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Seth MacFarlane Reveals How The Simpsons Inspired Family Guy

There was a time when one animated family and no other ruled primetime. "The Simpsons" was almost an untouchable benchmark whose reach stretched beyond the town of Springfield and ruled the world with a three-fingered bright yellow fist. It was all "Ay Carumbas" and demands for shorts to be eaten. A simpler time. Then Seth McFarlane rocked up on the scene with a phone book full of voices and a show to use them in with "Family Guy," mixing things up for animated television in a whole new way.

The misadventures of Peter, Lois, Chris, Stewie, and the other one, along with their dog Brian, were the first significant bit of a competition to "The Simpsons" and weren't afraid to push boundaries that Homer and company hadn't ventured into before. It was a territory that the show's creator and star Seth McFarlane admitted that he'd never considered wandering into if it hadn't been for Springfield's finest in the first place.

Seth McFarlane's career change was all thanks to The Simpsons

In an interview with GQ (via YouTube), McFarlane revealed that even with his experience doing work for the likes of "Johnny Bravo," "Cow and Chicken," and "Dexter's Laboratory," it was Matt Groening's beloved animated family that paved the way for his own. "I was doing stand-up at the same time 'The Simpsons' started to take off and that altered my trajectory. Because I was really loving doing stand-up, but obviously it wasn't the kind of comedy I'd be doing if I was working for Disney.

It was then that McFarlane's cogs began to turn. Ones that would lead him to a world of talking dogs, globe-dominating babies, and songs that you really couldn't sing in public. "I started to rethink things and go, 'They've really rewritten the rule book.' Suddenly I'm watching a cartoon that's making me laugh and is for me, an adult. The stuff that I was doing in my stand-up routines could meld with animation." The rest, as they say, is like the time he went on to helm 20 seasons of "Family Guy," (13 behind "The Simpsons") after it debuted in 1999, even going as far as to pop shots at "Star Wars" in the process. In the end, as much as Quahog's funniest family changed the animated game, they wouldn't even be on the board if it weren't for the one that came before them.