Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy

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A collection of Family Guy cut-away scenes rescued from the cutting-room floor; each is about two minutes long and the disc runs about 50 minutes total. Almost all of them arrive at their punch line by way of an anthropomorphised animal or a rip-off of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon or Jim Henson creation. They represent some of the most crude, disgusting, unimaginatively-titled, offensive and defamatory vignettes MacFarlane has ever produced—a fairly inane series entitled “Sex with…” and an execrably bad bit piece called “Fred Flinstone Takes a Shit” are among the worst—and only about a third of all of them are funny. Sadly, it’s not hard to envisage most of these asides being incorporated back into the series when MacFarlane and his writers run out of gags and the show starts devouring its own entrails, Ouroboros-style, midway through its tenth season.

The best by far—because, paradoxically for MacFarlane, it contains no swear words and comes closest to employing subtle wit, something American humorists find almost impossible to fathom—is called “Backstage with Bob Dylan,” wherein the singer chats with Tom Waits, Popeye and Mohamed Ali. If you can’t envisage the joke, it’s on YouTube, along with a bunch of other Cavalcade scenes—and it’s not prefaced by nearly five minutes of unintentionally hilarious anti-piracy ‘warnings’ that double as self-promotional FOX adverts.

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