Seth MacFarlane is the only auteur still working in American comedy. Who else is there? Mike Judge gave us Idiocracy and The Goode Family. Matt Groening had little to do with The Simpsons’ peak years and a lot to do with its modern zombie existence as a Fox cash cow. Mitchell Hurwitz is a hack who somehow had one of his commercial bombs of a show picked up as a clarion call for bodricks who like to complain online. The fact that “helping launch Childish Gambino” is only fifth on the list of Dan Harmon’s greatest crimes tells you how awful Community actually is.
Ignore what The AV Club tells you: Family Guy had a significantly longer peak than The Simpsons and, even past its best, absolutely massacres any post-1998 Springfield product (compare a drunken Peter Griffin talking about Catdog to the episode where Bart forms a boyband, for instance). American Dad absolutely demolishes any post-2000 family-based sitcom from either side of the Atlantic. We’ll not talk about The Cleveland Show. Because we’re racist.
What we’re saying is that Seth MacFarlane has put work in the game (he wrote some of the best episodes of Johnny Bravo and Dexter’s Laboratory as well, don’t forget). So when he wants to shit out some cheap cash-in post-Hangover movie about a teddy bear that drinks and farts and whatever, more power to his good arm. I’ll probably end up catching it on E4 in around 2016 and be all “huh”.
What I don’t understand, however, is how Ted has become the Gaetan Dugas of parody accounts. I got bored trying to calculate it, but I found at least 38 “parody” Ted accounts on Twitter that have over 100,00 followers. Parody accounts are, along with New Statesman journalists, an integral part of what makes Twitter such an awful place, so consider this post a spotters guide to Ted accounts and what makes them (lack of a verified) tick.
Sample advertisers who buys sponsored tweets on account: The PUA website gettingheriseasy.com
Tweet style: The kind of barely suppressed rage at women that can only come with a year-long dry spell. Alternating at random between ladies’ man talk (“P.U.S.S.Y = Push - Until - She - Screams - Yesssss!”, which appears to be suggesting that vaginas are some sort of Marinas Trench with the g-spot located around five miles down) and disparaging women who actually have sex (“Don’t be the freshman whore” has 1,421 RTs and 352 favs as of press time)
Advertisers: LifeScript.com, which promotes “healthy living for women” via a bunch of content farmed articles written by journalism graduates for $2 every 1,000 words. Been there, done that.
Tweet style: A more “urban” feel, like when Blue let Simon do lead vocals on a song. Much anger directed at “hoes” and “bitches” interspersed with the inevitable reminisces of “when Nickelodeon made sense”. Apparently Rocket Power, which nobody cared about when it was on and only ended eight years ago, gets you RTs now.
Advertisers: aol.com’s motoring homepage. Seriously.
Tweet style: Completely and utterly devoid of any resemblance to a heavy drinking fictional bear. Has “I think charities are awesome” in its Twitter bio, devoid of any irony. Lots of inspirational stuff about how hard it is “growing up” mixed in “do you ever hate it when you’re in class and this happens?” Also, “I wonder if British people sit around trying to talk in an American accent.” Only 149 RTs for that one though, not a winning tweet.
Advertisers: Apparently none. Although when we checked, it did have Joey Barton in “similar users”.
Tweet style: So we all know that none of these accounts produce original content, they just recycle jokes/memes/quotes from other sources. But at least most of them manage to stick to their theme: shitty Hangover character accounts do drinking jokes, shitty Drake accounts tweet insipid “inspirational” bullshit. The reason that @ComedyTed doesn’t have any advertisers is because a) it does Condescending Wonka gags without the set up correctly and b) it does the “wait, Arthur is supposed to be a bear?” shitty 90s observation despite the fact that Ted himself is a bear. The laziness is palpable across any Twitter account created to sell sponsored tweets, but @ComedyTed just goes that little extra mile less. And for that, we salute it.