Microsoft bails on sponsored comedy

Holocaust gags prove too much

Microsoft has pulled its sponsorship from the comedy special from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane – because they found the material too unpalatable.

The software giant had planned to finance the Fox network programme, which would then run without ads, but with MacFarlane promoting Windows 7 throughout the show.

But as soon as Microsoft executives went to the recording of the show earlier this month, they pulled out of the deal.

According to Hollywood trade paper Variety, the show included gags about deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest, which all proved too much for the software giant.

Fox still plans to air the special – costarring Alex Borstein, voice of MacFarlane’s Family Guy wife Lois – on November 8, but plans to have another sponsor attached.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said: ‘After reviewing an early version of the variety show, it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand.’

However, that can’t have come as a huge surprise considering Family Guy’s reputation for near-the-knuckle humour.

Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show will mix live-action studio sketches with animation, but it is not known whether new scenes will have to be shot to promote a new sponsor, should one be named.

It will go out as the cornerstone of a night dedicated to Macfarlane night, also featuring episodes of his shows American Dad and The Cleveland Show, as well as Family Guy.

Published: 27 Oct 2009

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