Family Guy star reveals his mother tried to get the show cancelled: My parents ‘hate the show’

Family Guy star Patrick Warburton has said that his parents hate the show so much that his mother once tried to get it cancelled.

Warburton, 59, has voiced the wheelchair-using character Joe Swanson since the popular cartoon’s debut season in 1999.

Speaking to People at the recent PaleyFest media convention in Los Angeles, in celebration of the show’s 25th anniversary, the New Jersey native revealed that his parents “hate the show even more today than they did 25 years ago”.

“My father was in a monastery for three months. He almost became a monk… My mother [went] around the neighborhood when I was 13 years old passing out pamphlets on the sins of masturbation, [which] did not get me into the cool crowd,” he explained.

“My mother belonged to the American Television Council and they were trying to get the show cancelled,” Warburton continued.

“I was helping support my parents with Family Guy money. She tried to get me to sign the petition [to cancel the show]. I said, ‘Mom, if you don’t think I’m going to talk about this publicly, this is the greatest irony. You’re laundering money, you’re laundering it to yourself.’ They hate it more today.”

Created by and starring Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy follows the misadventures of the Griffin family. MacFarlane voices father Peter, son Stewie and family dog Brian, alongside The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’s Alex Borstein as mother Lois, Seth Green as son Chris and Mila Kunis as daughter Meg.

‘Family Guy’ and Patrick Warburton who voices Joe Swanson (Fox and Getty Images)
‘Family Guy’ and Patrick Warburton who voices Joe Swanson (Fox and Getty Images)

The controversial and, oftentimes, crude sitcom is well-known for mocking current political issues.

Last September, it made headlines when it skewered Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a brutal parody. In the episode, Peter compares himself to the royal couple who stepped down as working members of the Royal Family in 2020 and moved to the US.

Down on his luck and with no money, Peter suggests that he’ll “go at it alone”, just like the Sussexes. The show’s writers did not hold back when depicting the couple and poked fun at their multi-million dollar deal with Netflix.

A cartoon version of Harry and Meghan are seen lounging by a pool with a butler nearby, who informs Harry: “Sir, your millions from Netflix for… no one knows what.”

The Duke then replies: “Put it with the rest of them,” following which Meghan instructs Harry: “Babe, time to do our daily $250,000 sponsored Instagram post for Del Taco.”

Appearing despondent, Harry responds: “I shouldn’t have left the made-up nonsense.”

Besides Family Guy, Warburton has voiced characters in Disney’s 2000 animated family comedy The Emporer’s New Groove and 2006’s Bee Movie.

Last week, Family Guy wrapped its 22nd season. Episodes are available to stream on Fox in the US and Disney+ in the UK.