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- “I can't believe you slept with Quagmire AND Cleveland, Lois! This is worse than the time I swallowed that giant disaster!”
- ~ Peter Griffin
The Griffin family. From left to right: Brian, Lois, Peter, Stewie, Chris and Meg
|Created by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||13|
|Original run|| Original series:|
1999 – 2003
Family Guy is an American adult animated sitcom created by baritone Seth MacFarlane for the Fox network. The series centers on the Griffin family—father
Homer Peter, mother Marge Lois, son Bart Chris, daughter Lisa Meg, baby Maggie Stewie, and dog Brian—a dysfunctional (yet generic) family who live in Quahog, Rhode Island. The show lacks much of a coherent plotline, instead relying on copious '80s references and cutting-edge sex/fart jokes for humor.
MacFarlane conceived Family Guy after watching BBC drama American Dad while tripping acid. He created his own version titled Larry & Steve, and pitched it to Hanna-Barbera at Cartoon Network. When plans fell through, he turned over to Fox, who needed a fresh new adult sitcom to replace the fading Simpsons. Family Guy was canceled thrice, but returned in 2005 due to high DVD sales and popular demand among college frat-boys, and continues to this day.
Critics can't comprehend why Family Guy is so popular, considering the material is sub-par and often leaves you wanting to jam a loaded shotgun in your mouth. The show recently recieved a TV-MA rating, in the hopes that 96% of the fanbase would go to bed after the watershed and deter the show. Unfortunately, like pancreatic cancer, it refuses to go away, and the critics haven't stopped it from pulling in ratings, making Seth billions, and spawning a line of cheesy merchandise.
The series centers on the Griffin family, consisting of Peter, an obese, foolish middle-aged man with a thick-as-chowder New England accent; Lois, Peter's doting stay-at-home wife who is somehow considered attractive, despite having an annoying voice and a Jew nose; Chris, their mentally deficient teenage son; Meg, their awkward teenage daughter who the entire universe seems to despise; Brian, an odious self-absorbed weasel of a talking dog who preaches his liberal agenda; and Stewie, their baby with a football-shaped head who was once an evil genius, but is now a happy-go-lucky homosexual with a crush on Brian.
Recurring characters include the family's neighbors: Glenn Quagmire, a wacky rapist and airline pilot; Joe Swanson, a cripple police officer who screams at the top his lungs during random intervals; and Cleveland Brown, a slow-talking black man who talks slow and is the proprietor of the local delicatassen. Other characters include the Evil Monkey, an evil monkey who lurks in Chris's closet; Ernie the Giant Chicken, a man-sized anthropomorphic chicken who is the archenemy of Peter, ever since Peter ate chicken nuggets made out of Ernie's son; Mayor Adam West, some guy who is know for his random yet hilarious antics and somehow ended up the mayor of Quahog; and Vinny, a dog reincarnation of Paulie Walnuts that the family adopted after Brian was temporary assassinated by the idiots at Fox.
Each episode of Family Guy is remarkably low on story, but high on random, irreverent humor. The majority of the humor in the show is a patchwork of 1980s cultural references that appeal to Gen X-ers who grew up in that particular decade and are indeed aware of it transpiring in a similar fashion to how their childhood was. The rest of the humor consists of cutaways, celebrity-bashing, swearing, farting, violence, and nudity.
One night in 1995, Seth MacFarlane, a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), was joking with his roommates about wacky! and dated! '80s pop culture that they grew up with. Hey guys, remember ThunderCats? How about The Facts of Life? He got a brilliant idea: poorly congeal Things We Remember into a cartoon. MacFarlane pitched his idea, titled Larry & Steve, to Hanna-Barbera at Cartoon Network and created a pilot short. However, he left the network after discovering that even kids were too intelligent to enjoy his work.
MacFarlane retitled the show Family Guy, added a dash of fart jokes and swearing, and began work on a pilot. The pilot took his production company, Seth's American Studios (SAS), eighteen months to create. The process was long and tiring, as the studio wasn't air conditioned and consisted only of a chair, MacFarlane's sleeping bag, and a Windows NT workstation.
Once the pilot was finished, MacFarlane pitched it to Fox. Executives were very impressed by the show's cutaway dynamic, and greenlit it for two seasons.
Fox decided to cancel Family Guy in 2000, due to the fact that nobody was watching it and reviews were positively scathing.
But. Fox made a last decision to renew it for a third season in 2001. By 2002, further abysmal ratings caused it to be cancelled. Again.
Cancellation (again again)
Then, Adult Swim brought the show back through syndication, and aired one "banned" episode in 2003. Then the show ended, a third time, for good...or not.
Fox released seasons 1–3 on DVD all over the American Empire, which were an instant success with the 18–24 year-old college frat-boy/stoner demographic. This convinced executives to renew the show for a fourth season in 2005, and it thrives to this day.
Family Guy has had nearly 250 episodes and 13 seasons, and they can be summed up as such:
- Seasons 1 and 2 were great.
- Season 3 was good.
- The first half of season 4 was OK, but the second half was 80% flashbacks and Meg-bashing.
- Anything after is not worth your time.
Family Guy enjoys success, and has spawned t-shirts, pens, underwear, drinking mugs, panties, flamethrowers, a video game, a rap album, syndicated re-runs, and multiple TV movies, like that one where Peter discovers the lost city of Atlantis...
Peter: So, this is Atlantis, huh?
Brian: Yep, this is it!
Peter: Are there any black people to rape?
Brian: Peter, I... What?
Peter: Look out! A monkey!
A monkey jumps out of a tree and beats Brian with a stick
So far, there have been only three Family Guy movies. The first movie is about Stewie going into the future to learn that he's gay. The second movie was a carbon copy of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The third film is a carbon copy of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. MacFarlane plans on making a carbon copy of the sixth movie, all the Indiana Jones films, and a movie about abortion, but says that he simply doesn't have the time at the moment, considering he has to swim through piles of money ever day, like Scrooge McDuck.
A theatrical Family Guy film is planned for sometime in the near future, which will be followed by Family Guy On Ice. Seth is also planning to film a documentary on himself to showcase the tools that work for him and help to stroke his over-inflated ego on a daily basis, and help to raise awareness on vocal yeast infections when brushing teeth with Vagisil due to all of the queefing that takes place inside of his mouth. One can only wait and hope that these new upcoming projects will contain his rarely used references to the 1980's.
Numerous critics have argued that Family Guy is a mere ripoff of The Simpsons. And they'd be right considering both shows feature a lovable idiot, his busybody wife, a loser son, a daughter who hates him, and an intelligent baby. South Park has repeatedly attacked Family Guy, arguing that its writers are manatees who use "idea balls" to create plotlines. MacFarlane has grumbled at this, as he's been known to hate any show that's actually funny.
The show has been known to offend numerous religious and ethnic groups. Christians protested against Family Guy for endorsing "laughter before marriage". Creationists deny the existence of Family Guy, after the show endorsed the possibility of human beings actually finding that shit funny, which leads many to question if the apocalypse is well overdue. Many Chinese restaurants were closed down by the FCC after a graphic scene showing Peter Griffin drowning in Wonton soup.