Seth MacFarlane's cavalcade of cartoon crumminess |

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Seth MacFarlane's cavalcade of cartoon crumminess

Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy is released on DVD today. I hadn’t sought them out on YouTube, where many of these short cartoons first appeared. But, always seeking a way to learn to enjoy the MacFarlane industry – after all, EW did name MacFarlane the smartest person in television, right? – I dug into this collection. Here, the creative freedom of the DVD format allows you see them in their “uncensored” versions.

Alas, I don’t know which of MacFarlane’s creations I laughed at less. Was it the lame one with the horse whose face is compared to Sarah Jessica Parker’s? Was it the game-show parody “Name That Animal Penis”? No, I think the one I found least funny was “AIDS Patient Zero,” in which a “gay Canadian flight attendant” picks up a monkey, they have sex, and… well, it’s pretty despicable, aside from being not-funny. Here’s one of the less not-funny:

It’s okay, but not roaringly hilarious, is it?

The bare-bones DVD extras consist primarily of footage from a Cavalcade launch party in which guests are asked what “cavalcade” means, and most of them haven’t a clue.

As for MacFarlane’s regular source of income, Family Guy, it wraps up its season this Sunday with an episode in which a psychic tells Peter Griffin that he’s either the reincarnation or ancestor of the 17th-century founder of Quahog, Griffin Peterson. At one point, Peterson tells someone he has the day off because “it’s Martin Luther Day.” He then says, “Yes, that’s a very smart joke.”

Wow: telling your audience that making a joke that intentionally confuses two historical figures is “smart.” Does that mean MacFarlane believes his audience is so stupid it needs to be told, or just that he thinks his all-too-obvious joke is funny?

Me, I side with the South Park guys: MacFarlane’s endless use of repetition, unsurprising non sequiturs, and random pop-culture references don’t cohere as much of a comic viewpoint.

But maybe you disagree with us? Or agree?