At today's 2006 Comic-Con International we were treated to a presentation by some of the brains behind the Family Guy and American Dad. Sadly, the now iconic Seth McFarlane was not in attendance. Speaking were David Goodman, Steve Hagley, Mike Shipley, Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman, Chris McKenna, Zach Moncrief, Michael Henry and a few others. Needless to say the stage was filled with a lot of enthusiasm.

Michael Henry began the festivities by welcoming the patrons in the voices of the American Dad characters. The panel then started reeling off spoilers for the upcoming season of both shows.

On the American Dad front it appears that Stan is going to try and convince his new bestfriend that God exists. In addition to this, George W. Bush comes to dinner at Stan's house and Roger has a hand in him falling off the wagon. As for the Family Guy there are more issues of teen and parental angst as well as an entire episode that takes place in a "Star Wars" world.

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When the panel was asked who came up with the idea of a barbershop quartet singing a song about having a vasectomy, it was agreed that it "was Seth's idea." The panel was then asked about a feud with South Park and the consensus seemed to be that "they have the right to shun us and we have the right to shun them."

Shortly after this it was revealed that Mike Barker invented the "evil monkey" that appears in their show and then Barker gave us a display of this. The topic then arose of how to do a show that doesn't offend people while offending them? After a discourse on if something like that was even possible, it became clear that if something makes somebody laugh than "it deserves to be out in the world."

After that, we were treated to a clip of American Dad that managed to poke fun at the Comic-Con audience while keeping with the show's regular opening. The episode revolves around Steve being obsessed with a videogame, and using that obsession to help his Hayley's ex-boyfriend get over the fact that he dumped her. Meanwhile, Stan is bothered when Francine gets turned on by a guy who challenges them to a street race. Stan spent the remainder of the clip trying to show his wife that he was "exciting."

Before the clip of the Family Guy there were some technical problems so Mike Goodman called Seth McFarlane who, over the speakerphone, said "Hello" to the Comic-Con audience. Then, at Goodman's request, McFarlane began to do various voices from both shows.

After that the Family Guy clip ran and we were treated to all the various things we have come to expect from this modern, dysfunctional family. Taking place at a fair, we see a crowd roar whenever a stunt pilot almost gets killed. When he is done flying and comes out to take a bow, he is quickly stabbed in the chest by a random person. Filled with it's classic wit and style it is apparent that the Family Guy, which returns with new episodes September 10, has lost none of it's trademark comedy.

Evan Jacobs