Seth MacFarlane is the most alt main guy ever

In the Family Guy episode Patriot Games, there’s a part where Peter scores a touchdown and proceeds to sing an entire song from a 1957 Broadway musical. I remember being really annoyed by this because, aside from not getting the reference, the five minute piece served as little more than filler, ultimately wasting around a fifth of the episode. Recently I saw that Seth MacFarlane is in talks to record an album of 40s and 50s show tunes. I then quickly realized what was going on here: Seth MacFarlane is super alt.

Consider this: within the hipster movement, you’ve got a bunch of people who are trying to bring back really old school styles from the 40s and 50s. They have ridiculous mustaches, wear vests and things like that. Having a working knowledge of show tunes from eras like that is totally within hipster territory. And recording an album of such songs? Even more alt.

But here’s the subversive part: MacFarlane has managed to integrate his hipsterness with his TV shows by working obscure references into episodes. What’s a better way to show how you know something that no one else does than to insert references into a show that’s watched by millions? Totally alt. Further, MacFarlane is taking his fame from such references and is funneling it into an album of music that’s predicated on that same obscureness! He’ll now have an album proclaiming how alt he is – but having an album released on a major record label is decidedly not hipster. It’s brilliant.

So well done, sir: you’ve managed to turn your hipster self into a cash cow that’s also mainstream.

Sunday, August 8th, 2010 12:29 pm - essays, tv

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