Griffin family

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For other people called Griffin, see Griffin (surname).
The Griffins
Family Guy family
Griffin family.png
The Griffin family
Left to right: Chris, Peter, Stewie, Lois, Brian and Meg
Type Cartoon family
Created by Seth MacFarlane
Origin The Life of Larry
Larry & Steve
Original run January 31, 1999 (1999-01-31) – present (present)
First appearance "Death Has a Shadow"
Address 31 Spooner Street, Quahog, United States

The Griffin family is a cartoon family from the animated television series Family Guy. The Griffins are a nuclear family consisting of the married couple Peter and Lois, their three children Meg, Chris, and Stewie, and their dog Brian. They live at 31 Spooner Street in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island. Their family car is a red sixth generation Ford Country Squire. They were created by Seth MacFarlane, in model of his two animated films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. The family debuted January 31, 1999, after Super Bowl XXXIII, in the episode "Death Has a Shadow."

Alongside the six main family members, there are a number of other major and minor characters in their family. The most commonly recurring characters are Lois's father, Carter Pewterschmidt, Peter's father, Francis Griffin, as well as Peter's mother, Thelma Griffin. Other family members include Lois's mother Barbara Pewterschmidt, as well as Lois's two siblings, Carol and Patrick.

Creation[edit]

MacFarlane conceived the idea for the Family Guy in 1998, developing it out of his two short films. MacFarlane caught the attention of Fox, and was given $50,000 to make a pilot. MacFarlane completed the 11 minute pilot after six months of hand animation. Upon review, Fox gave the green light to Family Guy as a series.[1] Although Family Guy '​s cancellation was initially announced after the second season, Fox decided to make a third season,[2][3] after which it was truly canceled at the end of 2003. However, reruns on Adult Swim drove up interest in the show, and its DVD releases did quite well, selling over 2.2 million copies in one year, which renewed network interest.[4]

Family Guy returned to production in 2004, making four more seasons (for a total of seven) and a straight-to-DVD special, Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story. The show celebrated its official 100th episode during its sixth season in November 2007, resulting in the show's syndication.[5] The show is contracted to continue producing episodes until 2012.[6]

Casting[edit]

MacFarlane voices three of the show's main characters, Peter Griffin, Brian Griffin and Stewie Griffin.[7] He has stated that he already knew what kind of voice he was looking for the main characters so it was easier to do it himself.[8] Peter's voice is inspired by the voice of a security guard MacFarlane overheard talking while attending the Rhode Island School of Design.[9] Stewie's voice was based on the voice of English actor Rex Harrison,[10] particularly on Harrison's performance in the 1964 musical drama film My Fair Lady.[11] Brian's voice is MacFarlane's regular speaking voice.[8] In addition MacFarlane provides the voice of various recurring and one-time characters, most prominently those of the Griffin's neighbor Glenn Quagmire, news anchor Tom Tucker and Lois' father Carter Pewterschmidt.[12][13] Alex Borstein voices Lois Griffin, Asian correspondent Tricia Takanawa, Loretta Brown and Lois' mother Barbara Pewterschmidt.[14] Borstein was asked to provide a voice for the pilot while she was working on MADtv. She had not met MacFarlane or seen any artwork and said it was "really sight unseen".[15] At the time, she was doing a stage show in Los Angeles, in which she played a redhead mother, whose voice she had based on one of her cousins.[14][15] The voice was originally slower, when MacFarlane heard it, he replied "Make it a little less [...] annoying[...] and speed it up, or every episode will last four hours".[14] Seth Green primarily plays Chris Griffin and Neil Goldman.[13][16] Green admittedly did an impression of the Buffalo Bill character from the thriller film The Silence of the Lambs during his audition.[17] His main inspiration for Chris' voice was how "Buffalo Bill" would sound if he worked at a drive-thru in a McDonalds (speaking through a PA system).[18] Mila Kunis and Lacey Chabert have both played the voices of Meg Griffin.[13] Chabert voiced Meg Griffin for the first production season (15 episodes). However, because of a contractual agreement, she was never credited.[19] Chabert left the series due to time constraints with her acting role in Party of Five, as well as schoolwork,[20] while Kunis won the role after auditions, a slight rewrite of the character and because of her performance on That '70s Show.[21] MacFarlane called Kunis back after her initial audition asking her to speak slower; she was called back again later, this time instructed to enunciate more. Kunis said that she had it under control, and MacFarlane hired her.[21] In an interview with a Sun Media correspondent in 2007, Kunis was asked about her character and said: "She's the scapegoat". "Meg gets picked on a lot. But it's funny. It's like the middle child. She is constantly in the state of being an awkward 14-year-old, when you're kind of going through puberty and what-not. She's just in perpetual mode of humiliation. And it's fun."[22]

Main family[edit]

The show revolves around the adventures of the family of Peter Griffin, a bumbling, but well-intentioned, blue-collar worker. Peter is an Irish American Catholic born in Mexico with a prominent Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts accent.[23] His wife Lois is a stay-at-home mother and piano teacher, and has a distinct New England accent from being a member of the Pewterschmidt family of wealthy socialites.[24] Peter and Lois have three children: Meg, their teenage daughter, who is frequently the butt of Peter's jokes due to her homeliness and lack of popularity; Chris, their teenage son, who is overweight, unintelligent and, in many respects, a younger version of his father; and Stewie, their diabolical infant son of ambiguous sexual orientation who has adult mannerisms and speaks fluently with an upper-class affected English accent and stereotypical archvillain phrases.[25] Living with the family is Brian, the family dog, who is highly anthropomorphized, drinks martinis, smokes cigarettes, drives a car, and engages in human conversation, though he occasionally acts like a normal dog, for example, he cannot resist chasing a ball.[26]

Peter Griffin[edit]

Main article: Peter Griffin

Peter Löwenbräu Griffin,[27] voiced by Seth MacFarlane. Peter is the father of the Griffin family, he is a stereotypical blue-collar worker.[28] Head of the Griffin family is Irish-American Catholic Peter, an obese and bespectacled man who is just a big child. He has other roots beside his Irish ones, including African-American, Spanish, Scottish and German.[29] In an interview with The Advocate MacFarlane described him as "Archie Bunker without the knowledge of what he's doing. He has the mind of a child, basically, and a source of big laughs is when he does not realize he's doing something inappropriate."[30] In the season four episode "Petarded", Peter takes an I.Q. test, and discovers that his low intellect places him in a category slightly below mentally retarded, but higher than a creationist.[31] He is incredibly jealous of other attractions Lois has in her life, an attitude that tends to get out of hand in most cases, even assaulting a whale that kissed Lois at SeaWorld.[32] In the season three episode "Stuck Together, Torn Apart", Peter and Lois split up because of Peter's jealousy only to discover that Lois has the same character flaw and the two decide to live with their mutually jealous nature.[32] Peter has a very short concentration span and somehow frequently ends up in bizarre situations, as Chris points out in "Long John Peter", after Peter's parrot dies "He will get over it pretty quickly and then move on to another wacky thing", to which Peter finds a pipe organ and forgets about his parrot.[33]

Lois Griffin[edit]

Main article: Lois Griffin

Lois Griffin (née Pewterschmidt), voiced by Alex Borstein. Lois is the mother of the Griffin family. Lois's morals are often questionable. She went through a brief period of kleptomania in the episode "Breaking Out Is Hard to Do", for which she went to prison. She also showed a gambling addiction when the family went to an Indian casino in "The Son Also Draws" during the first season. Various episodes have hinted that Lois is a drug user, but this is shown most clearly in "Deep Throats". She revealed that she smoked marijuana when she was pregnant with Stewie, a claim backed-up by series creator Seth MacFarlane on a DVD commentary. Also, when asked by Peter where she got a tattoo on her lower back, she replied, 'Oh, I do not know Peter, meth is a hell of a drug' (Prick Up Your Ears). She also hints that she engaged in similar activities when a younger Meg was around. When Meg is thought to have become pregnant, Lois tells her to "smoke and drink a lot" (when Meg does not want to have an abortion, which Lois hinted at beforehand) She also mentions, "but do not start then chicken out half way or you end up with Chris," which implies she smoked and consumed alcohol while pregnant with Chris.

Meg Griffin[edit]

Main article: Meg Griffin

MeganMegGriffin, voiced by Mila Kunis. Meg is a disturbed and self-conscious teenage girl who is enrolled at James Woods Regional High School. Her self-consciousness causes her to desperately try to be part of the cool crowd, but this only results in her getting coldly rebuffed by Connie D'Amico,[34] the bullying head cheerleader of her school. She is also usually at the bottom of the family's pecking order and the butt of Peter's jokes due to her homeliness, tendency toward social awkwardness and lack of popularity. However, another student named Neil Goldman is attracted to her.[35] She has been so self-conscious about herself that she engaged in dangerous sexual behavior just for attention.

Chris Griffin[edit]

Main article: Chris Griffin

Christopher CrossChrisGriffin, voiced by Seth Green. Chris is the teenage son of the family, who is overweight, unintelligent and, in many respects, a younger version of his father. Though Chris is not the brightest one in the family, he is particularly coherent and makes good points when talking about movies. Chris deals with the problems that most pubescent boys face: acne, girls, and school. He is 15 years old and, like Meg, is enrolled at James Woods Regional High School. Chris has been known to feel self-conscious about himself, especially his weight. In fact, on the Volume 1 DVD Boxset, it stated that Chris "would not hurt a fly, unless it landed on his hot dog." He was referred to as an "Elephant Child" when he was born. Chris is also willing to do something as drastic as to convert to Judaism order to do better in school, specifically math. He once believed his low grades in mathematics were caused by himself when he tickled his brain by sticking an army man's rifle into his nose and accidentally puncturing a lobe.

Stewie Griffin[edit]

Main article: Stewie Griffin

Stewart GilliganStewieGriffin, voiced by Seth MacFarlane. Stewie is the youngest Griffin member. A sociopathic one year old, hell-bent on killing his mother and taking over the world, Stewie serves the anti-hero of the show. Though he was originally an evil child-genius, in more recent episodes he is a more flamboyant (possibly homosexual) character. Despite always having a rivalry with the family dog, Brian, he and Brian share a very close friendship, and they admitted that they loved each other, in the episode "Brian & Stewie". Stewie is considered to be the show's breakout character.[36] Wizard magazine rated him the 95th greatest villain of all time.[37]

Brian Griffin[edit]

Main article: Brian Griffin

Brian Griffin, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, is the Griffin family's pet dog. Brian has lived with the Griffin family since Peter picked him up as a stray. Peter is his best friend, despite Brian's superior intelligence. Brian is often the voice of reason for the family, frequently reminding Peter how stupid or corrupt his ideas are. He also has a very close friendship with Stewie, and the two of them have been at the center of some of the most critically acclaimed episodes during the series, most notably the Road to... episodes.

Seth MacFarlane has once described Brian as "a dog who has a wit as dry as the martinis he drinks."[38] MacFarlane also revealed that Brian is his favorite character from the series, as he feels most comfortable when playing that role.[39]

Brian was (temporarily) killed off, after he was hit by a car in the season 12 episode "Life of Brian". Brian however, returned two episodes later, in "Christmas Guy", after Stewie went back in time to save him. In his brief absence Brian was replaced by another dog named Vinny, who was voiced by Tony Sirico and was never seen again after Brian's return.[40]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Plenty of Changes at Fox, UPN, Fox Tinkers With its Prime-Time Lineup on 6 Nights, UPN on 3". newsbank. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  3. ^ "ARTS & TV in Brief; `Family Guy,' `SportsNight' may move to new networks". pqasb. 2000-04-25. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  4. ^ McKinley, Jesse (2005-05-02). "Canceled and Resurrected, on the Air and Onstage". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  5. ^ ""Family Guy" Celebrates 100 Freakin' Sweet Episodes With Special Retropsective Sunday, November 4, On Fox". Fox. The Futon Critic. 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
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  15. ^ a b "Alex Borstein (Lois) Laughs at the Once-Dead Family Guy '​s Longevity". TV Guide. 2006-11-13. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  16. ^ Graham, Jefferson (1999-04-09). "Seth Green fits right in with new Family". USA Today. 
  17. ^ "Fans help 'Family Guy' return to Fox". Observer-Reporter. 2005-04-29. p. E5. 
  18. ^ Green, Seth (2005-09-27). Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story: Audio Commentary (DVD). 
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