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WATCH: Family Guy Premiered 22 Years Ago Today

  • On January 31st, 1999, the first-ever episode of Family Guy began with the scene above.

    The show that made Seth MacFarlane famous is ubiquitous now, but it's worth remembering its troubled early history. It debuted after the Super Bowl to huge numbers, but instantly generated controversy for its relatively offensive adult content that has become the show's wheelhouse. It continued to perform decently through the first season, but after being put up against NBC's Frasier in its second season, ratings fell off enough that it was actually cancelled in 2000, un-cancelled to give it a third season, and then cancelled again in 2002. 

    It wasn't until Cartoon Network picked up reruns of show for their Adult Swim block of programming and ran it constantly that its cult following grew, prompting Fox to uncancel it once more in 2005, when it was warmly welcomed back and it hasn't stopped since. 

    Take a look at this first episode, and see how much rougher the animation is, and how not-Mila Kunis the voice of Meg is. Her Season 1 voice was actually former Party of Five star Lacey Chabert, who went on to Mean Girls and also a whole lot of Hallmark movies.

    Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.

    TOPICS: Family Guy, FOX, Seth MacFarlane