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Just like a lot of us, Family Guy‘s Stewie and Brian have been stuck inside for a little too long. They’ve run through all the board games (even resorting to playing Sorry) and now need an outlet for talking about “whatever’s relevant.” So, on Wednesday night, the cartoon duo decided to start a podcast about the coronavirus pandemic.
Show creator and voice actor Seth MacFarlane posted a clip to his Instagram page which featured drawings of the two hosting the inaugural episode while wearing face masks, and in the segment, they make their own brief attempt at Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” video and offer up tips for staying occupied during quarantine and responsibly getting through a global pandemic.
Tackling “panic-buying,” Brian addresses the current toilet paper shortage by saying, “Hoarding helps no one, and actually hurts those among us who need the supplies the most.” Offering some life hacks, Stewie chimes in with, “If you own a tie, you have toilet paper.” They also cover some of the more bizarre corporate emails they’ve been getting, with Stewie wondering, “How does LEI Jeans have a stance on COVID-19?”
Later in the podcast, they’re joined by fellow Family Guy familiars Peter, who is still stuck on a cruise, and Quagmire, who calls with a question about how to define what, exactly, is “essential business.” (Note: All four of these characters are voiced by MacFarlane himself.) They also have a brief spat about who gives the most up to date coronavirus guidelines, settling on WHO — the World Health Organization. Family Guy might be known for cracking ridiculous jokes and deploying random cutaways, but it sounds like this new podcast effort will aim to use the characters for good amid the current crisis.
It’s worth noting that, unlike many productions, Family Guy production is still continuing amid the pandemic — although the animators are reportedly using a shared storyboard program called Toon Boom while the score musicians are recording their contributions from home.
McFarlane previously brought Stewie into the picture on Instagram to encourage followers to stay home to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases, offering a brief slideshow of the character with the caption, “A virus is not invincible. It can be suffocated, but only with a communal effort can we do so with speed and efficiency, and without buying 100 rolls of toilet paper. Be responsible, and it will pay off.”
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For this brief duration: STAY HOME. You may feel healthy. You may BE healthy. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild or asymptomatic. But you still may be a carrier, and you could pass it on to someone more vulnerable to it. This is not the apocalypse. The world has seen pandemics before. This will pass, and life will return to normal. But if you don’t make a temporary life adjustment during this pause, you will be helping to increase the likelihood that this disease will spread, resulting in the inability of hospitals to care for the number of serious cases. You can choose to help save lives, or to disregard them. So for the sake of those most exposed to harm, stay home if you have the means. There are people who don’t have that option – from doctors to firefighters to transit workers to all those who don’t have the financial luxury that perhaps you do – and you will increase their exposure as well if you insist on going to that bar. A virus is not invincible. It can be suffocated, but only with a communal effort can we do so with speed and efficiency, and without buying 100 rolls of toilet paper. Be responsible, and it will pay off.
Family Guy airs Sundays at 9:30/8:30c on Fox.