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Family Guy/I Dream of Jesus
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I Dream of Jesus is the second episode of the seventh season of Family Guy, and the one hundred thirteenth episode overall.
The episode centers on Peter meeting a man who claims to be Jesus, who is working incognito at a used music store Peter is shopping at. Much of the plot centers on interactions Jesus has with the Griffins and others as his identity is revealed to the public.
The Griffins go to a 1950s-themed restaurant, when Peter hears the song "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen on the jukebox. Peter immediately gets up and starts dancing to the song. When the restaurant manager removes the record for not fitting in with the 1950s theme (the song was released in 1963), he lets Peter purchase the record. Everyone is driven crazy when Peter repeatedly plays the song, and dances and sings to it; indeed, he is so fixated on the song that:
- He drives Chris to the brink of suicide. He also annoys Stewie, who was initially amused at Peter's antics.
- He convinces Brian that he has gone into convulsions, when he was merely shaking violently on the floor to mimick a break in the song.
- He angers Lois when she gets a phone call from the bank stating that he had withdrawn a large portion of the family's savings. Peter explains he had made a public service announcement: an inane one based on "Surfin' Bird."
Peter becomes so obsessed with the song, and paranoid that it will be taken away, that he sleeps with it in bed. Brian and Stewie decide to take matters into their own hands and steal the record from him while he sleeps. The next morning, Peter becomes frantic when he discovers the record missing and decides to buy a replacement record at a used record store; however, he discovers that each store had sold out of the record. The clerk at the last store Peter visits — the only one seen by viewers — tells him "a dog and a baby" (referring to Brian and Stewie) had bought all the existing copies of the record. Peter becomes upset at first, but then forgets that when he notices the clerk looks familiar ... like Jesus Christ. The clerk denies the claim at first, but then admits he indeed is the Messiah. Brian and Stewie, meanwhile, have destroy Peter's copy of the record.
Jesus tells Peter that he comes to Earth "every century or so to unwind," but to avoid identification and harassment, he keeps a low profile. Peter, however, tells him he needs to socialize and invites Jesus to dinner. When Jesus enjoys himself, he decides to go public with his second coming. Jesus is largely ignored at first, but when he retrieves a dollar bill Peter had lost in a water fountain and walks on the water's surface to retrieve it, everyone is amazed at the man's ability.
Jesus quickly is invited to talk shows and music awards shows, eventually neglecting his relationship with Peter. However, things go downhill when Jesus is arrested for public intoxication. Peter, however, remembers their friendship and posts Jesus' bail. Jesus declares that he wasn't mature enough to come back ot the world, but Peter tells him that such a realitization shows that 'someday" might not be too far off. Before he leaves, an appreciative Jesus gives Peter a present: a new record of "Surfin' Bird."
- Jesus Christ, as depicted as a character in Family Guy, had appeared in minor roles in at least four previous episodes: "The Courtship of Stewie's Father," "Blind Ambition," "Petergeist" and "Holy Crap." However, "I Dream of Jesus" marks his first appearance as a major character.
- Show writer Brian Scully had written several episodes of The Simpsons.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
- I Dream of Jeannie and "Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair" — The episode title is a pun on both the 1965-1970 NBC situation comedy and the first line of the 1854 song ("I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair").
- Mission Impossible — The scene where Brian and Stewie team to steal Peter's record, by carefully lowering Stewie through the ceiling to complete their act undetected, is taken from the 1996 movie.
- Pulp Fiction — The scenes in the 1950s diner, and the wait staff dressed like pop culture stars from the era, is inspired by the movie.
- "Surfin' Bird" — The 1963 surf rock hit by the Trashmen figures heavily into the plot. In future episodes, it would at times be played (sometimes at completely random times), with Peter quickly quitting whatever he was doing to enjoy the song.