Since January 1999, the hit animated sitcom Family Guy has been satirising American culture, supplying filthy jokes, and presenting whacky storylines on our television screens. The Griffins have become a family akin to The Simpsons in their reputation for outlandish behaviour as well as their popularity, and the show has even spawned two spinoffs – American Dad and The Cleveland Show.
Creator Seth McFarlane has overseen some significant changes to the nature of the show over the past 18 years. Stewie has gone from sesquipedalian, matricidal genius to experimental time traveller, Lois has gone from blonde to red haired, Brian has died and been resurrected, and Peter has… well, Peter is just Peter. Family Guy has even been cancelled twice, first in 2000 and again in 2003, but (fortunately) Fox were quick to realise their mistake on both occasions and revived the show.
Among its ribald comedy, Family Guy does contain some pretty interesting and trivial elements. So, whether you are a McFarlane disciple or just an occasional watcher of the show, take a look at our six bizarre family guy facts, and prepare to be surprised!
Peter Griffin Is Based on a Real Person
Speaking of McFarlane disciples, those of you who are true Seth fans will know that he has a habit of basing the characters he creates on real people. No more so is this the case than with Peter Griffin, Family Guy’s epicentre of misogyny and moronic behaviour.
Peter is in fact based on a security guard named Paul Timmins who worked on the campus of Rhode Island School of Design – the college that Seth McFarlane attended. Described as having a “big, thick Rhode Island accent” with “no self-editing whatsoever” by McFarlane, Timmins took part in a Skype interview with ABC 6 back in 2013 to speak about the connection. He was, of course, seen rocking his trademark white shirt and glasses.
Meg Was Voiced by a Different Person During Season One
We are all, by now, accustomed to Mila Kunis as the voice of the tortured soul that is Meg Griffin. But this was not always so; Kunis joined the cast of Family Guy at the beginning of the show’s second season. So who was the mystery Meg of the inaugural season? In two words: Lacey Chabert. The Mean Girls and Party of Five actress said that she left the show of her own accord, but McFarlane puts her departure down to a contractual mistake. Interesting, very interesting.
The Show Has Its Own Slot Machine
Family Guy is a global brand, make no mistake about it. There is a plethora of memorabilia that fans can get their hands on, while others choose to bring the characters to life in the form of voice impressions, or even fully impersonating them, like the ‘real-life Peter Griffin’ who has made a number of hilarious Comic Con appearances. Even the betting sphere has been infiltrated by the Griffins – check out this cool Family Guy slot if you have a spare moment.
Carter Pewterschmidt and Dr Hartman Have the Same Voice
Yes, a core group of voice actors do pretty much all of the voices for the lovely people of Quahog. Seth McFarlane is the voice of Peter, Stewie, Brian, and a host of others, but obviously he ensures they are all different. Well, not all. The serial Family Guy viewers will have noticed that Carter Pewterschmidt and Doctor Hartman (both voiced by McFarlane) sound exactly the same, but never having them in the same scene prevents many from realising. That is, until the episode ‘Believe It or Not, Joe’s Walking on Air’, when a clear reference was made to the striking similarity.
Family Guy Was the First Animated Program Since 1961 to Be Nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series
As well as garnering massive support, the show’s seemingly polarising humour has amassed its critics over the years. Many of these are members of rival animations’ production teams, Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park for example, so maybe McFarlane is best to take what they have to say with a pinch of salt. Perhaps their disapproval is rooted in jealousy – after all, Family Guy is now a highly decorated show. It was even nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2009, making it the first animation since The Flintstones in 1961 to be nominated in this category.
Glenn Quagmire Is Modelled on Bob Hope
One look at Bob Hope in this picture and there isn’t much doubt which animated character he inspired. Born in Kent, the American comedian, actor, and singer was a key figure in the entertainment industry for almost 80 years, so it’s no wonder that McFarlane thought it apt to use his likeness. It may also have something to do with Hope’s repeated extramarital affairs, but that’s just speculation on our part. The fact that Quagmire’s physical features are based on the former star is without question though, and is all but confirmed when Stewie actually refers to Quagmire as Bob Hope in the episode ‘Baby Not on Board’.