Aug 8, 2010

Saudi through the eyes of American Dad

I am a huge fan of Seth MacFarlane’s animated series. While Family Guy is his most popular work, his best and funniest, in my opinion, is American Dad.

One of the funniest episodes on American Dad is the two-part ‘Stan of Arabia’.

Stan Smith, a CIA agent, upsets his boss. Instead of being fired, Stan gets relocated with his family to Saudi Arabia. Read episode summary here.

The episode aired in 2005 but I watched it again today and thought it deserves a mention on Arabianism for its depiction of Saudi Arabia.
While MacFarlane’s depiction is not 100% accurate, it does highlight several stereotypes and America’s perception of the Kingdom. Instead of boring you with text, I will illustrate in images from the episode. 

A Saudi man pampered by his three wives.

Stan's wife, Francine, arrested by Saudi Virtue Police for going out in public without a man.

A Saudi man's Harem.

Stan, a conservative, adapts to Saudi culture. One of the best quotes by Stan is in this scene: "America does not want to enslave all Arabs...just the ones who have oil. Praise Allah." 

In Saudi, men are happy, women are not. 

Stan gets a second wife to help Francine with the 'cleaning and cooking'. He can't pronounce her name. He calls her Thundercat.

After dancing half-naked in public, Francine and the Smith family are sentenced to stoning for being infidels. 

A Saudi Prince 'wasta' saves the day.

MacFarlane is known for his edgy racists gags and for pushing the envelope. If you have a good sense of humor, you will find both episodes entertaining and hilarious. MacFarlane takes shots at both Saudis and Americans. 

Naturally, Saudi media was not too thrilled with the episodes. Arab News had this to say.


KJ said...

I am a big fan of Family guy but haven't had the chance to watch American Dad yet!

ScillaME said...

I like it! 'Stan of Arabia' :D

Will you have the link to the episode?

Arabianism said...

@KJ - You should check AD. Way funnier than FG and has better storyline.

@ScillaME - I looked for it on YouTube but no luck. There are few small scenes from the episode though. Check with Tarek, he might have the episode downloaded :)

Danielle said...

Hahah..this is hilarious! I need to watch the entire episode for myself. I'll be going to Saudi soon for work..interested to see how many of the stereotypes hold true! ;)

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