Family Guy DVD coverCount me among the silent minority of folks who aren't so wild about Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy, a warped toon whose signature characters are a rather profane infant and smarter-than-average talking dog. Still, I wish I were still living in Chicago for at least one fall weekend to have the opportunity to watch MacFarlane and his cast on the road, as they perform a script live and uncensored tonight during two performances at the Chicago Theatre.

The Windy City scored a major "get" with the live Family Guy shows, largely thanks to Tribune Co. buying lucrative toon syndication rights to a series that wouldn't die, even after Fox TV temporarily canceled it.

Fact is, the Chicago Sun-Times' Doug Elfman had never seen his fellow TV critics laugh so hard during a convention, until a hilarious and bawdy table read of a Family Guy episode. The charm, Elfman says, stems from a smart move on MacFarlane's part to cast people who "sound real," a nod to Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Larry Sanders Show, a pair of classic TV comedies.

If a plane ticket, much less a Family Guy rendezvous in Chicago, isn't in the cards, don't despair. Fox's Family Guy Web site features a pair of videos that'll give you a quick look at live performances in New York City and Los Angeles. Fair warning: Fox doesn't make it easy to find these funny vids, so search for them in the "multimedia" section of the site.