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Family Guy Rings In Its 400th Episode

It seems like only yesterday that it was January 31, 1999, an important date in pop culture that saw a new animated clan join "The Simpsons" on Fox's lineup — the Griffins. That night, viewers tuned in for the premiere episode of "Family Guy," entitled "Death Has a Shadow," which sees Peter (Seth MacFarlane) get a bit too intoxicated at a party and fired from his safety inspector job at a toy factory the next day.

Twenty-three years and a whopping 400 episodes later, fans continue to tune in each week to see what antics Peter gets into next. In some ways, "Family Guy" follows a similar format to "The Simpsons." Both center on dimwitted husbands/fathers who tend to get their respective loved ones involved in outlandish predicaments. 

MacFarlane told Kevin Hart in an interview, "'The Simpsons' changed the playing field ... I don't think I could've pitched that show [Family Guy] if that complete reset of that industry had not taken place." However, many viewers agree that "Family Guy" takes crude comedy to the next level. On Reddit, one user described it as "so much more funnier, edgier and less family-friendly than The Simpsons and that's why it's better."

"Family Guy" keeps the masses coming back for more with its running gags (such as the floppy position characters tend to fall in), random cut-aways, and oftentimes dark sense of humor. After two-plus decades, its creators continue to brainstorm fresh plotlines that poke fun at what's happening outside the fictional world of Quahog. This is true for the milestone 400th episode of "Family Guy," which recently aired on Fox.

The Stewie-driven plotline was pitched by Seth MacFarlane

November 20 saw "Family Guy" achieve a rather impressive feat — the airing of its 400th episode. Season 21, Episode 8 ("Get Stewie") sees everyone's favorite talking baby (Seth MacFarlane) snag tickets to see his favorite pop star, Mary Elizabeth Becca Ryan (Emmy Raver-Lampman). However, Mary takes an endearing tweet by Stewie the wrong way. Rather than speaking to him directly, she puts him on blast on Twitter, and he's left to feel the wrath of her fandom.

In an interview with Variety, Rich Appel, who, with Alec Sulkin, serves as executive producer and showrunner, revealed that MacFarlane pitched the episode's cancel culture concept. "That's not a story that would have even occurred to us to tell five years ago, that phenomenon of fans of artists like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez — you name them — who are just really so devoted, that they adopt their viewpoints," said Appel.

The 400th episode of "Family Guy" isn't special or celebratory in any way. In fact, the casual viewer likely wouldn't know about its importance unless they saw it on social media. Instead, "Get Stewie" encompasses all that the show has always done best — it spoofs a real-world issue, showcases Peter in a new predicament (this time, it's lap band surgery), and includes pop culture references, including one to Mama June Shannon.

Even after so many episodes, the cast of "Family Guy" feels passionate about the show. Alex Borstein, the voice of Lois, told People, "If the show stays on, I'm there. These scripts, every time I read them, I still laugh. For me, that's the defining factor."