Family Guy sued... again

Though it would initially appear impossible, apparently Jesus Christ and Carlos Mencia have something in common--they both may steal material from others...at least according to Family Guy.

In the direct-to-DVD feature Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Fox's Family Guy portrayed the sandaled one as having abilities that "may have been exaggerated a bit." In one scene, Jesus is shown doing a goofy routine involving hand gestures and singing a simple tune.

While that may just be enough to send the deeply religious into a conniption fit, it was certainly more than enough for one magician to file a lawsuit. Art Metrano, who works as a comedian, actor, and magician, has sued 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane (whose name is misspelled on legal documents (pdf file) acquired by TMZ.com), and collaborators Steve Callaghan and Alex Borstein.

Metrano claims that the act that the animated Jesus performed was in fact his own that he has done before on shows such as The Tonight Show. The comedian is suing for copyright infringement.

TMZ.com has video of both the scene in question and a performance by Metrano from way back when. Though the video evidence seems to be damning, the real question is if Metrano's act is legally protected in any way.

Metrano has an extensive acting portfolio, and has appeared in shows such as Benson, Police Academy: The Series, L.A. Law, and Party of Five.

Family Guy, which has always been controversial because of its off-the-cuff humor, has been sued twice already this year. Carol Burnett brought charges against the show in March for the show's use of one of her characters, and a music publishing company sued the show for the its parody of "When You Wish Upon a Star" that contained anti-Semitic lyrics.

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