re familiar with. Instead of celebrating on his birthday like the rest of the world, the folks at Fox news celebrate on the day he was shot. We don’t think the “Family Guy” writers can make it any more clear how they feel about Fox News.
#3: Funnier on Adult Swim
“Big Man on Hippocampus”
“Family Guy” has always aired on Fox, but reruns also ran on Adult Swim until Disney bought the rights to air the show exclusively on their networks. Fox has censored some of the jokes on the show, and “Family Guy” got stuck into this with a promo for Adult Swim on the season 8 episode “Big Man on Hippocampus”! The episode is suddenly interrupted with text asking the audience why they’re watching on Fox. It’s followed by a shameless plug for Adult Swim, noting that they don’t cut out any of the jokes, unlike their competing network. We have to say they have a pretty sound argument.
#2: Brian Criticizes Fox News
Brian’s character has been well established throughout the show as wannabe woke, regardless of how much political knowledge he actually has. In the episode “Fox-y Lady”, he tries to convince Lois not to take a job with Fox News. His reasons tear down Fox’s news network, describing it as evil and distorting the truth to further its political agenda. “Family Guy” showrunner Seth MacFarlane has described his relationship with Fox as “complicated”, and we’re pretty sure we know just how he feels about their ‘news’.
#1: Fox’s Lineup
“North by North Quahog”
We mentioned that Fox canceled “Family Guy” after three seasons. But the show was far from the only one that Fox axed in the 2000s. When “Family Guy” was revived, it wasted no time in addressing this. In the very first scene of the first episode in season four, Peter lists 29 other shows that were canceled between “Family Guy’s” own cancellation in 2002 and its revival in 2005. It was a hilarious and bold way to reintroduce themselves to the Fox lineup, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from this beloved series.