Fox News Laughs Off ‘Simpsons’ Jokes

At least “The Simpsons” is funny, unlike “Family Guy,” network insider says

Last Updated: November 29, 2010 @ 5:09 PM

Fox News says it's laughing off two consecutive weeks of "Simpsons" jokes at its expense.

Last week's episode of the Fox cartoon featured a Fox News helicopter with the slogan, "Not Racist, But #1 With Racists." This week the chopper's slogan changed to "Unsuitable for Viewers Under 75."

But a Fox News insider says the network hasn't complained, and adds this zinger: At least "The Simpsons" is funny, unlike "Family Guy."

"Family Guy" has repeatedly mocked Fox News, including in an episode in which Lois Griffin's character becomes a reporter for the network. Fox News and Fox Entertainment, which broadcasts "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy," are both owned by News Corp.

Of course, complaining to "The Simpsons" probably wouldn't do any good. Sunday's joke appeared after Bill O'Reilly last week called "The Simpsons" team "pinheads" over the "racists" joke. He wasn't speaking for the network, the insider said.

"Simpsons" executive producer told TheWrap Monday that the "unsuitable" joke was added at the last-minute because of O'Reilly's dig.

The joke doesn't appear in online versions of the show, but there's a non-nefarious reason for that, Jean said: the show sends out different master copies of the show to different markets, and that the one that aired the joke was only for U.S. and Canadian television viewers.

"It sort of gives people a reason to watch the shows when they first run on Fox," he said.

Jean also said no one from Fox has ever asked the show to leave Fox News alone.

A "Family Guy" rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.