If you liked Family Guy‘s extended Star Wars homage "BlueHarvest," you’ll be thrilled to hear what they’re doing with The EmpireStrikes Back — it’s called "Something, Something, Something Dark Side,"executive producer Chris Sheridan jokingly revealed in the show’s packed Fridayafternoon panel at Comic-Con.
Flanked by Guy creator and star SethMacFarlane, along with Seth Green (voice of Chris), Mike Henry (who spins offhis own series, The Cleveland Show, next year), director Greg Colten,and producers Kara Vallow and Mike Henry, Sheridan was more forthcoming withFox’s take on the new Empire episode, than on the episode, itself. He readfrom a list of "notes" Fox executives gave the producers, offering guidance like,"Page 68: Han’s comment at Lando that he is ‘this close to going MichaelRichards on your ass,’ is in poor taste…." So what did the panel reveal?(Stop reading if you don’t want to know!)
An episode teased in EW last fall willhave Stewie and Brian time-traveling back to 1939 Poland, and bringing poor MortGoldman along with them. The pair will also do an homage to the TVseries Sliders (said MacFarlane: "Great premise, s—tty f—ingshow"), jumping through a series of parallel universes. And for you James Woodsfans, worry not, he will be back to torture Peter once again.
Leavingthe series, however, is Henry’s Cleveland, who moves to his hometown ofStoolbend, Va., to reconnect with his high-school sweetheart to, as Henry putit, "form a Black Brady Bunch." MacFarlane noted that he’ll also have a voicerole in that series, as the father in a bear family that lives on Cleveland’sstreet. What does the bear sound like? Polish (we think).
The highlightof the session, however, was an extended clip from the new season, in whichPeter and family go out to eat at a 1950s-theme diner, where Peter becomesobsessed with the Trashmen’s "Surfin’ Bird." The gag goes down in FamilyGuy history as their longest extended joke ever — longer than Stewie goingafter Matthew McConaughey, longer than "Shipoopie," and yes, FG fans,even longer than the epic duels of Peter vs. Chicken. We’re here to tell you theaudience loved every second.