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Peter Griffin
Family Guy character
Peter Griffin.png
Peter Griffin
Voiced by Seth MacFarlane
Character information
Full name Peter Löwenbräu Griffin
Relatives Wife: Lois
Children: Meg, Chris and Stewie
Parents: Thelma, Francis (adoptive father; deceased),
Mickey McFinnigan (biological father)
Hair color Brown
Occupation Safety inspector at the Happy-Go-Lucky Toy Factory
Brewery shipping clerk
Fisherman
Show information
First appearance "Death Has a Shadow"

Peter Löwenbräu Griffin[1] is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Fox animated comedy series Family Guy. He is the patriarch of the Griffin family, married to Lois Pewterschmidt and the father of Meg, Chris and Stewie; he also has a dog named Brian. He's also the father of Bertram, who is currently Stewie's enemy. He is voiced by the show's creator and lead writer, Seth MacFarlane, who performs his voice with a pronounced Rhode Island accent. MacFarlane conceived Peter and the rest of the Griffin family in January 1999, and the characters first appeared on television in the series premiere, "Death Has a Shadow", on January 31, 1999 after Super Bowl XXXIII.

Peter's voice was inspired by a janitor that MacFarlane heard at his school. His appearance was a redesign of the protagonist Larry from MacFarlane's previous animated short films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. The Peter Griffin character has received generally mixed reviews from critics. He has appeared in several pieces of Family Guy merchandise, including toys, t-shirts and a video game, and has made crossover appearances in other shows, including The Simpsons, South Park and The Cleveland Show.

Contents

Role in Family Guy

Peter Griffin is an overweight blue-collar worker, an Irish American Catholic with a prominent Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts accent.[2] He's the husband of Lois and the father of Meg, Chris and Stewie, who live in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island which is modeled after Cranston, Rhode Island.[3][4][5] Peter (primarily) worked as a safety inspector at the Happy-Go-Lucky Toy Factory, until his boss Jonathan Weed choked to death on a dinner roll; he then became a fisherman on his own boat with the help of two Portuguese immigrants, Santos and Pasqual, until his boat was destroyed. He now works in the shipping department of the Pawtucket Patriot brewery.

Family Guy uses a floating timeline in which the characters do not age much, so the show is always assumed to be set in the current year. However, several of the characters, such as Meg Griffin, have aged two to three years since the show's pilot episode, while others, such as Stewie and Brian, have remained the same age. In several episodes, events have been linked to specific times, although this timeline has been contradicted in subsequent episodes.

In a running gag, storylines are randomly interrupted by extremely long, unexpected fights between Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken, an anthropomorphic chicken who serves as a rival to Peter. These battles parody the action film genre, with explosions, high-speed chases and immense devastation to the town of Quahog.

Character

Series creator Seth MacFarlane based Peter's voice on the voice of a security guard he had heard talking, while attending the Rhode Island School of Design.

Creation

When he was still in college, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane created a cartoon short called The Life of Larry.[6] The short centered around a middle-aged man named Larry and his anthropomorphic dog Steve.[7] He made a sequel called Larry & Steve, which Cartoon Network broadcast in 1997.[8] In 1999, MacFarlane was working for Hanna-Barbara Studios, writing for shows such as Johnny Bravo, Dexter's Laboratory, and Cow and Chicken.[9] The short caught the eye of 20th Century Fox representatives, who asked him to create a TV series revolving around the characters.[7] MacFarlane received a US$50,000 budget to develop a pilot for the show, which was about one twentieth of what most pilots cost.[9]

In three months, MacFarlane created the Griffin family and developed a pilot for the show he called Family Guy.[10] Peter's character was largely based on Larry from the Larry and Steve cartoon, with Steve serving as the primary basis of the Brian Griffin character.[11] MacFarlane provided the voice of Peter, which was similar to that of Larry.[11] The voice was inspired by security guards and maintenance staff MacFarlane encountered while attending Rhode Island School of Design.[12][13] The character's personality was also partially inspired by a friend of his father who rudely fell asleep while watching the 1993 film Philadelphia.[13] The network executives were impressed with the pilot and ordered thirteen episodes, giving MacFarlane a 2 million dollar per-season contract.[10]

In "Peter's Two Dads", it is revealed that Peter's biological father is an Irishman named Mickey, which is based on the heritage of MacFarlane's biological father.[7] MacFarlane said, "When I was growing up, my father had lots of friends: big, vocal, opinionated New England, Irish Catholics. They were all bursting at the seams with personality, and Family Guy came out of a lot of those archetypes that I spent years observing."[7]

Personality

Peter, a stereotypical blue-collar worker,[14] frequently gets drunk with his neighbors Cleveland, Joe and Quagmire at "The Drunken Clam," Quahog's local tavern.[15]. After taking an I.Q. test, Peter discovered his low intellect falls slightly below the level for mentally retardation.[16] Peter is known for his brash impulsiveness, which has led to several awkward situations,[17] such as attempting to molest Meg in order to adopt a redneck lifestyle.[18] He is incredibly jealous of other attractions Lois has in her life, an attitude which has led to extreme situations, such as when he assaulted a whale that kissed Lois at SeaWorld.[19] In the third season episode "Stuck Together, Torn Apart", Peter and Lois split up because of Peter's jealousy, only to discover that Lois has the same character flaw and the two decide to live with their mutually jealous nature.[19] Peter has a very short concentration span which frequently leads him to bizarre situations, as Chris points out in "Long John Peter", after Peter's parrot dies "He will get over it pretty quickly and then move on to another wacky thing", to which Peter finds a pipe organ and forgets about his parrot (Peter then destroys the pipe organ within seconds and then finds the deed to a cattle ranch).[20]

Ancestry

"Head of the Griffin family is Irish-American Catholic Peter, an obese and bespectacled man who is just a big child – and has other roots beside his Irish ones, including African-American, Spanish, Scottish and German."

James Bartlett, The Great Reporter.[7]

Before Peter was born, his mother Thelma went to Mexico to have an abortion.[21] However, she went into labor during the procedure, and smuggled him home to Providence, Rhode, Island, where he spent his childhood.[21][22] Peter was raised by Francis and Thelma Griffin in the Roman Catholic faith.[23] However, in "Peter's Two Dads", he discovers that his biological father is an Irishman named Mickey McFinnigan.[24] Peter visits McFinnegan, who neglects him at first, yet eventually accepts him as his son.[24] Peter has also referred to a large number of ancestors throughout the series, stating, "the Griffin family history is a rich tapestry".[25] Famous ancestors of Peter include Moses Griffin, who led the Jews out of Egypt; Willy "Black-eyed" Griffin, Peter's great-grandfather, a 1920s silent film star; and Peter Hitler, the flamboyant brother of Adolf Hitler. Peter's ancestor Nate Griffin, an African American slave from Virginia, was owned by Lois' ancestors. He fell in love with their daughter, and secretly raised a family with her. Nate's family was eventually discovered and they escaped.[25]

Strangely enough, Peter seems to have inherited his looks from his biological father, rather than his biological mother, and yet all of his "Griffin" ancestors look, and sound, like Peter. Hello

Reception

Commendations

MacFarlane has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Voice-Over Performance category in 2009 for voicing Peter.[26] The song "Shipoopi" from the 1957 musical The Music Man was performed by Peter in Patriot Games ranked number 1 in IGN's top 10 musical moments in Family Guy. Peter has also sang several other songs that have appeared on the list, such as I Need a Jew, Can't Touch Me and This House Is Freakin' Sweet.[27] In IGN's list of the top 10 fights on the show, he ranked number 10 for the fight versus a giant robot of handicapped men in No Meals On Wheels, number 9 for his fight in the episode Long John Peter, number 6 for the fight on the episode Lethal Weapons, number 4 for the episode Believe It Or Not Joe's Walking On Air and other three times for his constant fights with Ernie the Giant Chicken.[28]

Critical reception

Peter Griffin has received mixed reviews from television critics. The character has mostly been criticized for being too similar to Homer Simpson, the central character of the FOX animated comedy series The Simpsons. The Star-Ledger critic Alan Sepinwall has called Peter a "shameless copy" of the character.[29]. Family Guy is also mocked in a two-part episode, "Cartoon Wars Part I" and "Cartoon Wars Part II", of South Park.[30]

In addition, the show's penchant for irreverent humor led to a controversy over a sequence in which Peter Griffin dances, in musical revue fashion, around the bed of a man with end-stage AIDS, delivering the patient's diagnosis in song.[31][32]

Cultural influence

Peter was featured in series of commercials to promote Subway restaurants in 2008.

Peter has had several television appearances outside Family Guy, often in the form of direct parody. Peter has appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons, referencing how the two shows are frequently compared to each other. In the fourteenth season episode "Treehouse of Horror XIII", Peter is depicted as one of Homer Simpson's clones,[33] and in the seventeenth season episode, "The Italian Bob", a photo of Peter is in a book of criminals, which says he is wanted for "plagiarismo".[34] Peter, and most of the central characters on Family Guy, also appeared in the pilot episode of the show's spin-off The Cleveland Show.[35]

The episode "Patriots Games" features a two-and-a-half-minute rendition of the song "Shipoopi" from the 1957 musical The Music Man, conducted by Peter and performed by the Patriots and people in the stadium.[36] Peter and the other Family Guy characters have been an influence to the idom as in an episode the curse word clemen was introduced, many viewers looked up the word on the Internet to try to find a definition. MacFarlane stated in the episode's DVD commentary that if someone invents an obscene definition for the word, the show will have to stop using it (it has not been used since this episode).[37]

Merchandise

Peter is also featured on the Family Guy: Live in Vegas CD,[38] and plays a significant part in Family Guy Video Game!, the first Family Guy video game, which was released by 2K Games in 2006.[39] MacFarlane recorded exclusive material of Peter's voice and other Family Guy characters for a 2007 pinball machine of the show by Stern Pinball.[40] In 2004, the first series of Family Guy toy figurines was released by Mezco Toyz, each member of the Griffin family had their own toy, with the exception of Stewie, of whom two different figures were made.[41] Over the course of two years, four more series of toy figures have been released, with various forms of Peter.[42] Alongside the action figures, Peter has been included in various other Family Guy-related merchandise.[43]

As of 2009, six books have been released about the Family Guy universe, all published by HarperCollins since 2005.[44] This include Family Guy: It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One (ISBN 9780752875934), which covers the entire events of the episode "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One",[45] and Family Guy and Philosophy: A Cure for the Petarded (ISBN 9781405163163), a collection of seventeen essays exploring the connections between the series and historical philosophers.[46] which include Peter as a character.

In 2008, the character appeared in advertisements for Subway Restaurants, promoting the restaurant's massive feast sandwich.[47][48] Chief marketing officer Tony Pace commented "Peter's a good representation of the people who are interested in the Feast, and Family Guy is a show "that appeals to that target audience."[49] The Boston Globe critic Brian Steinberg praised the restaurant's use of the character for the commercials.[47] NFL News reporter Michael Fabiano felt it was a bad decision to have an obese character advertise for a chain of restaurants that based their advertisement campaigns on health.[50]

References

  1. ^ "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater". Family Guy. Fox. September 23, 1999. No. 1, season 2.
  2. ^ "Cavalcade Of Cartoons, No Joke: Animated Shows Make Up A Third Of The Midseason Replacements For Axed Fall Premieres". The Charlotte Observer. January 10, 1999. 
  3. ^ "Family Guy writer at Bryant". The Providence Journal. September 24, 2008. 
  4. ^ Hines, Michael (September 15, 2007). "Family funny business". Chicago Tribune. 
  5. ^ James, Caryn (January 29, 1999). "TV Weekend; Where Matricide Is a Family Value". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9402E1DD1E39F93AA15752C0A96F958260. Retrieved November 23, 2008. 
  6. ^ ""Family Guy Seth MacFarlane to speak at Class Day". Harvard Gazette. November 5, 2006. http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/05.11/03-classday.html. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Bartlett, James (March 12, 2007). "Seth MacFarlane – he’s the “Family Guy”". The Great Reporter (Presswire Limited). http://greatreporter.com/mambo/content/view/1383/11/. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  8. ^ Graham, Jefferson (January 29, 1999). "Cartoonist MacFarlane funny guy of Fox's 'Family' Subversive voice of series is his". USA Today: p. 7E. 
  9. ^ a b MacFarlane, Seth (2006). "Inside Media at MTR (2006): Family Guy 2". Yahoo! Video (The Paley Center for Media). http://au.video.yahoo.com/watch/1929627/2891929. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Dean, Josh (October 13, 2008). "Seth MacFarlane’s $2 Billion Family Guy Empire". Fast Company. http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/130/family-values.html?page=0%2C3. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Strike, Joe (February 13, 2007). "Cartoon Network Pilots Screened by ASIFA East at NYC's School of Visual Arts". Animation World Network. http://www.awn.com/news/events/cartoon-network-pilots-screened-asifa-east-nycs-school-visual-arts. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  12. ^ Smith, Andy (April 30, 2005). "A Real Family Reunion". Providence Journal TV. http://www.projo.com/tv/content/projo_20050430_macfarlan.1d6c9b8.html. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Weinraub, Bernard (July 7, 2004). "The Young Guy of 'Family Guy'". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/07/arts/television/07SETH.html?th=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  14. ^ MacIntosh, Dan (November 29, 2005). "Family Guy, Volume 3". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/family-guy-3-dvd/#. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  15. ^ McNarma, Chris (September 14, 2007). "'Family Guy Live' a fresh channel for laughs". Chicago Tribune: p. 1. 
  16. ^ "Petarded". Writ.: Sulkin, Alec; Wild, Wellesley; Dir.: Kearsley, Seth. Family Guy. Fox Broadcasting Company. June 19, 2005. No. 6, season 4.
  17. ^ Nearing, Brian (May 31, 2009). "Union guy is 'Family Guy'". Albany Times Union. http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=805455. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Airport '07". Writ.: Devanney, Tom; Hentemann, Mark; Dir.: Holmquist, John. Family Guy. Fox Broadcasting Company. March 4, 2007. No. 12, season 5.
  19. ^ a b "Stuck Together, Torn Apart". Writ.: Hentemann, Mark; Dir.: DiMartino, Michael Dante. Family Guy. Fox Broadcasting Company. January 31, 2002. No. 19, season 3.
  20. ^ "Long John Peter". Writ.: Devanney, Tom; Hentemann, Mark; Dir.: Holmquist, John. Family Guy. Fox Broadcasting Company. March 4, 2007. No. 12, season 6.
  21. ^ a b "Padre de Familia". Writ.: Butler, Kirker; Dir.: Michels, Pete. Family Guy. FOX. November 18, 2007. No. 6, season 6.
  22. ^ "I Dream of Jesus". Writ.: Scully, Brian ; Dir.:Kim, Mike. Family Guy. FOX. October 5, 2008. No. 2, season 7.
  23. ^ "Family Goy". Writ.: Hentemann, Mark; Dir.: Purdum, James. Family Guy. FOX. October 4, 2009. No. 2, season 8.
  24. ^ a b "Peter's Two Dads". Writ.: Smith, Danny; Dir.: Tang, Cindy. Family Guy. FOX. November 2, 2007. No. 10, season 5.
  25. ^ a b "Untitled Griffin Family History". Writ.: Viener, John; Dir.: Moncrief, Zac. Family Guy. FOX. May 14, 2006. No. 27, season 4.
  26. ^ "The 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards and 2009 Creative Arts Emmy® Awards Nominees are...". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 2009-07-16. http://cdn.emmys.tv/awards/2009ptemmys/61stemmys_noms.php. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  27. ^ Haque, Ahsan. "Family Guy: Top 10 Musical Moments". IGN. http://tv.ign.com/articles/949/949158p10.html. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  28. ^ Haque, Ahsan. "Family Guy: Top 10 Fights". IGN. http://tv.ign.com/articles/100/1005692p1.html. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  29. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (September 25, 2009). "'The Cleveland Show' review — Sepinwall on TV". The Star-Ledger. http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/index.ssf/2009/09/the_cleveland_show_review_-_se.html. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Cartoon Wars Part I & II". Created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. South Park. Comedy Central.
  31. ^ Adams, Bob (August 22, 2005). ""Family Guy" has fun with AIDS". Advocate.com. PlanetOut Inc.. http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid19925.asp. Retrieved December 12, 2006. 
  32. ^ Bozell, Brent (April 10, 2009). "Fox's "Comedic Genius"". Townhall.com. http://townhall.com/columnists/BrentBozell/2009/04/10/foxs_comedic_genius. Retrieved August 24, 2009. 
  33. ^ Finley, Adam (July 14, 2005). "Family Guy and The Simpsons". TV Squad. http://www.tvsquad.com/2005/07/14/family-guy-and-the-simpsons/. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  34. ^ Budke, Ryan (December 12, 2005). "The Simpsons: The Italian Bob". TV Squad. http://www.tvsquad.com/2005/12/12/the-simpsons-the-italian-bob/. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  35. ^ Conroy, Tom (October 8, 2009). "Cleveland Show, acquired lack of taste". Media Life Magazine. http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/TV_Reviews_21/Cleveland_Show_acquired_lack_of_taste.asp. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  36. ^ Schellework, Charles (March 27, 2008). "‘Music Man’ marches into Century High". The Maryland Gazette. http://www.gazette.net/stories/032708/carrnew55703_32363.shtml. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  37. ^ McFarlane, Seth (writer); Henry, Mike (voice actor); Tang, Cyndi (director); Povenmire, Dan (director of "Shipoopi" sequence); Elias, Mike (editor). (November 14, 2006) (DVD). Family Guy: Volume Four: Commentary for "Patriot Games". Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. 
  38. ^ Owen, Rob (May 1, 2005). "'Family Guy' goes beyond TV with CD, movie". Press-Enterprise. http://www.pe.com/entertainment/stories/PE_Fea_Ent_D_familyguy.stuff.581fa.html#. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  39. ^ "'Family Guy' makes for simple-but-funny gaming". The Gazette. November 24, 2006. 
  40. ^ Finley, Adam (February 3, 2007). "Family Guy pinball is freakin' sweet". TV Squad. http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/02/03/family-guy-pinball-is-freakin-sweet/#. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  41. ^ Clodfelter, Tim (November 11, 2004). "Here's the Offbeat Stuff that true geeks are made of". Winston-Salem Journal: p. 33. 
  42. ^ Szadkowski, Joseph (June 3, 2006). "Undead monster doomed to wander the high seas". The Washington Times. 
  43. ^ Wallenstein, Andrew (April 29, 2005). "'Family Guy' after brand world domination". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000902881#. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  44. ^ "Search results: Family Guy". HarperCollins. http://www.harpercollins.com/search/index.aspx?kw=family+guy. Retrieved August 23, 2009. 
  45. ^ "Family Guy: It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One". HarperCollins. http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780061143328/Family_Guy_It_takes_a_Village_Idiot_and_I_Married_One/index.aspx. Retrieved December 26, 2008. 
  46. ^ "Philosophy Professor Jeremy Wisnewski Publishes Book on Family Guy". Hartwick College. September 18, 2007. http://www.hartwick.edu/x21175.xml. Retrieved August 23, 2009. 
  47. ^ a b Steinberg, Brian (December 30, 2007). "The year in advertising". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/12/30/the_year_in_advertising/?page=2. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  48. ^ "Subway — it's for the fat-loving guy, too". The News Tribune. November 30, 2007. 
  49. ^ Elliot, Stewart (June 18, 2008). "Crude? So what? These characters still find work in ads". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/business/worldbusiness/18iht-18adco.13790482.html. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  50. ^ Fabiano, Michael (2008). "Fabiano's two-minute drill: Week 11". NFL News. http://www.nfl.com/fantasy/story?id=09000d5d80444f08&template=without-video&confirm=true. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 

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