Despite the many critics of this show, there is no arguing that it 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 the show 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 (which actually ended up being very similar to the opening episode of the series). One glaring difference, however, is that Lois is 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 is 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 in which Peter and Lois break into song, but those questions can stop now as the answer has been revealed. As it turns out, the scene is a callback from one of Seth MacFarlane’s favorite sitcoms of all time, All in the Family, and its opening, in which two characters also play on a piano. 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. They Received a Historic Emmy Nomination
Family Guy is not only one of the best animated shows in the comedic genre, but is also among the best comedies period. For example, Family Guy has won its fair share of Emmys throughout the years for things such as Outstanding Voice-Over Performance and Outstanding Music and Lyrics, but the best and most prestigious is an Emmy that they didn’t even win. This is because, at the 2009 Emmys, they became the first animated series to be nominated for the Outstanding Comedy Series award since 1961 when The Flintstones were nominated. This is a testament to just how powerful and popular this show has become.
7. Brian Griffin Was Named “Stoner of the Year” in 2009
Brian Griffin is noted as the “stoner” of the show, as evident in the episode “420.” In the episode, Brian is jailed for having a tiny bag of weed, which causes him 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, Brian was also recognized by the famous marijuana enthusiast magazine High Times as their stoner of the year in 2009, largely because of that episode being so pro-marijuana. 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 a cool $225,000 each per episode. It is this, along with the various animators and other major players that go into making a successful animated show, that leads each episode of the show to cost about $2 million to make. This may seem like a ton, but for a while, the voice actors in The Simpsons were making $400,000 each per episode, which would have meant their episodes would have cost significantly more than the Family Guy episodes do.
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, but the casting directors liked it and it won him the part and has made him millions over the course of the show’s existence.
4. The Show’s Creator Has Revealed 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 one-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, the ambiguity exists no more, as Seth MacFarlane stated in an article in Playboy that Stewie is, in fact, gay.
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 1990s by Seth MacFarlane. These two shorts eventually led to the development and creation of Family Guy. He developed the shorts while still in college. The character “Larry” is the direct inspiration for Peter, while “Steve” is the direct inspiration for Brian. It is crazy to think about the fact that if we didn’t have these two animated shorts made by a college student in the mid-1990s, we also wouldn’t have one of the most popular animated comedic 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 11th, 2001. MacFarlane had tickets for and 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 television show, how was it saved by a different network?” To answer this, you first need to know that Family Guy was actually cancelled by Fox in 2002 and was thought to be dead. That was, until its syndication was revived on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block of programming for young adults. Airing reruns of the show on Adult Swim built up a rabid fan base of viewers that raised the ratings of the show and sold a ton of DVDs. This led Fox to reconsider their decision to cancel the show and to create new seasons and episodes. The show has been going strong ever since.