One of the most popular events at South By Southwest so far—besides having a conversation about the new social media app you’re developing, hopefully talking loud enough that that cute girl will overhear it and come have sex with you—was “A Conversation With Seth MacFarlane,” in which the Family Guy creator held court on his career. And besides just filling the room with MacFarlane’s favorite sound, his own velvety baritone, much of the panel was devoted to promoting his upcoming, R-rated Ted, the previously reported movie in which Mark Wahlberg expands his exasperation with all living things to talking teddy bears. Wahlberg himself also made a surprise appearance, then he and MacFarlane said nice things about each other for a while, and then Wahlberg heard the distant sound of an argument in Boston and quickly excused himself.
But MacFarlane also shared some thoughts on his planned remake of The Flintstones, which is still happening. According to MacFarlane, the pilot is still being written, but he did say that he planned to “keep it more or less the same”—remaining true to the original look and feel of the show, while only slightly updating the cultural references beyond the 1960s and telling stories that feel “a little more current.” Naturally, this raises the question: Well, will there be abortion jokes? “We’re kind of shooting for the level of edge in mid-'90s Simpsons—you’re not going to see abortion jokes,” MacFarlane said, instantly disappointing all who were hoping to see, say, a giant anteater shrug, “It’s a living” before performing a prehistoric abortion. Anyway, MacFarlane later expanded on his feelings about reviving The Flintstones to The Huffington Post, saying, “My thought was, I can't [screw] it up any worse than Viva Rock Vegas.” Which, yes, if Viva Rock Vegas is the bar we’re using to measure Flintstones reboots, then even at this early, non-existent stage, MacFarlane’s is already a raging success.