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Originally published Friday, July 4, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Despite title, "Family Guy" definitely not family humor

All 13-year-old boys are on board with "Family Guy. " They love this show and no wonder. It's silly, subversive and caters to their endless...

The Associated Press

On TV

"Family Guy"

Airs 9 p.m. Sundays on KCPQ.

NEW YORK — All 13-year-old boys are on board with "Family Guy." They love this show and no wonder. It's silly, subversive and caters to their endless craving for humor about bodily emissions.

The fact that "Family Guy" is also breathtakingly smart is just a bonus (or even beside the point). But the deft blend of the ingenious with the raw helps account for its much broader appeal. (The Fox animated series, created by Seth MacFarlane, airs Sundays, as well as on TBS and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.)

As a "Family Guy" fan who's long past preadolescence, I crack up watching it. I cringe. I ask myself: How do they come up with this stuff?

The basic setting is the Peter Griffin homestead. Peter is a cheery dolt. He is married to Lois, a closet kook. Son Chris is slovenly and, by every indication, mentally disabled. Daughter Meg hates herself. Stewie is a pint-size megalomaniac, raging at humanity. ("Fie on your toilet!" the toddler blasts his elders on the issue of potty-training. "It's made slaves of you all!")

The only character who can hear Stewie is Brian, the Griffins' dog, who stands upright, reads the paper and likes his martinis dry.

Sex, race, pedophilia, Anne Frank, British bad teeth — on "Family Guy," nothing seems out of bounds.

Parts of the show are simply brilliant. A wordless interlude where Peter struggles to dispose of a dead bullfrog has the artistry of Chaplin.

Not so high-minded: The instrumental "Dueling Banjos" is re-imagined in a performance of dueling flatulence.

Like so much of "Family Guy," it's rude, crude and deliciously wrong.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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