Read Oscar Host Seth MacFarlane's One and Only Gay Interview (From 2008)
BY Brandon Voss
January 25 2008 1:00 AM ET UPDATED: February 22 2013 9:19 PM ET
Which character do gay fans respond to the most?
Generally they respond to Stewie, because heâ€™s arguably the most complex character. He originally began as this diabolical villain, but then we delved into the idea of his confused sexuality. We all feel that Stewie is almost certainly gay, and heâ€™s in the process of figuring it out for himself. We havenâ€™t ever really locked into it because we get a lot of good jokes from both sides, but we treat him oftentimes as if we were writing a gay character.
Is it odd how much people care about this cartoon babyâ€™s sexuality?
Yeah. Weâ€™ve had letters from homophobic fans in the past, and I sort of relish the idea of saying, â€śYeah, well, you know what? Your favorite character, Stewie, is gay.â€ť
Why did you base the voice of American Dadâ€™s effete alien on Paul Lynde?
Iâ€™ve always been a huge fan of his. Itâ€™s just a voice and characterization that Iâ€™ve always found so hysterically funny and just so unabashed. Thereâ€™s an old Hanna-Barbera tradition of using character actors from the â€™50s and â€™60s as springboards for animated cartoon voices. No one had really touched Paul Lynde, and he seemed like such an obvious choice. They just re-released that Paul Lynde Halloween special and I picked up a copy. You just canâ€™t take your eyes off the guy.
What makes homosexuality such a ripe source for humor?
You know, thatâ€™s a very good question. There are obviously many different types of gay personalities, but whatâ€™s funny to me is when a gay character expresses mischievous guilt about something in which there are no stakes, like, â€śEw, Iâ€™m going to watch one more episode of Sex and the City â€” donâ€™t tell anybody!â€ť
What are your favorite gay stereotypes?
Certainly the singsong stereotype â€” you know, the guy who makes a joke and then has to say, [singsong] â€śKidding!â€ť We didnâ€™t end up doing this with Greg and Terry because we thought they would be funnier taking the form that they do, but Iâ€™m always amused when thereâ€™s a gay couple and one is clearly the husband and one is clearly the wife. But thereâ€™s so many more, and Iâ€™m sure weâ€™ll discover some new ones as we go along.
From Family Guyâ€™s gay marriage episode title to Greg and Terryâ€™s â€śpitcherâ€ť and â€ścatcherâ€ť license plates, there also seems to be a fascination with the idea of tops versus bottoms.
Iâ€™m not quite sure, but it is a source of comedy. Itâ€™s as if thereâ€™s paperwork involved before the sex can take place.
Unfortunately, gay groups havenâ€™t always gotten the joke, like the controversial 2005 Family Guy bit in which Peterâ€™s barbershop quartet informs a man that he has â€śfull-blown AIDS.â€ť
Yeah, that was one that caused a lot of upset. But the strange thing is that never once in that gag did we say this was a gay guy. I heard from several people, â€śWell, he had a goatee, so he must be gay.â€ť Iâ€™m like, â€śWhat? I had a goatee at one point!â€ť On top of that, with most of the gags where it seems like weâ€™re taking a potshot at black people, Asian people, Jewish people, or gay people, the joke is that Peter is an idiot. The character is Archie Bunker without the knowledge of what heâ€™s doing. He has the mind of a child, basically, and a source of big laughs is when he doesnâ€™t realize heâ€™s doing something inappropriate. So that gag sort of took it to the next level. If you have to break terrible news to somebody, whatâ€™s the most sugarcoated, upbeat way to do it? We thought, A barbershop quartet might be nice.
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