Who doesn't like jokes about the Holocaust, incest, feminine hygiene and deaf people? Microsoft, apparently, as the software giant has pulled out as exclusive sponsor of Fox's upcoming Family Guy variety special, which reportedly includes such potentially offensive material. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, it sounds like a fairly typical Family Guy episode, and the show's been a hit for years, so it's tough to take Microsoft at face value when it claims to have just realized "the content was not a fit with the Windows brand." Now, if this is part of Microsoft's marketing strategy, it's almost inspired. The company gets lots of free pre-show press without paying millions for the airtime. Plus, it gets to enjoy an in-show plug, also free, when Seth MacFarlane retaliates with a dream sequence of a devil-horned Bill Gates commanding Peter to slaughter his family and bury the parts in Windows 7 boxes. Or maybe the gibe will be more subtle. Lois could ask Peter why he "pulled out prematurely," and he could respond: "I got the idea from Microsoft." Actually, the show will probably be funnier without Microsoft's involvement. Laughing at this particular company is always more satisfying than laughing with them.
—Posted by David Gianatasio