Ready, Willing, and Disabled

Infobox Television episode
Title =Ready, Willing, and Disabled
Series =Family Guy

Caption =Joe at the Special People's Games.
Season =3
Episode =15
Airdate =December 20, 2001
Production =3ACX07
Writer =Alex Barnow
Marc Firek
Director =Andi Klein
Guests =Tony Danza
Valerie Bertinelli
Alex Rocco
Episode list =List of Family Guy episodes
Season list = Infobox Family Guy Season 3
Prev =
Next =A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas

"Ready, Willing, and Disabled" is an episode of "Family Guy". It guest stars Tony Danza as himself portraying Joe Swanson, Valerie Bertinelli as herself portraying Bonnie Swanson, and Alex Rocco as Bea Arthur portraying Peter Griffin. The title is a pun on the saying, "Ready, willing, and able."

Plot summary

Chris organizes a car wash to raise money for his fellow classmate Paul, in an iron lung so he can get a new liver. When a thief wearing a Jimmy Carter mask steals the proceeds, Joe chases after him and recovers the money, but fails to catch the perp.

This failure severely depresses him, until a "conveniently placed news report" (shortly thereafter referenced on the news as an upcoming segment, "the benefit of conveniently placed news reports") leads Peter to suggest to Joe that he should enter the Special People's Games (a parody of the Paralympic Games, with a logo consisting of five interlocking wheelchairs). Peter drives Joe mercilessly in training for the games.

Meanwhile, Meg, Chris and Stewie fight over a money clip holding $26 while hoping no one else claims it. Distrust flares among them and they repeatedly clash, trying to outwit each other for the money. Being a neutral party, Brian is elected to hold onto the clip, but, after seeing they are paranoid about his motives, he ultimately lets them fight for it, stating "I hope you kill each other over it." This leads to a nighttime brawl after Stewie gets the urge to steal it back.

Joe's most prominent rival at the Games is a wheelchair-bound motor neurone disease patient with a voice synthesizer (a homage to Stephen Hawking). Peter encourages Joe by citing George W. Bush's unwillingness to quit after losing the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election. Joe leads the field in the decathlon until a weak long-jump puts his victory in jeopardy. Peter secretly spikes Joe's sports bottle with steroids, and Joe wins the final race to clinch the gold medal. The pair become famous and make public appearances and press conferences around Quahog, until an agent talks Joe into signing a contract with him.

Peter is later stunned to see Joe commercially endorsing a cereal company, and he is furious upon seeing an inaccurate TV movie, "Rolling Courage: The Joe Swanson Story", starring Tony Danza as Joe, Valerie Bertinelli as Bonnie, and Bea Arthur as Peter. The movie has everything wrong, from Joe being crippled by crooks, whereas he was knocked off a roof by the Grinch, to how he decided to enter the Games (depicted without Peter's encouragement), and it portrays Peter as a discouraging slob, although in real life he encouraged Joe to go the distance. When Brian tells Peter that Joe is successful and inspirational because of his handicap, Peter decides to fake a handicap. Armed with a tape with poorly-done footage showing his "accident" (which included him running over a scarecrow who was supposed to be himself), Peter tracks down Tom Tucker and demands fame, commercials, and a TV movie based on himself featuring "Valerie Bertandernie" as Lois, but he fails to convince Tom. Jealous of Joe's fame and lucrative endorsement deals including when Joe failed to mention him as the encourager, Peter reveals his doping secret to the public, disgracing Joe. This leads to Joe surrendering his gold medal and sinking back into depression.

When someone finally arrives to claim the money clip, Joe recognizes him as the car wash thief. Joe chases him again, this time leading to the thief's arrest and death (ironically of a broken spine), and the return of Joe's faith in himself.

Cultural references

* Joe's lunch of giant ribs is delivered to his wheelchair in the same way Fred's is delivered to his prehistoric "car" in the ending credits of "The Flintstones", and with the same result.
* A cutaway shows Peter working out in "Richard Simmons' Sweatin' to Books on Tape", a parody of Simmons' "Sweatin' to the Oldies" series of exercise videos. The book on tape is "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom.
* The man in a wheelchair who speaks with a computer resembles Stephen Hawking.
* While Mort Goldman is working in the pharmacy, he sings "I Got a Name", a song performed by Jim Croce. He also mentions ESPN2.
* Chris and Stewie watch a parody of the TV series "Touched by an Angel" except the angel is a child molester rather than benevolent.
* When encouraging Joe not to quit, Peter mentions several setbacks in the life of President George W. Bush, including his 1966 arrest for drunk and disorderly conduct, his 1976 DUI conviction, "losing millions of dollars of his father's friends' money in failed oil companies" and losing the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election. Peter also mentions that Bush "knock [ed] that girl up", although no journalists found evidence that Bush had impregnated any woman prior to the conception of his twin daughters.
* Stewie refers to "Seinfeld" with how he should not have to split the bill because he only got soup.
* Stewie makes a Charlie Brown yell.
* When Chris, Meg, and Stewie are struggling over the money clip, the room is illuminated intermittently by lightning flashes coming through the window. The scene is reminiscent of the life and death struggle between Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, and the psychic Helga Ten Dorp from the 1982 movie "Deathtrap".

Previous episode reference

This marks the return of Peter's shoulder angel and devil from Death Has A Shadow when Peter agrees with the devil his angel shoots him dead and threatens to do the same to Peter.


In one scene, Peter pulls his chin off, says, "How did these get up here?" then puts it in his pants. This is a joke about Peter's chin resembling testicles. This gag would later be revisited in the episode "PTV", when the FCC commissioners begin censoring reality and use a black striker bar to cover Peter's crotch as he gets out of the shower. One of the commissioners says to the other, "His chin looks like balls. You want me to cover that, too?"


* In the French and Spanish version of this episode, when Peter digs in the new park, the skeleton says "Ahhh!" before it chases the people.
* This episode reveals how the monkey in Chris's closet became evil. Apparently, the monkey (who could talk and was successful in business) came home one day from work, and his wife was sleeping with another monkey. It still does not explain how he came to live in Chris's closet.


* S. Callaghan, “Ready, Willing, and Disabled.” "Family Guy: The Official Episode Guide Seasons 1 – 3". New York: HarperCollins, 2005. 152 – 155.
* A. Delarte, “Nitpicking Family Guy: Season 3” in "Bob’s Poetry Magazine", 2.August 2005: 50 – 51 []

External links


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