Tagged: Family Guy

Dennis O’Neil: Deadpool and the Fat Fury

Herbie the Fat Fury

Deadpool? Who the heck is Deadpool? What the heck is a Deadpool?

That’s Deadpool? Looks like he’s wearing a costume that Spider-Man gave to the Salvation Army. Superhero, huh? With his own movie. It made how much? A hundred and thirty-five million dollars opening weekend? American money?

Yeah, I didn’t see Deadpool coming either. Oh sure, I caught some of the television commercials, but nothing on the screen made me want to plunk down the price of admission. I thought that maybe I’d watch it on cable, maybe some night after Marifran’s crashed. Or maybe we’d watch it together. Some time. Maybe.

Deadpool is not exactly a household name, like Superman or Spider-Man. Despite a connection with the über-popular X-Men, I doubt that Deadpool has penetrated the public consciousness – or at least he hadn’t, before all those TV ads.

Now? Bet the mortgage money that a sequel is already heading our way.

Savants-to-come may extract meaning – or Meaning – from the Deadpoolian success. I won’t even try. Instead, I’ll content myself with observing that, obviously, the Great Superhero Surge has not waned. And if the showbiz folk can extract a Deadpool from the yellowing pages of ageing funnybooks and transform him into profit, mightn’t there be other forgotten/obscure/abandoned characters waiting for similar transformation?

Here’s a thought: why not take these almost-anonymous characters half way back to their birthplaces – those yellowing pages – and reinvent them as animated cartoons? Not the kind of paperdollish creations that used to inhabit the Saturday morniing wasteland. No, give them the same prime time treatment that was once given to The Flintstones and is currently accorded The Simpsons and The Family Guy. And while, yes, I’m proposing that these new shows feature superheroes, I wrote nothing about human superheroes. With a nod to Ralph Bakshi’s version of Mighty Mouse, let’s resurrect funny animals and, as is done with the Simpsons and Family Guy, give them not-so-funny themes.

Hoppy The Marvel Bunny, anyone?

Another idea? Sure. Four words: Herbie The Fat Fury. And who might he be? Herbie – last name Popnecker – was a tubby, lollypop loving kid who had secret superpowers. These he used to fight evil, which is, after all, what superheroes do, even if they’re not terribly imposing superheroes. Herbie lived on the newsstands, in various titles published by the American Comics Group, from 1958 to 1964. Then, poof. Gone!

I think Herbie has possibilities. He could work as an animation property – again, let us remember Family Guy – or in live action. It might be difficult to find the right actor to play him, but hey! that’s why those folks out on the west coast get the big bucks. The only other snag I can foresee is the “fat fury” sobriquet. Some citizens might find it offensive. Well, okay, drop it if that seems prudent. Not much will be lost if you do.

And admit it: aren’t you just a wee bit weary of muscled people in tight costumes? Like Deadpool?

The Point Radio: Why Chelsea Peretti Owns The Internet

Comedian Chelsea Peretti has led the pack in using social media and her reach in the online community to guide her successful stand up and TV career. Her popular podcast, Twitter feed (TIME MAGAZINE called it one of the Best of 2013) and her new association with Netflix mark her as having both feet firmly planted on the edge. We talk about how she got there plus life on BROOKLYN 99. On the flip side of being funny is Fox’s BOBS BURGERS. After winning an Emmy, H. Jon Benjamin and the cast talk about their dedication to getting weekly laughs.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Win a Copy of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

CMS1_ beautyshot_01Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
presents a fantastic journey through the universe as Carl Sagan’s visionary series continues with COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY, arriving on Blu-ray and DVD June 10.  Debuting tomorrow, two days after the epic conclusion, fans can re-watch this legendary story 13.8 billion years in the making just in time for Father’s Day in spectacular high-definition.

We have ONE copy to give away to a luck reader. Details below.

Hosted by renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and executive produced by Ann Druyan, Seth MacFarlane, Mitchell Cannold and Brannon Braga, COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY features incredible bonus materials including a stunning five-part documentary on the making of this critically-acclaimed ground-breaking event.  Fans can also discover what connects us all and see the past, present and future of our galaxy with the interactive “Cosmic Calendar,” exclusive to the Blu-ray release.

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY is the spectacular follow-up to Carl Sagan’s award-winning series that explored the remarkable mysteries of the cosmos and our place within it. This thrilling, 13-part adventure transports viewers across the universe of space and time, bringing to life never-before-told stories of the heroic quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding of nature. With an updated Cosmic Calendar, dazzling visual effects, and the wondrous Ship of the Imagination, fans will experience an unforgettable journey to new worlds and across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest and smallest scale.

11 FAMOUS UNDERCOVER GEEKS

vin-diesel-fights-off-aliens-in-new-riddick-trailerWhen it was announced that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane would be Executive Producer of an update the the classic Carl Sagan-hosted science documentary series Cosmos, it raised a few eyebrows. Even more people were surprised to learn that the funny man was a personal friend of new “Cosmos” host and renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

In honor of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey’s release on Blu-ray and DVD June 10th, we thought we’d take a look at some of Hollywood’s other unexpected geeks.

Vin Diesel

The beefy action star doesn’t necessarily fit the stereotype of a Dungeon Master, but Diesel has proudly been a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast for over 20 years!

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman VThe Oscar-winning beauty holds a degree in Psychology from Harvard University, and has twice had her research published in scientific journals.

Angela Bassett

Stella may have needed Taye Diggs to help her get her groove back, but Bassett never lost her academic groove. The acting powerhouse has her Bachelors in African American Studies from Yale and a M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.

John Legend

The All of Me singer turned down Harvard in favor of a degree in English and African American Literature from UPenn. He even worked at the prestigious Boston Consulting Group before making a splash on the music scene.

Dolph Lundgren

Dolph PuinisherBefore he was Master of the Universe, Dolph Lundgren was a master of science, having earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and a Master’s degree in Chemical engineering as well as a Fullbright Scholarship to MIT.

Rashida Jones

alg-rashida-jones-wallpapersThe Parks and Recreation actress didn’t rely on the privileges that came with her family name (she’s the daughter of music and producing mogul Quincy Jones). She worked hard and earned a degree from Harvard University. If that isn’t enough geek cred, she’s even created her own comic book series called Frenemy of the State.

Casey Affleck

Being a brother to Ben Affleck, Casey had his fair share of experience with giant stars—something that probably helped him during his programs in astronomy and physics at Columbia University.

Tatyana Ali

We all knew Ashley Banks had a good head on her shoulders. Who knew the performer who played her was so brainy too? When The Fresh Prince of Bel Air ended its run on television, the actress and singer took a break from acting to get a degree in Politics and African American Studies from Harvard University.

Emma Watson

Hermione Grainger is practically the patron saint of geeky girls everywhere, played to perfection for 10 years by the extremely talented Watson. It made us all proud to see Watson avoid the celebutante lifestyle her fame could have afforded her and choose to pursue a college degree—from Brown University, no less!

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis Book of EliAs if being the voice of Meg Griffin on cult animated series Family Guy wasn’t enough to get fanboys drooling, she’s also a known World of Warcraft addict, often playing anonymously with strangers online. Maybe you’ll be a little nicer to that Goblin you come across the next time you play.

Christina Applegate

Applegate may have gotten her start playing ditzy Kelly Bundy on Married with Children, but in real life the actress enjoys much nerdier pursuits. She is a hardcore gamer, spending much of her downtime on her Playstation, Xbox, and Wii.

So, out of all these geeks, tell us which one you want to have an intellectual debate with and why. We must have your answer posted no later than 11:59 p.m., Monday, June 16. The decision of ComicMix‘s judges will be final. The contest is open only to readers in the United States and Canada.

The Point Radio: COSMOS Returns With Love

In 1980, we were all transfixed by the show COSMOS, hosted by the late Dr. Carl Sagan. Now Seth MacFarlane is producing a new COSMOS, headed by Neil DeGrasse Tyson and with strong ties and much respect for the original. We’ll tell you just what those are as Neil talks about his plans for the series, Plus DC decides it’s a look at the future for the next Big Event.
COSMOS premieres on NatGeo, Fox and several other outlets this Sunday (March 9th). See more at CosmosOnTV.Com

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: The Funny Ladies Of ARCHER

The ladies from the FX Animated series ARCHER provide it all. Beauty, brains and belly laughs. Aisha Tyler, Amber Nash, Judy Greer and Jessica Walter talk about the show, their best lines and how different (or similar) they are to the characters they play. Plus Amazon saves RIPPER STREET and METAL HURLANT hits The U.S.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Dennis O’Neil: Disney, Woody and Me

Dennis O’Neil: Disney, Woody and Me

A week or two back, our own media goddess, Martha Thomases, observed that in real life Walt Disney was not the debonair and avuncular presence he wanted us to think he was. I’d heard rumblings over years, now and then, that Walt was guilty of anti-Semitism and racism and maybe sexism and that he was chummy with Nazis. I noted these rumors and then, no outrage, no anger – I pretty much forgot them.

But why didn’t I get upset? It might have been because I wasn’t a Disney fan. What he was selling was not high on my shopping list. In fact, I’m only a casual consumer of animation, which may seem odd, given how I’ve earned my living for the past half-century or so: all those comic books…

But at least the cartoons in comic books have the decency to stand still.

Understand, I don’t hate animation. I remember thinking highly of Mighty Mouse when I was in elementary school, and when Bugs Bunny appeared on my neighborhood movie screen, I enjoyed a few funny minutes. And today, I consider The Simpsons and Family Guy pop culture treasures, though I probably respond more to the writing and voice acting in those shows than to the (bouncing/hopping/jiggly) images. I could even enjoy Donald Duck and his pals. But if the Disney empire had never existed, my life would not be impoverished.

So Uncle Walt was a stinker? Well, that’s regrettable, but many things are, and I have no emotional investment in Mr. D.

That’s not true of every entertainer.

When the Woody Allen’s shenanigans with his step-daughter, Soon Yi Previn, became public knowledge, I had a twitch of distaste, because, no doubt about it, I liked Woody as a comedian, a writer, an actor, and most all, as a film maker. I’ve liked him ever since I first saw his young self do standup, probably on a black-and-white television screen, and I’ve liked and admired him ever since. The Soon Yi business? Yeah, that was regrettable. But since Woody and Soon Yi did not share DNA, no real, biological, incest was involved, and Woody did do the honorable thing and marry the lady. To quote my favorite line from Shakespeare: “Use every man after his desert and who shall ‘scape whipping?”

But now, on the occasion of Woody’s receiving a lifetime achievement award, his son, Ronin, and Ronin’s mother, Mia Farrow, claim that he once molested a seven-year-old. Sexual exploitation of children is hard to forgive, especially when it’s done by someone with whom you identify – one of your heroes. The Soon Yi affair was ugly; molesting children is monstrous.

I try not to judge anyone. But don’t expect to see me at the next Woody Allen movie.

REVISED COLUMN SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK:

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Martha Thomases

LATER FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis

SATURDAY: Back to our normal schedule with Marc Alan Fishman

 

Marc Alan Fishman: How To Succeed In Comics Without Really Trying

Fishman Art 131221Consider this a free lesson in becoming a rich and successful writer, be it in Hollywood, comic books, TV, movies… whatever. Yes kiddos, you too can be a mega-player in the game if you follow my patent-pending advice. And since there’s no use to wasting time, let me get to them write now. Get it?

Copy someone better than you. See, I’m already gonna copy legendary John Ostrander, who in his article this very week gave out five tips to aspiring writers as well. But as you’ll learn, babe, it’s not about who did it first… just who does it next. I recall, fondly, that one of my professors at college had his intro to screenwriting class begin the year by dissecting their favorite romantic comedy for structure, and then literally rewrite it according to the corresponding skeleton etched out. Nifty, eh? So when the chips are down and your screen is blank, just boot up Netflix, and get prepared to appropriate your masterpiece.

Retcon it, reboot it, or make a prequel/sequel! Why waste your time creating an original piece of work when you can start where someone else started? As a natural next-step of copying someone who is better than you, you can get oodles of dollars by simply refraining from even considering originality as an option. DC Comics may have canceled a Batman series recently, but you best believe that someone else will fill in the slot the second they see an uptick in BatSales. It’s their New52 M.O.: when sales spike, it’s time to expand! Justice League look good? Make it dark! Make it American! Make it StormWatch! Err… Simply put, if you want to be a resource to those folks who sign the big checks? Then be prepared to take on the franchise when the original creator is off doing whatever it is “artists” do. Remember, you want to be writer… not an artist.

When the editor says “Jump”, already be in the air. When you’re in the air? Be screaming “Is this high enough?!” You see, in today’s market, the writer is just another tool in the box. One need not be “good” as much as “serviceable.” When he-who-signs-the-paychecks demands you kill a character off, or refrain from being “too gay,” you salute them, thank them for their bold choices, and immediately write exactly what they’re looking for. If they’re vague? See tips #1 and #2 above. You can never go wrong by pitching to them that which they already know. At the end of the day, they want money. The market proves to us day in and day out that one need not break barriers, blow minds, or explore new territory with our creative fiction. What sells today is what sold yesterday… with a shiny new coating.

Kill off as many characters as needed to feel edgy. Look kids: sex and death sell. Nothing in fiction is off limits. Hell, they killed a major character on Family Guy not even a month ago, and boom, he’s back. Captain America? Time bullet. Batman? Time warp. Thor? Ragnorak. The X-Men? Time vortex. Get violent if you need to. Hell, Man of Steel and The Avengers leveled near entire cities to make their point. Better yet, they gave away the secret to how you end things afterwards. Want your audience to leave with a knowing smirk on their face? Have your heroes be a bit witty amidst the wanton destruction, and maybe let them get a sandwich. Need your audience to feel remorse for all the devastation? Have your hero scream in agony, and then end on the witty retort. Boom. Roll the credits, and whatever you do… Do not forget the stinger. Thanks to Mickey, we have to end everything, and then end it again. Or, pull a Jackson: end your piece, and then end it eight more times. Each time make it gayer and more emotionally despondent. People eat that crap up like McRibs.

Remember that the critics, fans, et al don’t matter anymore. In the age of the Internet, everyone is a critic. Thanks to news sites, blogs, somehow-still-alive newspapers, social media, et cetera, every new release is covered by hundreds of would-be pundits. No matter your score, trust me, you’re fine. If you deliver an atrocity? You’ll pop up on everybody’s Worst Of lists, and your sales will spike as rubber-neckers come to guffaw. Get a middle of the road review? Just head to the comment section, and accuse yourself (anonymously) of being gay, racist, or a gay-racist. Then, as yourself, open up an Instagram account, and post angst-riddled notes of how depressing your life is. Soon enough, they’ll forget if your work was any good anyways. Hell, go apeshit and you could end up like Charlie Sheen. He went AWOL, and nabbed a 20/90 backend multi-season pickup for a show so by-the-book, most scripts are handled via an AOL mad-lib generator.

As far as fans go, just know that you’re safe. When you do an acceptable job writing up the expectable (it is a word now.), only elitist Onion readers will get up in arms. Do you really care if a horn-rimmed glasses wearing, curly mustachioed, corduroy and bow-tie bedazzled Arcade Fire fan thinks your work is shallow and pedantic? Do you mind that I just lifted a line straight off The Simpsons? Of course you don’t! At the end of the day, you want a paycheck and a fluffy credit. I want a yes-man. It’s a win-win situation.

The key to this all is simple. The world is going to end eventually. You’re either going to be frozen is actual carbonite (rich people have the technology – for real) or buried in a pine box right off the highway. It’s your call. Live and eat well by doing what they tell you to do, or have a backbone and visible ribs. The choice is yours. Your foolproof plan is laid out above.

When you’re famous, do me a solid and link back to this article. I’m cold, and extra readers keeps my furnace running.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

MONDAY: Mindy Newell

 

Monday Mix-Up: The Simpsons Family, guy!

Monday Mix-Up: The Simpsons Family, guy!

What? I mean… what??? Has somebody gotten the scheduling screwed up on Sunday night on Fox?

I don’t know the next time April Fool’s Day falls on a Sunday, but if both The Simpsons and Family Guy are still on the air (I’ll bet they will be) I think this would be a great switch.

Mike Gold, In Praise Of Bad Taste

Gold Art 130306Solidly castigated for being in bad taste, Seth MacFarlane announced he was not interested in hosting the Oscars again. Watching his reception in horror, Tina Fey said “Hell, no.” So producers announced next year’s host will be Gilbert Gottfried.

To be fair, when it comes to MacFarlane I’m not necessarily your go-to guy. I thought Ted was good fun, but I have a hard time watching an entire episode of Family Guy. If I surf past it ten minutes in, I’m fine. If I watch it from the beginning but the phone rings and I actually decide to take the call, I don’t hit the TiVo button. American Dad doesn’t work for me, but it’s better than The Cleveland Show. Robot Chicken might be the finest show in the history of the medium. I loved him on Star Trek: Enterprise.

But I really enjoy MacFarlane when he’s on a talk show like Craig Ferguson or Jimmy Kimmel. Humor is in the eye of the beholder and I never, ever use the phrase “that’s not funny” without the tag “to me.” I think he’s funny, I think he’s clever, I think he might be the closest thing we’ve got in America to Ricky Gervais – except, of course, for Ricky Gervais. Who I also like. Who also was chastised for bad taste humor while hosting an awards show.

But here’s the thing. If you don’t want some bad taste on your teevee plate, don’t hire Seth MacFarlane. He’s not going to bow before the great Oscar god. That’s not what he does. He’s not Bob Hope, he’s not Johnny Carson. He’s not Billy Crystal either, although his Oscar ratings last month were 10% higher than Crystal’s the year before.

I don’t always watch the Oscars. I enjoy watching the show with my daughter because she does a fashion commentary that would make MacFarlane sound like Loretta Young. Come to think of it, that’s true of every woman with whom I’ve watched the show. Adriane wasn’t around this year, but I watched it because I like MacFarlane and, mostly, because I was hoping Ben Affleck would knock it out of the park. I might have wandered away had Christoph Waltz not copped the first award and, no, don’t blame MacFarlane or the show’s producers for Waltz’s nomination in the supporting actor category. They didn’t have anything to do with it. Grow up.

Hmmm. “Grow up.” Isn’t that Joan Rivers’ catch-phrase? Maybe she can be Gottfried’s co-host next year.

Hell, I’d watch that.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

 

Win a Copy of Family Guy Vol. 10!

Family Guy’s tenth season saw the family travel through time and space, from revisiting the very first episode to crossing the Atlantic Ocean. They met famous folk like Ryan Reynolds and Robin Williams and had the usual assortment of antics.

Family Guy Season 10, containing all 14 episodes, is coming out on DVD and thanks to our friends at 20th Century Home Entertainment, we have three copies to give away.

You must live in the United States or Canada to be eligible to participate. To enter to win, tell us which era or location the family should visit this coming season – no repeats. We want your best ideas no later than 11:59 p.m., Monday, September 24. Prize winners will be selected on the 25th and prizes will be shipped directly from 20th Century Home Entertainment. The decision of ComicMix’s judges will be final.