The long-running animated sitcom released a short film on Tuesday that is intended to “educate, entertain and encourage the millions of unvaccinated citizens around the globe to feel confident getting vaccinated against Covid-19,” according to a network press release.
In the video, Peter Griffin (voiced by series creator Seth MacFarlane) gets some unhelpful “advice” about the vaccine from his physician, Dr. Hartman (MacFarlane again).
“Think of the vaccine as a large ethnic bouncer,” the doctor suggests, “and Covid as the drunk, entitled white kid yelling ‘Do you know who my father is?’”
Erudite, occasionally homicidal baby Stewie Griffin (also MacFarlane) rolls his eyes and takes his canine companion, Brian Griffin (three guesses), into Peter’s body ― on sort of a voyage, maybe even a fantastic one, you might say ― for a visual demonstration of how vaccines boost the body’s immune system to fight the coronavirus.
The video ends with Stewie explaining that if people don’t get vaccinated, it will allow even worse virus variants to spread, until we end up back where we started, with Gal Gadot singing Imagine. “We cannot let that happen!” Stewie exclaims.
The cartoon, which lasts about three and a half minutes, was penned by the Family Guy writers in collaboration with MacFarlane and a team of scientific experts and epidemiologists.
MacFarlane appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night to discuss the video. He said the decision to make the PSA was directly influenced by Tucker Carlson, who has spread misinformation about the virus on the Fox News Channel.
“I looked around and I saw everyone else at Fox Corp. doing their part to get good science out there and be responsible with their platforms,” MacFarlane said sarcastically. “And looking down the barrel of that kind of peer pressure, I said, ‘Well gosh, we’ve got to do something too.’”
Watch the Family Guy clip in full above.