“Family Guy” made its debut on Fox on Jan. 31, 1999, with the episode “Death Has a Shadow.” 25 years later, the animated comedy remains a genre staple, despite getting briefly canceled in 2002.
In January 2023, Fox renewed “Family Guy” for Seasons 22 and 23.
“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,” MacFarlane told TheWrap. “There’s no indication that the show is going to end anytime soon.”
MacFarlane added that it feels “strange” to reach the 25th anniversary.
“I’ve just been going at a dead run ever since the show premiered,” he said. “Between then and now just feels like one really long day to me.”
When asked if he has a favorite episode or joke from the show, MacFarlane said that it’s a “tough question to answer.”
“There’s now so much of it that there are episodes that I don’t remember,” he said. “I go back and I’ll look at a show and I have a vague memory of making it. You’re faced with the reality of the passage of time and at some point in the past, this episode, this scene, this moment, frame by frame was so important that I had to get it exactly right, and now I can’t remember what happens next. I mean, there’s like 400 of these things. Who can keep track?”
Ultimately, he believes “Family Guy” has endured because of its ability to keep audiences laughing, much like the Jackie Gleason 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,” MacFarlane said.
“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—g 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.”
In addition to MacFarlane, “Family Guy” stars Alex Borstein, Seth Green and Mila Kunis.
MacFarlane executive produces the series alongside showrunners Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin, as well as Steve Callaghan, Tom Devanney, Danny Smith, Kara Vallow, Mark Hentemann and Patrick Meighan.
The animated comedy will return for its spring premiere at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT March 6 on Fox.