The cast of the bawdy popular animated Fox series performed a never-to-be-aired episode for members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the press on Wednesday evening at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood. The episode's topic du jour? Abortion.
"Not as bad as you think," said Seth MacFarlane, the husky toned "Family Guy" creator who serves as executive producer, writer and who also supplies numerous voices on the show, including bumbling Griffin family patriarch Peter, antagonistic toddler Stewie and talking dog Brian.
MacFarlane was joined on stage by fellow "Family Guy" voice actors John Viener, Danny Smith, Christine Lakin, Alec Sulkin, Mila Kunis and Alex Borstein. The actors read their lines in front of a live orchestra with MacFarlane and Borstein performing musical routines between acts.
Most of the episode dealt with matriarch Lois (played by Borstein) deciding to become a surrogate mother for her infertile friend — against Peter's wishes. After her friend is killed in a car crash, the Griffins are left with the difficult decision of what to do about the pregnancy.
At one point, Peter watches an anti-abortion video, which proclaims several people would be alive if abortion wasn't legal, including a fourth Stooge, the guy who would have killed Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden's America-loving brother, who could have prevented 9/11.
Inappropriate or not, the crowd was in stitches. The series, which is set in the fictional suburb of Quahog, R.I., has had a penchant for political incorrectness and going to the edge since premiering in 1999 and being canceled — and then later resurrected — in 2000 and again in 2002.
Earlier this month at Comic Con, MacFarlane announced that Fox had declined to air the "Family Guy" episode. Network entertainment president Kevin Reilly told the Television Critics Association last week that the decision not to air the episode was driven by potential advertiser concerns.
Before Wednesday's show began, 20th Century Fox Television spokesman Chris Alexander warned the audience not to record the live performance "because this episode has never aired, and quite frankly never will air, but it will probably be on DVD at some point."
"Family Guy" is the first animated comedy to be nominated for a comedy series Emmy since "The Flintstones" in 1961. This year, it will go up against series such as "30 Rock" and "The Office." MacFarlane joked the event was organized to "drum up support so we could lose by fewer votes."
Here's an interview with Seth McFarland, talking about the abortion episode:
Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.