Despite what the critics may say about it, there is no arguing that Family Guy is among the most popular animated television shows of all time. The show has millions and millions of loyal supporters who feel they know everything there is to know about the Griffin family and their many shenanigans.
Truth is, there are tons of interesting and little known facts about Family Guy that even the biggest fans might not know about. Here are 10 of them.
10. Lois Was Supposed to Be Blonde
Before Seth MacFarlane got the go-ahead for a full season of Family Guy, Fox gave him a bit of money to commission a pilot.
Although the pilot ended up being very similar to the opening episode of the series, there was one glaring difference. The difference being that Lois was blonde in the pilot, instead of the redhead we see in every episode thereafter.
So if you’ve ever wondered why Chris is the only blonde in the Griffin family, it’s because he was originally supposed to bear a resemblance to his mother, who was also blonde. But when they decided to change Lois’s hair color, they left Chris’s blonde for some reason.
9. The Opening Song Is a Homage to All in the Family
There have been questions for years about how and why Family Guy chose their unorthodox opening. No need to ask anymore as we have got the answer.
Family Guy‘s opening is a callback to the opening for Seth MacFarlane’s favorite sitcom, All in the Family. Of course, Family Guy took the scene quite a bit further than the original, but it is now easy to see where the inspiration for it came from.
8. It Received a Historic Emmy Nomination
Family Guy is not only one of the best animated comedy shows but it’s also among the best comedies period. While Family Guy has won its fair share of Emmys for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance and Outstanding Music and Lyrics, the most prestigious award was the Emmy they didn’t even win.
At the 2009 Emmys, Family Guy became the first animated series to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series since The Flintstones was nominated in 1961. This is a testament to just how powerful and popular this show has become.
7. Brian Griffin Was Named 2009 “Stoner of the Year”
Brian Griffin is noted as the “stoner” of the show, as evident in the episode titled “420.” During the episode, Brian is jailed for having a tiny bag of weed. This event causes Brian to hold a pro-marijuana rally in the park, sing a great song, and actually get marijuana legalized in Quahog for a brief time period.
As a result of his efforts during the episode, Brian was recognized by famous marijuana enthusiast magazine High Times as their stoner of the year in 2009. This also marks the first time that an animated character has ever won the award.
6. It Costs About $2 Million to Make One Episode
As you could expect from a show that is as successful as Family Guy, the voice actors make quite a bit of money. In fact, most of the actors playing the main characters in the show — Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Alex Borenstein, and Mike Henry — make between $175,000 and $225,000 each per episode. Add in all the animators, writers, and other people that make the show and that leads each episode to cost about $2 million to make.
This may seem like a ton. By comparison, the voice actors in The Simpsons were making $400,000 each per episode at the show’s peak. As a result, their episodes cost significantly more than Family Guy.
5. The Inspiration for Chris’s Voice Comes From a Serial Killer
When you think about the voice for a teenager, you often think of a nasally, voice cracking hormonal youth and not a serial killer. But in the case of Chris Griffin, you would be wrong.
Seth Green has said publically that his inspiration for the voice of Chris was Buffalo Bill, the creepy killer in Silence of the Lambs. Green said that originally he was dared by a friend to do the voice at the audition for Chris after the friends fooled around with the voice one night. Fortunately, the casting directors liked it.
4. Stewie’s Sexual Orientation
Other than his frequent desires to kill his mother and achieve world domination at any cost, Stewie’s defining trait in the series has always been his seemingly emergent homosexuality. From joke cutaways to various scenes that include him in seemingly homosexual situations, this has been a thought in Family Guy fans’ heads for years. It’s funny because it’s always been relatively subtle and never actually fully stated in the show.
However, Stewie isn’t outright gay. In “Send in Stewie Please”, Stewie’s therapist reveals that the baby Griffin is fluid in his sexuality. While some were not pleased with the answer, writer Gary Janetti thought it best because such an important question would never be answered by a one-year-old.
3. The Life of Larry and Larry and Steve
The Life of Larry and Larry and Steve were two animated shorts that were created in the mid-90s by Seth MacFarlane. These two shorts eventually led to the development and creation of Family Guy. In fact, the character “Larry” is the direct inspiration for Peter, while “Steve” is the direct inspiration for Brian.
It is strange to think about the fact that if we didn’t have these two animated shorts made by a college student in the mid-90s, we also wouldn’t have one of the most popular animated television shows of all time.
2. The Show’s Creator Almost Died in 9/11
That’s right, Family Guy creator and executive producer Seth MacFarlane narrowly avoided death when he missed his flight on the morning of September 11, 2001.
MacFarlane was scheduled to travel on American Airlines flight 11, one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centers on that horrific morning. The reason that MacFarlane missed the plane is due to a night of heavy drinking beforehand and a mix-up by his travel agent. Even still, he only missed the plane by minutes.
After the event, however, MacFarlane wasn’t shaken to the core and didn’t have a change in his outlook on life. He simply said that sometimes coincidences happen and you can’t constantly be thinking about the what-if.
1. Cartoon Network Saved the Show’s Existence
You might be thinking to yourself “Family Guy is a Fox show, how was it saved by a different network?” To answer this, you first need to know that Family Guy was actually canceled by Fox in 2002.
Due to the cancellation, the show was thought to be dead. That was until Cartoon Network bought the syndication rights for its Adult Swim block of programming for young adults.
Airing reruns on Adult Swim built up a rabid fanbase of viewers that raised the ratings of the show and sold a ton of DVDs. This led Fox to reconsider their decision to cancel Family Guy.
Family Guy would return to television on May 1, 2005. The show has been going strong ever since.