When You Wish Upon a Weinstein
|"When You Wish Upon a Weinstein"|
|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Dan Povenmire|
|Written by||Ricky Blitt|
|Original air date||January 27, 2003 (UK VHS)
November 9, 2003 (Adult Swim)
December 10, 2004 (Fox)
"When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" is the 22nd and final episode of the third season of animated sitcom Family Guy. It would have first aired on Fox in 2002, but due to concerns about its content it was not aired until November 9, 2003, when it was broadcast on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. It later aired on Fox on December 10, 2004. It is included as the last episode in the season three DVD box set for Region 1 (as a "bonus unaired episode"), it is customarily placed at No. 22 in most episode lists (although in the Region 2 and 4 DVD releases it is included as the last episode of Season 2, and it is broadcast in Australia as the Season 4 premiere on both free-to-air and cable television networks). This episode features guest performances from Andrea Beutener, Mark Hamill, Phil LaMarr, Ed McMahon, Peter Riegert, Mary Scheer, Ben Stein, and Nicole Sullivan, along with several recurring voice performers for the series.
Peter gives Lois's "rainy-day fund" to a scam artist selling volcano insurance. That night, Stewie breaks Meg’s glasses because he hates being watched while he sleeps. Lois tells Peter that he needs to recover the money to buy their daughter a new pair of glasses. After hearing Quagmire and Cleveland talk about how men with Jewish-sounding names have helped them achieve financial success, Peter decides that he needs a Jew to handle his money (though Cleveland tells Peter he does not approve of his logic) in an elaborate musical number based on “When You Wish upon a Star.” When a Jewish man named Max Weinstein (Peter Riegert) has car trouble outside the Griffin house, Peter takes it as a sign. After a foot chase, Peter pressures Max into helping him get the emergency money back. Subsequently, Max recovers the money from the scammer.
After inviting Max to dinner and accompanying him to a reform synagogue, Peter comes to the conclusion that Chris would get smarter if he converted to Judaism. He secretly drives Chris to Las Vegas for a quickie Bar Mitzvah, Lois finds out about this from Brian and, borrowing Glenn Quagmire's car, arrives just in time to stop the ceremony. The congregants, angry that Lois is apparently insulting their religion, chase the Griffins. They get out just in time and the Griffins lock the synagogue's door using a large star of David until they escape onto a bus full of nuns who, displeased that Peter strayed from Catholicism, attack him with rulers.
In addition to the regular cast, voice actress Andrea Beutener, actor Mark Hamill, voice actor Phil LaMarr, actor Ed McMahon, actor Peter Riegert, actress Mary Scheer, actor Ben Stein, and voice actress Nicole Sullivan guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voices in the episode include Mike Barker, Ricky Blitt, Mike Henry, Danny Smith, and Wally Wingert.
Some Fox network executives were concerned that the episode could be construed as anti-Semitic, and decided not to air the episode after it had completed post-production. It aired on Cartoon Network three years after being produced, and then it aired on Fox.
On the DVD commentary for the episode, Seth MacFarlane mentions that he showed the script of the episode to two rabbis, both of whom approved the episode “because Peter learns the right lesson at the end.” MacFarlane also points out that 70 percent of the show's writers are Jewish, including Ricky Blitt, who wrote the episode, as is Ben Stein, who plays the Rabbi.
On October 3, 2007, the Bourne Company publishing house, sole owner of the song "When You Wish upon a Star", filed a lawsuit against several Fox divisions, Cartoon Network, Fuzzy Door Productions, Family Guy producer Seth MacFarlane and composer Walter Murphy, claiming copyright infringement over "I Need a Jew", seeking unspecified damages and to halt the program's distribution. The suit claims harm to the value of the song due to the offensive nature of the lyrics.
On March 17, 2009, U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts ruled that the creators of Family Guy did not infringe on Bourne's copyright. The episode has since returned to syndicated airings on Adult Swim, TBS, and other networks.
- Chicago Sun-Times (November 27, 2004) Fox to air 'Family Guy' episode once considered anti-Semitic.
- Mark I. Pinsky (2007). The gospel according to the Simpsons: bigger and possibly even better! edition with a new afterword exploring South park, Family guy, and other animated TV shows. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 262 (Afterword). ISBN 0-664-23160-8. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
- Keys, Lisa (December 10, 2004). "Bar Mitzvah-gate, Courtesy of Fox". The Forward. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
- "It's 'Wish Upon a Star' vs. 'Family Guy'". CNN.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- Neumeister, Larry (2007-10-04). "Classic song's owner sues over spoof". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
- Bourne Co., vs. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Fox Broadcasting Company, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., Fuzzy Door Productions, Inc., The Cartoon Network, Inc., Seth MacFarlane, Walter Murphy. Text "Defendants' infringing activities have cause and will continue to cause Bourne great and irreparable harm. By associating Bourne's song with such offensive lyrics and other content in the episode, Defendants are harming the value of the song."
- Kearney, Christine (March 16, 2009). ""Family Guy" Wins Court Battle Over song". reuters.com. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
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