The brainchild of Seth MacFarlane, the Family Guy franchise survived two cancellations to spawn a multi-billion dollar franchise with a television series, merchandise, and even a videogame.
Here are a few things you might not know about a man who positively can do all the things that make us laugh and cry: Family Guy!
42. Clamming Up
Quahog, the name of the Griffin’s hometown, is also the name of an edible clam. Clams are often referenced throughout the show. The bar the characters frequent is “The Drunken Clam” and the strip club the guys visit is “The Fuzzy Clam.”
41. You Heard it Here First
In 2009, Brian and Stewie made a joke about “Bruce Jenner’s vagina.” This was six years before Caitlyn’s actual gender reassignment.
40. The Secret Life of Chris Griffin
Occasionally, the show will poke fun at Robot Chicken and Chris will get mad. This is because Seth Green, the voice of Chris Griffin, is the producer, lead voice actor, and co-creator of that series.
39. They’ve Fallen and they Can’t Get Up
Anytime someone is dead or unconscious, they are always lying on their front with one hand on his back and the other on the ground. The animators apparently have a favorite position.
38. Those Damn Writer Room Bullies
Neil Goldman, the school nerd complete with acne and glasses, is named after one of the writers. Unsurprisingly, it was not the real Neil Goldman who named the character after himself, but the work of the other writers, who apparently have a strong opinion about the real Neil.
37. The Life of Brian
Seth MacFarlane does Brian’s voice by just speaking normally. In addition, many of Brian’s personal beliefs close hew to MacFarlane’s, including his generally liberal political views and atheism.
36. He Wears His Pants Backwards Too
Peter Griffin was raised a devout Catholic and, as a result, Chris Griffin’s middle name is “Cross.” That’s right. His full name is Chris Cross Griffin. And he’ll make you wanna jump, jump.
35. Someone Call Security!
The voice of Peter Griffin was based on the voice of a security guard that MacFarlane knew when he went to college.
34. The Force is With Them
Because George Lucas is such a fan of the show, he gave MarFarlane permission to do “Star Wars” gags. That’s really nice. Usually, instead of permission, you get a lawsuit.
33. It Puts the Lotion On
According to Seth Green, Chris Griffin’s voice is based on Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.
The characters of Peter and Brian originated from MacFarlane’s 1997 Cartoon Network short Larry & Steve another man and dog duo.
31. Make Theme Songs Great Again
The Family Guy theme song is a tribute to the theme song from All in the Family with the husband and wife from each show kicking off the song at a piano.
30. The Respect of Their Peers
When South Park ran an episode making fun of Family Guy, they received flowers from the fine folks at The Simpsons with a message saying they were doing God’s work.
29. The Show That Just Won’t Die
After it was cancelled for a second time, over a 100,000 fans signed a petition to bring it back.
28. Where’s My Money?!
The main cast makes upwards of $225,000 each per episode.
27. How Did Scooby Lose This One?!
Brian was named “Stoner of the Year” by High Times in 2009. Makes perfect sense that a magazine about marijuana would crown a cartoon dog with their highest honor.
26. Death is a Bitch
Obsessed with death, MarFarlane began naming each episode with an ominous title borrowed from an old radio suspense drama from the 40s that had nothing to do with the show. Titles included, “Death Has a Shadow” and “Mind Over Murder.” After four episodes, it stopped being funny and they switched back to more traditional titles. If we know Family Guy and they kept going, it would have eventually become funny again.
25. His Final Destination Moment
MacFarlane was supposed to be on American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the attacks on September 11th, 2001. Fortunately, he was late and he missed it. He was flying back from giving a speech at his alma mater. He still has the ticket.
Family Guy was the first animated program since The Flintstones to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys. You can be sure nobody from The Simpsons or South Park voted for them.
23. Just Keep Holden On
The guy who calls Peter a “big fat phony” is credited as Holden Caufield, the main character from The Catcher in the Rye. In the book, Caufield calls most everyone a “phony,” which to him means anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the meaningless of life and instead puts effort into mundane tasks, like drawing a fat stupid man and his family over and over and over.
22. A Hive of Scum and Villainy
In the Star Wars themed episode titled “It’s a Trap!” several characters from MacFarlane’s other works made cameos, including: American Dad’s Roger and Home Movies’ Coach John McGuirk. Even Bender from Matt Groening’s series Futurama appears in the episode.
21. Only 44 Times?
The Parents Television Council named Family Guy as the “Worst TV Show of the Week” 44 times. Again, The Simpsons and South Park would agree.
20. Seeing Red
In the pilot, Lois has blonde hair instead of her now-signature red.
19. Looks Good for His Age
According to his driver’s license, Quagmire was born in 1948, which, as of 2017) makes him 69. Heh. Heh. 69. Giggity.
18. Old School Cool
Quagmire voice was based on radio announcers from the 40s and 50s and his appearance was based on Bob Hope.
17. Baby Einstein
Stewie is exactly 1 ¾ years old and he’s widely considered to be rather intelligent for his age.
16. Baby Talk
The writers will pick and choose when Stewie can be heard and understood by his family. There’s no rhyme or reason to it other than “Whatever’s funny at the time.”
15. So Fetch!
The original voice of Meg was Lacey Chabert of Party of Five and Mean Girls fame. After her contract expired after the first year, they replaced her with Mila Kunis. There was no drama. Lacey wanted to go. So boring. Just like Meg.
14. A History of Violence
The big chicken who shows up from time time to have long drawn-out fights with Peter is named Ernie. Just in case you’ve forgotten, the entire fight began over an expired coupon.
Every single episode includes at least one utterance of the phrase, “What the hell.” It’s their version of “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” But far more succinct.
12. Janie IS a Gun
Because of Peter, Meg’s full name is no longer Megan, but Megatron. This may be the most interesting thing about her.
11. The Seven Year Itch
Next door neighbor Bonnie was pregnant for seven years. She finally gave birth to Susie, who was voiced by Patrick Stewart. That’s what happens when you hold them in for seven years.
10. Screwed the Pooch
William H. Macy auditioned for the role of Brian. MacFarlane might have made a bad call.
From beginning to end, a full episode takes a year to make it to the small screen. Of course, they make multiple episodes at once.
8. You Down With FCC?
Every episode has two versions. One for DVD and the other for TV. Obviously, the DVD version is the definitive version where they can really let loose with all the humor the censors won’t allow on TV.
7. The Doogie Howser of Executive Production
When the show first aired, it made MacFarlane the youngest executive producer in all of television at the tender age of 24.
6. The Best of West
According to MacFarlane, Mayor Adam West is the single most demanded character in Quahog. Former Batman actor Adam West, who provides his own voice, actually loves the show.
5. The Voice of an Angela
Peter’s creepy boss Angela was voiced by the late, great Carrie Fisher.
4. Past, Present, and Future
There are numerous references to The Jetsons and The Flintstones. This is because MacFarlane was a writer for Hanna-Barbera before creating Family Guy and has a deep affection and familiarity with those characters.
3. Same But Different
A lot of the characters are voiced by the same actors. Seth MacFarlane does Stewie, Brain, Peter, and many others. However, he typically changes his voice for each character. Not so with Carter Pewterschmidt and Dr. Hartman. They both have the exact same voice, which was referenced in an extended joke in the episode “Believe It or Not, Joe’s Walking on Air.”
2. That Mother-Son Bond
In early episodes of Family Guy, Stewie’s character revolved around his hatred of Lois. So much so, that his first words on screen and in his life were, “Damn you, vile woman!” Ain’t that sweet.
1. Write What You Know
MacFarlane admitted that the reason Meg gets so much abuse is the result of “a bunch of male writers not knowing how to write for a teenage girl.”
For factaholics who want more Family Guy facts, check out Family Guy in Numbers: