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The Academy Award Nominee Who Auditioned For Brian On Family Guy

Even when creator Seth MacFarlane was creating an early version of "Family Guy" with his short "Larry and Steve," an acerbic talking dog paired with a much dimmer human was always part of the original pitch (via Animation World Network). Larry eventually became Peter Griffin when Fox first aired "Family Guy" in 1999 while the pet, Steve, was adapted into Brian Griffin.

Unlike most of the other animals on the show, Brian is able to converse with humans and is extremely intelligent. A running gag on "Family Guy" is that the canine drinks, reads, and is smarter than his owner, but also demonstrates stereotypical dog behaviors like being afraid of the vacuum. Over the years, Brian evolves into more of a neurotic and flawed character while also getting paired up frequently with the evil, sarcastic Griffin baby Stewie.

MacFarlane famously voices multiple characters on the show, including Peter, Brian, and Stewie. However, several people did read for the part of Brian, including a beloved character actor whose inclusion on the list may come as a surprise.

William H. Macy auditioned to be the voice of Brian

In an interview with IGN from 2003, Seth MacFarlane revealed that the network didn't have a problem with him performing many of the voices on "Family Guy." Still, the show producers did "audition [other actors for] Brian, just for the h*** of it. I can't remember why, but we did audition that character and we were looking."

One actor MacFarlane mentions who was up for the role was the actor William H. Macy, who in 1998 was fresh off an Academy Award nomination for his performance in "Fargo." He even came in and read as the character. But the creator revealed that when Macy's tape was included in a compilation of auditions, "We put my original Brian in there with the batch, and that was the one that they chose." The network was already used to how the dog sounded in "The Life of Larry" and "Larry and Steve" so they decided not to tamper with the results.

It was the right call for the show but it's still fun to imagine Macy's reedy voice in the part of Brian. And as it turns out, 11 seasons of "Shameless" suggest the actor would have been more than enthusiastic about being part of the outrageous shenanigans on "Family Guy."