Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington

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"Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington"
Family Guy episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 3
Directed by Brian Hogan
Written by Ricky Blitt
Production code 2ACX11
Original air date July 25, 2001
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Brian Does Hollywood"
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"One If by Clam, Two If by Sea"
Family Guy (season 3)
List of Family Guy episodes

"Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington" is the third episode of the third season of the animated comedy series Family Guy, even though it was produced for season 2. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on July 25, 2001. The episode features Peter after his employer, the Happy-Go-Lucky Toy Factory, is taken over by new management, a power hungry cigarette company, who uses the toys to instill smoking habits in children. Peter is immediately hired by the company to reach out to political leaders in Washington, D.C., but soon realizes the deadly effects of the habit.

The episode was written by Ricky Blitt and directed by Brian Hogan. The episode featured guest performances by Carlos Alazraqui, Gary Cole, Louise DuArt, Olivia Hack, Meredith Scott Lynn, Alyssa Milano, Brian Doyle-Murray and Jack Sheldon, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series.

Plot[edit]

Peter skips work to attend a Boston Red Sox baseball game. When he is at the game, he encounters his boss Mr. Weed who calls him a liar for missing work. Later, Mr. Weed tells Peter that the El Dorado Cigarette Company is taking over the toy factory, but Peter's job will be retained. Peter shows his family the new toys being made by the company, but Lois and Brian see them as encouraging children to smoke. Peter takes their advice and discusses the issue to his new bosses. They deny that they want children to smoke, and appoint Peter as President of the company.

Lois enjoys Peter's presidency, especially because the company sent Martha Stewart to be a maid at the Griffins' house. Brian, annoyed with the company's ideas, quits smoking. Peter enjoys being the President of the El Dorado Cigarette Company when he gets special privileges. After receiving an anti-smoking bill, El Dorado holds a meeting and decide that the only way to communicate with the idiots in Congress is to send someone just as stupid, and they decide to send Peter. He makes friends from Congress of both parties in order to win the dispute. Meanwhile, Lois is horrified when she catches Stewie smoking, and they go to Washington, D.C. to find Peter.

Peter wins over the Congressmen with his speech, but when he hears Stewie's smoker's cough, he remembers the evils of smoking and tells Congress to reject El Dorado's proposal. Congress agrees and fines the company $100 million, bankrupting it.

Production[edit]

The episode was written by series regular Ricky Blitt, and directed by Brian Hogan, in his first episode for the series, before the conclusion of the third production season.

In addition to the regular cast, voice actor and comedian Carlos Alazraqui, actor Gary Cole, comedian Louise DuArt, voice actress Olivia Hack, actress Meredith Scott Lynn, actress Alyssa Milano, comedian and actor Brian Doyle-Murray and actor Jack Sheldon guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voice actors Ricky Blitt, writer Danny Smith and voice actor Wally Wingert also made minor appearances.

Cultural references[edit]

The name and a small amount of the plot parodies the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington starring Jimmy Stewart and directed by Frank Capra. At a Red Sox game, Stewie takes a souvenir bat from a kid named "Opie," Andy's son on the television series The Andy Griffith Show. When Brian mentions subliminal advertising, a cutaway shows an episode of Lassie with (poorly-executed) subliminal pro-smoking messages. Subliminal advertising was a popular urban legend during the early days of television. A flashback shows Peter giving false testimony at the 1991 Confirmation Hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, where Thomas' alleged sexual harassment of former aide Anita Hill became an issue. After his lies are called out, he screams "Baba Booey! Baba Booey! Howard Stern's penis! Baba Booey! Baba Booey!" Stern encourages listeners to interrupt high-profile political and media events and give him publicity, often shouting "Baba Booey," the nickname of Stern's producer, Gary Dell'Abate, as a codeword. Peter says that, since he's been president, "profits have been higher than Alyssa Milano," referring to tabloid accusations about the actress's drug abuse. In a live-action scene, Milano appears as herself and urges her lawyer to sue FOX when Peter makes a joke at her expense. When the tobacco executives decide to send Peter to Washington as a lobbyist, they parody the opening of the old sitcom That Girl from 1966. The scene where there is an anthropomorphic legal bill singing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building is a reference to the 1970s educational television series School-House Rock. The two writers that are hired for Peter bear some physical resemblance to comedy duo Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, although it is worth noting that Gervais and Merchant are English, whilst the writers are voiced by American actors. 1996 Republican Presidential Nominee Bob Dole was also parodied in this episode.

References[edit]

  • S. Callaghan, "Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington". Family Guy: The Official Episode Guide Seasons 1–3. New York: HarperCollins, 2005. 136–139.

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Brian Does Hollywood
Family Guy (season 3) Succeeded by
One If by Clam, Two If by Sea