With 22 seasons and more than 400 episodes, Family Guy is one of the longest-running animated series ever. It launched Seth MacFarlane into the stratosphere of American pop culture. After a cancellation, the show’s cult status only grew, forcing the show to return to Fox, where it continues. And as far as creator McFarlane is concerned, the show will keep going.
Speaking with The Wrap, McFarlane said that Family Guy hasn’t really been given a reason to go off the air. Even after its numerous controversies — mostly concerning critics targeting the show’s supposed transphobia and misogyny, not to mention its warped “hot takes” on pop culture, at different points of its run — the show continues to have a following. “It’s still surviving and thriving. 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…There’s no indication that the show is going to end anytime soon.”
Family Guy has gotten by for the better part of its 25 years because of this audience, who clearly love the absurdities, off-kilter humor and, yes, even the cutaways. That it usually never turns up on “best of” lists but remains on TV does speak to this crowd. So what makes it endure? To this, MacFarlane referred to the landmark sitcom The Honeymooners. “I would never ever compare these two shows… But I always loved the answer that Jackie Gleason gave when he was asked about how that show endured with only 39 episodes. And he just said, ‘Because they were funny.’ I don’t know that our answer would be any different.”
Certainly there is a little bit of The Honeymooners going on in Quahog, but Family Guy worked best initially as a sort of hybrid of The Simpsons and All in the Family, with an alcoholic dog and a football-headed toddler bent on global domination thrown into the mix. So maybe a little bit of Pinky & the Brain – and whatever other shows featured martini-loving talking pooches – too…
Do you still watch Family Guy? Why do you think it has been on the air for nearly 25 years? Give us your take below, along with the funniest Family Guy moment.