The Griffin family on "Family Guy," including Lois, Stewie, Peter, Meg, Chris and Brian.
The show revolves around the adventures of Peter Griffin, a bumbling but well-intentioned blue-collar worker. Peter is an Irish American Catholic with a thick Rhode Island/Eastern Massachusetts accent. His wife Lois is generally a stay-at-home mother and piano teacher, and has a distinct New York accent from being a member of the Pewterschmidt family of wealthy socialites. Peter and Lois have three children: teenage daughter Meg, who is frequently the butt of jokes due to her homeliness and lack of popularity; teenage son Chris, who is overweight, unintelligent and, in many respects, a younger version of his father; infant son Stewie, a diabolical infant of ambiguous sexual orientation who has adult mannerisms and speaks fluently with an affected upper-class, mid-Atlantic or English accent and stereotypical archvillain phrases. Living with the family is Brian, the family dog, who is highly anthropomorphized, walks on two legs, drinks Martinis, smokes cigarettes and engages in human conversation, though he is still considered a pet in many respects.
There are many recurring characters on the show who appear alongside the Griffin family on a regular basis. These include the family's colorful neighbors: sex-crazed airline-pilot bachelor Glenn Quagmire; mild-mannered deli owner Cleveland Brown and his wife (ex-wife as of the fourth-season episode "The Cleveland/Loretta Quagmire") Loretta Brown with their hyperactive son, Cleveland Jr.; paraplegic police officer Joe Swanson, his perpetually pregnant wife Bonnie, and their athletic son Kevin; paranoid Jewish pharmacist Mort Goldman, his wife Muriel Goldman and their geeky and annoying son Neil; and creepy old ephebophile Herbert. TV news anchors Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons also make regular appearances (along with Asian Reporter Tricia Takanawa and Blaccu-Weather meteorologist Ollie Williams), as well as mentally disturbed celebrity Mayor Adam West (voiced by and named after the real Adam West).
For its first three seasons Family Guy did not use an especially large cast of recurring minor characters. Since returning from cancellation many one-shot characters from prior episodes have reappeared in new episodes, although most of the plotlines center on the exploits of the Griffin family.
I love this show and so does my boyfriend John:
"I was already a big 'Simpsons' fan when I saw the first episode of 'Family Guy' at a friend's house one Sunday night. Been hooked ever since.
"Seth MacFarlane is a comedic genius, with an eye on pop culture and topical humour. He also does a lot of the character voices.
Recently on Leno he explained he got a lot of ideas for the characters especially the father, Peter, from growing up in New England, right down to the accent. His father's friends were Peter, he says. They'd talk and talk and not realise they didn't know what they were talking about.
"Critics say he's ripping off 'The Simpsons' which is totally not true. Hardly any stories are about the kids except Stewie, who like Brian the talking dog is a marvellous, versatile character and a bit mysterious (can adults understand what he's saying?)
Watch this show or Evil Monkey judges you!
"It's less plot-driven than 'The Simpsons'. Lots of free-form riffs.
"Even more than the other show, it's a cartoon that's definitely NOT for kids! And not just because of Quagmire ('Giggity!'). Satirical and very adult.
"MacFarlane says Stewie's voice (actually MacFarlane himself) is an impression of Rex Harrison; I say it's Dr Smith from 'Lost in Space' (the actor like Stewie wasn't English).
"Brian the urbane dog is MacFarlane using his real voice.
"I don't understand the Meg-bashing. Goes too far even for a cartoon! Mila Kunis, Jackie from 'That '70s Show', voices Meg."
All the things that make us effing cry
1. Which controversial recurring character has in one episode a girlfriend called Janet?
2. What does the sign say that Peter's father put on Peter's car at Peter's wedding?
3. With whom did Loretta have an affair?
4. What was the name of Peter's black ancestor?
5. When Peter starts his own religion, whom does he worship?
6. According to the show, who rises out of the forest mist every so often like Brigadoon?
7. Which BBC children's-show presenter did Stewie fall in love with?
8. Before the writers got all weird and gave Brian human girlfriends, whom did he get it on with once?
9. When Quagmire wants to propose, what seaside phenomenon does he take his girlfriend to?
10. Fill in the blank: "Play me off, ______!"
11. What was the name of the independent nation that the Griffins' property briefly became? Extra credit: What old British movie did this plot come from?
12. What are autumn tourists from New York called?
Answers are on the next page!
Family Guy characters