Next month, Microsoft is sponsoring a Family Guy television special in which instead of traditional advertising, pitches for Windows 7 will be woven directly into the show itself. I've seen a short preview, and it commits the worst cardinal sin of comedy: It's just not funny. I've got the preview in my blog.
The special, titled "Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," will air on November 8, and will feature Seth MacFarlane and his "Family Guy" co-star Alex Borstein. The half-hour show will run without traditional commercials. Instead, pitches for Windows 7 will be embedded directly in the show itself.
As for what the show is, here's what Microsoft's press release says about it:
The half-hour special will highlight the comedy duo's subversive and unique humor with original animation, live-action performances of "Family Guys" most memorable musical numbers, comedy sketches and surprise celebrity guests.
I can't vouch for most of the show, but based on a brief trailer of how Windows 7 will be woven into the show itself, I can tell you this: It's not even remotely close to being funny. In the trailer, there's a little bit of blather about Windows 7 features such as Aero Shake, Windows Media Player, and gadgets, and the "user-friendly interface," and then Stewie brags, "I am twittering. Check it out." That's it --- that's the punch line. You can see the preview, below.
Keep in mind that trailers generally present the highlights of any movie or TV show. So that means that the video above is as funny as it gets. I don't know about you, but I don't plan to be tuning in on November 8.
Update: After seeing a taping of the show, Microsoft canceled its sponsorship, saying "the content was not a fit with the Windows brand." (It must have been the jokes about feminine hygiene and incest.) For details, see my blog post, "Microsoft's Family Guy cancellation: Windows 7, yes; incest and deaf people, no."