Family Guy, “Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington”

If I had a hole in my throat, I’d put pennies in it!

By Dan Wiencek
April 13, 2002

Busted by his boss for playing hooky, Peter confronts him the next day to find him in a paroxysm of grief: the Happy-Go-Lucky toy company has been bought by the El Dorado tobacco company, and the boss is out on his ear before he can fire Peter. That’s just the beginning of the good news. The tobacco folk may be evil (they skeet-shoot with poodles) but they know how to treat employees well: raises, a game room, and free product samples of Baby Smokes-a-Lot, the company’s latest tool to hook kids on cigarettes. The family is outraged and Peter confronts the board, but his objections last only a moment; they evaporate like so much, er, smoke when the board offers him the presidency of the company. Perqs start flowing into the Griffin household: Martha Stewart shows up to help around the kitchen, Stewie gets a masseuse, and Meg gets a homely girlfriend to make her look comparatively more attractive. Oh, and Peter gets an electric pencil sharpener, which he investigates in his own inimitable style.

Peter is called upon to earn his pay when a new anti-smoking law is debated in Congress. The board knows that Congress is staffed exclusively by fat stupid guys, and, as one board member recalls, “Wait a second — didn’t we just make a fat stupid guy president?” Peter is off to Washington, and the Griffins remain behind to enjoy the rewards of selling out. He takes Bush, Gore, and few other fatcats to a nudie bar where a stripper ends up dead. (This is undoubtedly a parody of one of those recent Clinton-era White House thrillers, but I admit I have no idea which one.) It’s OK — it’s not like smoking killed her! But something else goes wrong: Stewie takes a puff, and Lois finally realizes what she’s sacrificed for the sake of having Martha Stewart around. The Griffins promptly head to Washington to dissuade Peter from fighting the new law, leaving Martha Stewart alone … where she finally gets to squeeze out a fart. Considering everything the writers could’ve done, I think Ms. Stewart got off light.

Peter reverses his position and heads home with his family, where all is back to normal. The episode ends with a strange curtain talk: “We’ve had some good laughs tonight. But one thing that’s not funny: killing strippers.” Can’t argue with that. And just in case you’re not offended yet, Peter goes on: “Besides, there’s no need to kill them. Most of them are already dead inside.