Whether you have been a diehard fan since the very beginning or you still watch reruns of your favorite episodes on the streaming service of your choice, the adult animated sitcom Family Guy has made an enormous impact on pop culture, cartoons, and comedy. When it began, the show garnered fans and critics alike. After its revival, the cartoon has gone on to receive accolades, including a 2009 nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, which hasn’t happened to an animated show since The Flintstones back in 1961. It has spawned a spin-off series and has finally made a crossover episode with its rival, The Simpsons.
The sitcom is known for its liberal commentary and its comedic cutaways which bridge gaps between generations of pop culture lovers. Though the ratings have seemed to dwindled,fans continue to learn about the show, its creator, cast and its characters. There seem to be more facts emerging. Some of you already know about the obvious facts, particularly that Seth Green (who plays Chris) pulled inspiration from Silence of the Lambs serial killer Buffalo Bill.
Below is a list of 10 surprising facts that you probably didn’t know about the hilarious sitcom.
10. Family Guy Was Based Off Seth MacFarlane’s College Thesis
In 1995, creator Seth MacFarlane was studying animation at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) when he thought of an idea for a cartoon show. His thesis, a short film called “The Life of Larry” was submitted to Hanna Barbera, and shortly after he was hired by the animation company. The sequel “Larry and Steve” was made a year later which starred a smart-talking dog and his middle-aged owner named Larry. The heads of Fox got a hold on this and offered MacFarlane a contract to make a show based on the character he made which became known as Family Guy.
9. Lois Was Supposed To Be Blonde
Back in the pilot episode, the original characters were all in their rough stages and the episode, which later became “Death Has A Shadow”, served as an idea of the show’s production. Lois Griffin’s blonde hair is just one of the many stark contrasts of the show as we know it today. This is the reason why Chris’ hair is blonde, while Meg took after Peter. Both of the kids share features of their parents. Chris and Peter share the same nose and build. Meg has Peter’s glasses and Lois’s mouth and nose. Chris’ hair was supposed to change but Lois had her hair color changed, instead.
8. The Feeding Of Tom Selleck Is MacFarlane’s Favorite Cutaway
For those of us who are familiar with the show, we all know that Family Guy is basically a comedic show made up on funny cutaways that reference pop culture staples. In Top 100 Cartoon List, Seth MacFarlane stated that his favorite cutaway scene was when Lois discusses the loss of food they experience where a scene cuts to Peter feeding, unsuccessfully, Tom Selleck beans through the television screen. The show frequently references Tom Selleck and his hit sitcom Magnum P.I. It is a favorite among the show’s writers. The scene is perfect because it shows Peter’s inability for logic as well as the writers’ love for pop culture.
7. The Episode Titles Were Going To Be Based On Old Mystery Radio Shows
When Family Guy was just starting out, the episode titles were going to be named after 40s mystery radio shows. Many of the titles are morbid, which is a polar opposite from the tone of their episodes. Take for instance Season 1. Episode 2 is titled “I Never Met A Dead Man” and it’s funny depiction of Peter, breaking a television satellite and having to spend time with his family sans TV. Just by reading this you can already hear that two do not mesh well together. As the show went on, it proved that naming the episodes this way was too confusing. Moreover, it made it difficult for the production to talk about the episodes. By season 2, they decided to drop this idea. We are glad they did!
6. “What The Hell…”
In most episodes, you will hear Lois, in her nasally voice, yelling “What The Hell?” to Peter whenever he is up to his shenanigans. In other cases, it is said in various other forms uttered by different characters. It is a generic statement but it crops up in almost every single episode of the show. More likely, this is done to demonstrate that the cartoon thrives on using adult language compared to other cartoons of its kind. It is believed the episode “From Method to Madness” from Season 3 is supposedly the only episode that does not contain this phrase in any variation.
5. Quagmire Is A Lefty
In Season Eight’s episode “Family Goy” , the sex-obsessed Quagmire discovers, not surprisingly, adult entertainment. Essentially, he becomes a hermit as he continues scouring the internet for pleasure. While doing so, his left arm has gained some enormous muscle. You have to pay close attention to this crazy gag because it is easy to miss. If you have a good eye, there are other instances on the show that demonstrated that Quagmire has been using his left hand all along whether it is at the bar drinking beer or giving the classic “giggity” thumbs up. Go writers for their continuity!
4. William H. Macy Auditioned For Brian
It is no secret that Seth MacFarlane does a majority of the voices on the sitcom, like Peter Griffin, Stewie, and Brian. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense because of MacFarlane’s outspoken liberal nature. And if you listen closely, other Quahog characters sound alike. Things could have been very different if William H. Macy won the role of Brian. Reasons why Macy did not get the part has yet to be revealed, but it would have been an interesting twist to an outrageous cast of voices.
3. The Opening Title Is A Reference To “All In The Family”
Fans of Family Guy can cross many generational lines, as young and older viewers can enjoy the countless pop culture references featured on the show. However, the oldest ones may have been able to spot this amazing fact. The catchy opening title sequence with Lois and Peter singing at the piano is a direct callback to the much beloved 70’s sitcom called “All In The Family”. Family Guy actually pulls most of its framework from this classic comedy. In episode “Simpsons’ Did It First” from season 9, Homer and Marge are spotted paroding this intro.
2. Seth MacFarlane’s Least Favorite Episode Is “Fore, Father”
Even though he created the show, it is expected that MacFarlane would have high praise for some of his episodes. At the same time, it is ballsy to admit that some episodes were not up to par. At the time, one of the weakest ones was “Fore, Father.” He went as far as to say that this was his least favorite episode. On Twitter, Seth MacFarlane answered a fan’s question stating that this was the least funniest episode he’s ever made. It is unclear if Seth has a new “least” favorite.
1. Syndication Is The True Reason Behind Family Guy’s Resurrection
Rumors of high DVD sales were once believed to be the reason why Fox ultimately revived the show. Even though that and a fans-signed petition of over 100,000 signatures played a role in its revival, it was actually because of good ol’ syndication. Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” helped to both maintain loyal fans and bring in some new ones. Once Fox took noticed of the show’s growing viewership, they decided to give the show a second chance. Who knew that syndication can be such a godsend!