Ahoy geeks! Jimmie here!
Covid got you down? It sure has affected all of us in so many ways. It has had an impact on everything from the way we work to the way we attend cons.
SDCC is no different in that everything was online this year, but the plus side is that it was all gratis! Can’t beat free right!? That, and having to wait hours (quite literally) in line, in the heat, for a panel you want to attend was skipped this year in favor of comfy viewing in air conditioning at home. It was nice, but not quite the same. Love going to SDCC, and we will all (hopefully) be back in person next year for those shenanigans.
One of most fun panels you could catch at the con is Family Guy with Seth McFarlane, and his motley crew of characters that voice his creations. Joining the madness this year was Seth Green (the voice of Chris Griffin), Alex Borstein (voice of Lois Griffin), Mila Kunis (voice of Meg Griffin), producer Kara Vallow, and writer/executive producer Rich Appel. Like all the panels this year, the Family Guy panel was online, and when they fired it up the panel was in a Zoom format which we are all pretty familiar with right now (work meetings online are the worst.).
As expected with anything coming out of Hollywood there was a short political message, but it was (thankfully) a blip in the panel. Getting beyond that we got to the fun!
What really got me was when they really started to talk about the show, and coming to the realization they are heading into the 19th season of this animated show! That is quite an achievement for a show, and they are starting to approach a Simpson-like status with the number of seasons that show had run, which is a whopping 31 seasons so far.
The moderator for the panel was Rich Appel, and after making the introduction of everyone logged in they jumped into a table read of one of the earlier shows from the 4th season of Family Guy. It is fun to see how each actor changes their voice (and facial expressions) to match each character they were portraying. It is simply amazing to watch, and I nearly pee’d myself laughing at their antics.
The tone turned serious for about 5 seconds as the group touched on the Covid situation, and how this had affected the way everyone has been working. It did not take long for the humor to kick in when the group started talking about their home studio set ups. Alex Borstein has her studio set up in a “grow tent” (and if you know what a grow tent is you are naughty and need to go eat some ice cream as I am sure you have the munchies). Seth Green had a more modest set up, oddly enough, by setting up some sound proofing in walk-in closest at his house.
It then kicked in to what normally have been the part of the panel where geeks (yes, you guys. I would be there with you, so you would be in good company.) would have been able to ask questions. However there was no crowd, so no live questions, but as luck would have it they did have a selection of pre-selected fan questions for the group to answer.
One question, which I have wondered about myself, is where does Seth McFarlane gets the inspiration for the voices of the characters he does on Family Guy. He admitted there is no pattern to it as the voice he hears a voice in head prompts a drawing, and then he works with it. Alex Borstein chimed in, and said her voice for Lois was stolen from a family member, and was originally used for a sketch comedy show she was doing prior to her gig with Family Guy. Her character on the live show she did was a little slower, and all she did was speed it up to create the voice for Lois.
Moving on to another fun question Rich Appel asked what Seth McFarlane thought of the evolution of Family Guy from 1999 through 2020, and he plainly said it has evolved, because you guys (Kara and Rich) are running it. Kara added that over time the changes, artistically, but over time the character models have changed for the better.
Getting towards the end of the panel they did touch on the fun part for them, showing off the next season. They (for whatever reason) were not able to show the goodies on the panel itself, but the preview of season 19 can be seen at the Family Guy Youtube channel.
I really miss going to the con, and the madness of 100,000 like-minded geeks converging on San Diego. We can only hope that happens next year, but it was awesome to at least get a taste of what we could have seen this year (if it was at the San Diego Convention Center).
Want to check out the panel!? Click on the video link above or you can clicky click right here!