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Peter Griffin

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Peter Griffin
Peter Löwenbräu Griffin is a fictional character in the American animated comedy series Family Guy and the patriarch of the Griffin family. He is voiced by cartoonist Seth MacFarlane and first appeared on television, along with the rest of the family in the 15-minute short on December 20, 1998. Peter was created and designed by MacFarlane himself. MacFarlane was asked to pitch a pilot to the Fox Broadcasting Company based on Larry and Steve, a short made by MacFarlane which featured a middle-aged character named Larry and an intellectual dog, Steve. After the pilot was given the green light, the Griffin family appeared on the episode "Death Has a Shadow".

Peter is married to Lois Pewterschmidt and the father of Meg, Chris and Stewie; he also has a dog who is also his best friend named Brian. He has worked at a toy factory, as a fisherman, and at the Pawtucket Brewery.

Peter's appearance was a redesign of the protagonist Larry from MacFarlane's previous animated short films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. He has received generally mixed reviews from critics and has appeared in several pieces of Family Guy merchandise, including toys, t-shirts and a video game. Peter has also made crossover appearances in other shows, including The Simpsons, South Park and the Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show.

Role in Family Guy

Peter Griffin is a Catholic with a prominent Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts accent.[1] Peter is a Mexican-born American after a failed abortion.[2] He's the husband of Lois and the father of Chris and Stewie, and acts as father to Meg, although in the episode Screwed The Pooch it is revealed that Meg's real father's name is Stan Thompson (though Meg remains oblivious to this fact). He is the son of Thelma and Mickey McFinnigan, and is the stepson of Francis. Peter and the rest of the Griffins 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, known as the S.S. More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and The Incredible Hulk Put Together. with the help of two Portuguese immigrants, Santos and Pasqual, until his boat was destroyed.[6][7] He now works in the shipping department of the Pawtucket Patriot brewery.[8][9] Peter is also shown in various jobs for single episodes and cutaway gags.

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 and Chris, have aged two to three years since the show's pilot episode, while others, such as Stewie and Brian, have remained the same age.[6] 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.[10] These battles parody the action film genre, with explosions, high-speed chases and immense devastation to the town of Quahog.[11]

Reception

Commendations

"Many of the show's funniest moments come courtesy of Peter's shenanigans. Peter practically invented the "manatee joke," those signature cutaway gags that usually have nothing to do with the episode's plot but offer plenty of laughs anyway. These jokes have revealed, among other things, that Peter wasn't born a man, that he only recently graduated the fourth grade, and that even he doesn't find the comedic stylings of Paul Reiser funny".

Ahsan Haque, IGN[12]

MacFarlane has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Voice-Over Performance category in 2009 for voicing Peter.[13] 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 sung 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.[14] 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.[15] Peter ranked the third spot on IGN's Top 25 Family Guy Characters, in the list it was stated that many of the shows best gags come from Peter and his shenanigans and that "Peter practically invented the "manatee joke".[12]

Criticism and controversy

In the episode The Cleveland-Lorreta Quagmire, (season 4, 2005) featured a sequence titled "You Have AIDS", in which Peter Griffin dances and sings in a barbershop quartet fashion around the bed of a man with end-stage AIDS about his diagnosis, drew protests from several AIDS service organizations.[16] In the episode "The Son Also Draws", (season 1, 1999) Peter states that "Canada sucks", which inspired anger between Canadian viewers of the show, which took them to send hate mail to the show's producers.[6] Peter has been criticized for being similar to Homer Simpson. In certain episodes of The Simpsons in which Peter has appeared, he is depicted as a Homer Simpson clone or is accused of plagiarism.

Cultural influence

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.[17] 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).[18]

Appearances in the media

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,[19] 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".[20] 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.[21]

Merchandise

Peter is also featured on the Family Guy: Live in Vegas CD,[22] and plays a significant part in Family Guy Video Game!, the first Family Guy video game, which was released by 2K Games in 2006.[23] MacFarlane recorded exclusive material of Peter's voice and other Family Guy characters for a 2007 pinball machine of the show by Stern Pinball.[24] 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.[25] Over the course of two years, four more series of toy figures have been released, with various forms of Peter.[26] Alongside the action figures, Peter has been included in various other Family Guy-related merchandise.[27]

As of 2009, six books have been released about the Family Guy universe, all published by HarperCollins since 2005.[28] This include Family Guy: It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One (ISBN 978-0-7528-7593-4), which covers the entire events of the episode "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One",[29] and Family Guy and Philosophy: A Cure for the Petarded (ISBN 978-1-4051-6316-3), a collection of seventeen essays exploring the connections between the series and historical philosophers.[30] which include Peter as a character.

In 2008, the character appeared in advertisements for Subway Restaurants, promoting the restaurant's massive feast sandwich.[31][32] 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."[33] The Boston Globe critic Brian Steinberg praised the restaurant's use of the character for the commercials.[31] 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.[34]

References

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