Animated Shorts: Seth MacFarlane's Crazy 'Cavalcade'

More Seth MacFarlane Craziness

Seth MacFarlane is one of those guys you meet at a frat party. You know he’s a smart one. He loves to make people laugh. When he’s on the money, he'll have you in stitches. When he’s off though, he’s flatter than the Great Plains. If you don’t believe, say “butt scratcher”…over and over and over ad infinitum, like Peter Griffin once did in an episode of MacFarlane’s Family Guy.

One can easily see this in both of his animated series Family Guy and American Dad. There are times you wonder why in the world Fox lets something so blue, boorish, and boring ever get on the air. Other times they’re pure genius. It makes one wonder what’s going to happen when his next series, The Cleveland Show, hits the air later this year. Can he sustain his incredible volume of humor, or will he start churning out more duds than hits?

Even more impressive is even while putting out two animated series — simultaneously — MacFarlane and company had time to create a hundred-plus one-shots. Fox has collected them under the title Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy.

If Cavalcade proves anything, MacFarlane and company remains consistent on the quality level. One bit will bore the heck out of you, such as a Scotsman talking back to his TV. The next will offend you one way or another, such as the tale of the first case of A.I.D.S. Then there are the bits that just smack you in the back of your head with their quick, sharp brilliance, such as the consequences of a mountain climber needing to relieve himself while scaling some unidentified tor.

Yeah…the humor on this disk is, to put it nicely, blue. Very, very, very blue. Then again, the clip of Mr. Sulu having sex is funny as all get-out.

They also feature many of the usual suspects when it comes to creative and voice talent. Names such as Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Phil LaMarr, Fred Tatasciore and more show up in the credits. As any even halfway serious MacFarlane fan knows, they’ve been with him since the very beginning. Even so, Seth M. himself provides more than enough voices on his own, making one wonder if he’s some distaff relation to Mel Blanc or Frank Welker.

The animation style is also readily familiar to anyone who enjoys Guy or Dad. The eyelids still rise from the bottom of the orbs. If they sport chins, they sport ones big enough to make Popeye’s look recessive. If they don’t, they blend right into the necks. From the looks of things, he didn’t employ either Film Roman of Rough Draft for his animation work, but you’d be hard pressed to notice the difference or drop in quality.

Apparently most of these bits appeared on MacFarlane’s YouTube site at one time or another. At the same time, the $10 million dollar guy took some time out to put together a few new ones just for this DVD. Which are which should be left to those who want to troll through these 100-plus bits. Honestly it’s just better to let them flow and not worry about such details.

In the meantime, the only question left is whether Mr. MacFarlane ever slow down? From the looks of things, not anytime soon. Yes, while the quality issue probably will remain inconsistent for the rest of his life, there are still enough great bits to more than compensate for the turds falling from the heavens.

As said before, if you ever met MacFarlane in person, you’d realize he’s a pretty smart guy. If you need any more proof, pick up this DVD.

ADULT SWIM S AND ROBOT CHICKEN TEAM TO DEVELOP NEW SHOW

Adult Swim announced it is teaming up with Seth Green, Matt Senreich, and that whole crazed crew at Robot Chicken to develop a whole new series.

About the only thing they will own up to at this moment is the show will be called Titan Maximus, the pilot should be ready to air sometime this fall, will be a half-hour, and will be as outrageous as anything else Green and his gang could think of.  Adult Swim will air 15-minute episodes until its time for more Robot Chicken.

Expect more word on this series as it develops.

NEXT COLUMN: Turtles Turn 25!

Twitter activity