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Seth MacFarlane's Reason For Choosing To Set Family Guy In Rhode Island

For a cast of characters as colorful as those in the hit adult animated series, "Family Guy," it would take an equally exceptional place to contain such personalities. So when deciding where to set his show, creator Seth MacFarlane's seemingly simple choice left some fans confused. Beginning in 1999, "Family Guy" follows the exploits of the dysfunctional Griffin family and the many strange characters they come across. Over the decades, the show has evolved from being considered a simple "Simpsons" clone to building its own special brand of hard-hitting satire that isn't afraid to push the envelope through its use of edgy humor, cutaway gags, and Broadway-inspired musical numbers. This unique blend has helped the series run strong, despite immense controversy for its touchy subject matter (via CheatSheet), with 21 current seasons and 400 episodes to its name (via IMDb).

And in the driver's seat for the show's entire run has been Seth MacFarlane, who has been with the show through thick and thin, including its several cancellations (via CBR). Through the good and the bad, MacFarlane's unique vision for the series has remained intact, from its off-the-wall characters to its quotable lines. Among these elements that have remained the same throughout has been the Griffin family's hometown, the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island, which was chosen as the show's home base, thanks to the state's ties to MacFarlane himself. 

MacFarlane wanted a fresh feel to his comedy series

Some might wonder why "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane wouldn't go "The Simpsons" or "Moral Orel" route when creating the fictional location for his show by making up the state it is set in. However, the "Ted" director had a specific goal in mind with the location that further helped his series stand out from the crowd. On a Reddit AMA, MacFarlane was asked by Redditor u/PearIJam, "What are your thoughts on Rhode Island and why did you choose to make it the setting for 'Family Guy?'" The show creator simply responded by saying, "I spent a lot of time there in college, and I hadn't ever seen anyone depict it in a comedy series. Felt fresh. Like a mini-Boston. And the accent is hilarious."

MacFarlane studied animation at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he created the animated short "The Life of Larry," which acts as a spiritual predecessor to "Family Guy" (via GreatReporter). Many of the show's locations have real-world inspirations from the state, including notable banks, hospitals, and even Peter Griffin's (voiced by MacFarlane) favorite beer, the Pawtucket Patriot, being named after a town in the Rhode Island city of Providence (via UGO).