An episode of the dark Fox comedy Family Guy took a Jewish turn this week when Lois discovers she is Jewish.
This second episode of the season, written by Mark Hentemann, begins with a geektastic “Super Friends” parody opener and then meanders through some flat gags about Peter falling in love with a Kathy Ireland cutout before moving on to a mostly sharp-witted Jewish plot. As can happen in “Family Guy,” the script’s humor takes a few mean-spirited, dark turns, including one gag that only a white supremacist could love –- shooting at Jews.The Jewish plotline begins when a breast cancer scare leads Lois (voiced by Jewish actress Alex Borstein) to discover that her mother, Barbara Pewterschmidt, is a Holocaust survivor who gave up her Judaism to help her husband get into country clubs (“It was the right thing to do, dear,” Mrs. Pewterschmidt says).
“So Grandma Hebrewberg is actually Jewish?!” Lois asks.
“Yes, when she moved to America, her family changed their name. It was originally Hebrewbergmoneygrabber,” her mother says.
“Family Goy” includes the brief return of Jewish accountant Max Weinstein, the titular character from the episode “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein,” who reassures Lois she doesn’t need to change her life. (Another returning “Weinstein” character: the congregational rabbi voiced by Ben Stein.)
Peter embraces his wife’s Jewish heritage—donning a tallit, kippah and Star of David necklace (chest hair included), and changing his name to “Chhhhhhhh.” When Lois objects, Peter complains, “Leave it to a Jew to take all the fun out of being a Jew.” His enrolling the kids in day school is good for a few laughs, along with his pushing Lois to dress frum in the bedroom to turn him on and, wanting to be humiliated, says, “Tell me I don’t earn as much as your friend’s husband.”