November 18, 2015 8:24 pm

This Friday, Explore the Science of “Family Guy” when Neil deGrasse Tyson Interviews Seth MacFarlane

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX

I have to admit that I’m not much of a Family Guy fan. But after listening to this Friday’s podcast, The Science of Family Guy with Seth MacFarlane, I may have to rethink that position.

After all, how many cartoons have an episode where a precocious preschooler with a talking dog builds a time machine and goes back to just before the Big Bang?

How many cartoons explore the implications of the multiverse, including what the world might have look like without the rise of Christianity. And there’s only one TV show that has run an episode of COSMOS for Rednecks complete with a spot on Carl Sagan impersonation.

That said, I am a big Seth MacFarlane fan, and I loved listening to Neil and Seth talk about how they met, or how Seth got Lucasfilm’s approval to do not one, but three satirical episodes spoofing Star Wars, or how he got the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation to be in an episode of Family Guy.

I also love when we have the two Chucks on our show: Chuck Nice and Charles Liu. This is the astrophysicist’s 11th guest appearance on StarTalk, giving him the lead over Astro Mike Massimino for most frequent guest. (Although, technically, Charles was billed as co-host on a few of his appearances!)

In addition to geeking out over the inherent humor in flatulence and the Star Wars and Star Trek episodes of Family Guy, they also chat with Neil about everything from the history of animation to the role cartoons play in society, including the issues of political correctness and expanding scientific literacy.

In this episode, we also get a call into the show from Simon Singh, who wrote the book on the use of math in The Simpsons. Turns out there’s more going on in that show than meets the eye, too.

Plus, in this episode, Bill Nye pays a visit to Forbidden planet, an awesome comic book and science fiction store in NYC, where he dons a super hero’s cape and attempts to… oh, why ruin the surprise.

Listen for yourself this Friday at 7 pm ET on our website, iTunes Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up.
–Jeffrey Simons