Family Guy: 15 Behind-The-Scenes Facts
Even though people say that Family Guy’s golden years are far behind them, after two cancellations, they have some adoring fans who kept winning the battle to bring them back.
Whether or not you think the South Park creators went too far in their harsh criticisms of the show, The Simpsons thought tearing Family Guy a new one was “God’s work.”
Wherever you fall down, here are 15 intriguing behind-the-scenes facts about the show.
Like all that black hair in early Simpsons episodes, The Simpsons did it first.
For over two decades, Lois has been known for her iconic red hairdo, but the original version of Lois was a blonde in the pilot.
The first to join “comedy” overall.
Not just recognized as an animated series, but alongside real people.
At the 2009 Emmys, Family Guy became the first animated series to be nominated for “Outstanding Comedy Series” since The Flintstones was nominated back in 1961.
William H. Macy as Brian?
Maybe he should have gone “Buffalo Bill”, or MacFarlane should’ve gotten more money.
Macy auditioned for the role of Brian, and if it weren't for budget constraints, he likely would have gotten the role.
Many characters were voiced by MacFarlane because it was cheaper to do it himself, and MacFarlane's voice became a staple of the show.
It pays to have powerful fans.
It saves on all those lawsuit headaches.
Because George Lucas is such a fan of the show, he gave MarFarlane permission to do “Star Wars” gags.
Visual gag just for the writers.
Same position? Oh yeah.
Anytime a character dies or is knocked unconscious, they are always lying with one hand on his back and the other on the ground. The animators have a favorite position, and just keep going with it.
Family Guy piggybacked on King of the Hill.
You guys wanna give me another shot?
MacFarlane first pitched Family Guy to Fox as Mike Judge was signing a deal for King of the Hill. Fox as hesitant to add another animated comedy and they passed on Family Guy.
One year later, MacFarlane followed up with Fox and because King of the Hill became so successful, they gave MacFarlane $50,000 to create a pilot.
Sometimes you come across a real “character”.
MacFarlane said that Peter's voice is based on a security guard who worked at the college he attended. Him and his friends would laugh at the way he spoke, as it was hard to take with a straight face.
As good as it gets for the voice actors.
The main cast makes anywhere from $175,000 to $225,000 each per episode.
Seth Macfarlane is a Hanna-Barbera alumnus.
Two weeks before graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Hanna-Barbera wanted him to move to Los Angeles and join their team.
With Hanna-Barbera, MacFarlane would contribute to 90s classic animated TV shows like Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Labratory, and Cow and Chicken.
Neil Goldman is one of the writers’ names.
The school nerd Neil Goldman is named after one of the writers. The real Neil Goldman didn’t name the character after himself, but the other writers, who apparently think he’s a complete nerd-burger, just went for it.
The Simpsons thought South Park was doing “God’s work”.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
According to Trey Parker, the writing staff at The Simpsons “hate” Family Guy so much that they sent the South Park crew flowers after they harshly criticized MacFarlane’s show.
When South Park ran an episode making fun of Family Guy, they received flowers from The Simpsons with a message that read, ‘You’re doing God’s work by ripping on Family Guy.”
Family Guy was originally supposed to be a series of shorts for MADtv.
“Family Guy was supposed to be a series of shorts on MADtv, in the way that The Simpsons began on Tracey Ullman,” MacFarlane told IGN in 2003. “It just came down to a budgetary thing. They didn't really have the budget to do any kind of animation at that point.”
The Opening song is an homage to All in the Family.
Just bigger and crazier since they can just draw it.
Family Guy‘s opening is a callback to the opening for Seth MacFarlane’s favorite sitcom, All in the Family.
Chris’ link to The Silence of the Lambs.
Seth Green said that when he auditioned for the role, he did an imitation of Ted Levine's character, Buffalo Bill, from The Silence of the Lambs, and tweaked his impression to make it sound as if it was coming out of a PA system.
Originally he was dared by a friend to do the “Buffalo Bill” voice at the audition, after they fooled around with the voice one night. Fortunately, the casting directors liked it.
Seth Macfarlane Almost Died in 9/11.
Thank God for that brutal travel agent.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, MacFarlane was scheduled to travel on American Airlines Flight 11, one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centers.
The reason that he missed his flight was due to drinking the night before, oversleeping and a mix-up by his travel agent.
Hungover as hell, he rushed to the airport and only missed the plane by minutes.
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Top Image: Fuzzy Door Productions & 20th Television