Family Guy is the brainchild of Seth MacFarlane, who also created American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. MacFarlane is the CEO, president, and only employee of Fuzzy Door Productions. We imagine company meetings go something like this...
Cracked is certainly not the first to look at these shows and say "Hey, this looks familiar.."
Not even close. There are blogs dedicated to it. Even before American Dad and The Cleveland Show were created, Seth MacFarlane was (and continues to be) under fire for plagiarising The Simpsons.
He was also accused of stealing the character of Stewie Griffin from Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid in the World. Jimmy is a super-genius baby who hates his mother and builds crazy machines. He even looks exactly like Stewie.
South Park also called out Family Guy for its lack of originality.
And that's just a taste. There was a whole episode about it. No wait, two episodes. The massive two-parter episode was about showing the image of Muhammad on TV and also about how Family Guy sucks. Guess which issue got the most people upset?
Either unable to resist the irony or unable to read, the good folks at Screenjunkies.com went ahead and plagiarized the main joke from this article about plagiarism.
In case you're wondering, yes that's the whole article. Stolen image, three sentences emphasizing that Seth MacFarlane is rich. We'd accuse Screen Junkies Managing Editor Col. Hans Longshanks of not giving a shit about his job if he hadn't randomly shouted WOULDN'T at us there in the second sentence.
If Mr. MacFarlane keeps giving us the same thing over and over, it's only because we keep eating it up. Family Guy has become one of the most popular shows on television despite the fact that it started with numerous cancellations, time slot changes, and stiff competition.
Hell, the show was cancelled TWICE and it kept coming back because the masses demanded it. People signed petitions on the internet, wrote letters to Fox, and bought the DVDs like hotcakes. That's the kind of popularity that will get you not just one - but three TV shows of your own creation.
American Dad and The Cleveland Show get good ratings too, but Family Guy is still the flagship. Seth MacFarlane controls 3/4 of Fox's Sunday evening programming and has syndicated reruns going on TBS and Cartoon Network. When it comes to the youth demographic, Fuzzy Door holds the market by the Fuzzy Balls.
To take a successful show and re-make it three different ways is either a reflection on the unoriginality of the creator, or the gullibility of the public - or both. What would Seth have to say, if you accused him of plagiarism to his face? Probably...
"Thanks for all the money, bitches!"