This Sunday’s “Family Guy” served up some political satire amid the usual shenanigans in a special episode skewering President Donald Trump.
In the episode, the Griffins move to Washington, D.C., after Peter is tapped to be the new White House press secretary. It all concludes violently when the Quahog native and the former “Celebrity Apprentice” star fight past several D.C. landmarks.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, “Family Guy” showrunners Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin break down the episode.
As Sulkin points out, the biggest challenge when trying to be topical on an animated series is the long lead time required for animation.
“We knew, writing this episode, that what we were writing we weren’t going to see on television for a year and a half, so we just had to lay into the fact that luckily Trump has been consistently a disaster so that hasn’t changed at all,” he tells EW. “Of course, he’s still here — and still embarrassing himself on a daily/weekly basis. So we just had to lay into that aspect of it… It’s an ongoing story that we feel like now we’re finally getting to cover.”
Adds Appel: “I think you could say: As Americans, we’re horrified. As comedy writers, we’re gratified.”
The episode ends with Peter speaking directly to the camera: “From our family to yours,” he says, “we’re very frightened.”
That, says Sulkin, was the show’s way of making its stance known: “The point of view of our show is what it is. And we’ve tried not to stick it in everyone’s face but then when an episode like this comes along, where we’re specifically dealing with our president, I think you’re going to understand how we feel and we’re going to want you to think that we’re right,” he says with a laugh.
“Here’s the most hopeful thing we think you can take away,” adds Appel. “Hunky Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is played as well by Josh Robert Thompson [who also voiced Trump]. So in a world where Josh Robert Thompson can play both bookends, there’s got to be some hope — and some middle ground.”