Fox's animated series aired its debut episode "Death Has a Shadow" on Jan. 31, 1999
There are many more shenanigans in store for Family Guy's Griffin family!
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the show's debut episode on Wednesday, creator and star Seth MacFarlane opened up about the beloved animated Fox series legacy — and its future.
"It's still surviving and thriving," MacFarlane, 50, told TheWrap. "It still has a sizable audience and is a perfect example of there being an appetite for something. So we continue to feed the beast."
Speaking specifically of what's to come for the long-running show, MacFarlane added, "There's no indication that the show is going to end any time soon."
Family Guy aired its premiere episode "Death Has a Shadow" on Jan. 31, 1999 after Super Bowl XXXIII. Although it was initially canceled after its third season in 2002, impressive DVD sales and syndication ratings led Fox to revive the series.
The show, which follows the daily ongoings of the dysfunctional Griffin family, is currently airing episodes from its 22nd season. It was renewed for season 23 in January 2023.
MacFarlane — who voices Peter Griffin, Brian Griffin, Stewie Griffin and Glenn Quagmire — stars alongside Alex Borstein (Lois Griffin), Seth Green (Chris Griffin), Mila Kunis (Meg Griffin), Patrick Warburton (Joe Swanson) and Arif Zahir (Cleveland Brown). (In the earlier seasons, Lacey Chabert previously voiced Meg while Mike Henry largely voiced Cleveland.)
Looking back on the Emmy-nominated show's longtime presence on air, MacFarlane also told TheWrap that it feels "strange" to be celebrating the premiere episode's 25th anniversary. However, he said the show's staying power could be attributed to the ability to maintain the laughter.
"I would never ever compare these two shows ... but I always loved the answer that Jackie Gleason gave when he was asked about how [The Honeymooners] endured with only 39 episodes. And he just said, ‘Because they were funny,'" explained MacFarlane. "I don’t know that our answer would be any different."
He continued, "I think the goal of the show is just to make people laugh. ... It delves into social allegory and politics now and then without question, as a good primetime animated show should, but that’s always secondary. It's a room full of comedy writers who just want to f---ing laugh. ... That’s the mission statement of the show and it doesn't ever really try to position itself with any pomposity as anything more than that, which I think in this instance is probably a good thing."
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Family Guy returns for its spring premiere on March 6 at 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox.
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