Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane’s animated hit on FOX, has grown in popularity over the past two decades, with many celebrity guests providing their own voices. Some have played an animated counterpart to themselves, a fictional character and in some cases, portrayed another famous person. When a show has been on for eighteen seasons, the level of talent is usually quite high.
As animation is solely a visual medium, it can sometimes be hard to tell whether the actual person is doing their voice, especially if the show found a talented mimic. Read on for five celebrities who have played themselves on Family Guy and five who have not.
10 Did: Adam West
As the late star of the 1960s Batman television series, West played a fictionalized version of himself, Mayor West, from 2000 up until he died in 2017 aged 88. In the context of the show, this character was the eccentric, childlike mayor of Quahog, the central location of Family Guy.
Additionally, Mayor West also had a connection to the Griffin family through his marriage to Carol Pewterschmidt, Lois Griffin’s younger sister. He was responsible for numerous hilarious moments and lines throughout the years. After the real West’s death, the school’s High School was posthumously named in his honor.
9 Did Not: John Williams
Williams is an acclaimed composer, known for many iconic film soundtracks. These include Jaws, Star Wars, Superman, Harry Potter, and ET. Overall, while Williams’ name or voice may not be well-known to many people, his work is very recognizable.
Williams has appeared in Family Guy on several occasions. However, he did not provide his voice. Instead, actor Bruce McGill played the composer.
8 Did: Connie Britton
Britton is an actress/singer known for starring roles on various popular, long-running television series. These include the coming of age sports drama Friday Night Lights, the anthology horror American Horror Story, and musical drama Nashville.
Britton has also voiced herself on Family Guy. One example is a memorable cutaway gag in “Baking Bad” (Season 13, Episode 3) in which Peter Griffin eats Britton’s hair while comparing it to Lois’ homebaked cookies. Britton has also played herself in “Brian The Closer” (Season 13, Episode 5).
7 Did Not: David Letterman
The former host of Late Show With David Letterman, this man interviewed a vast number of celebrity guests during his two-decade tenure. To be more precise, Letterman presided over the show for 4,261 episodes. His stint began in 1993 and lasted until 2015.
Despite being so well-known across the United States, Letterman did not provide his voice on Family Guy. Although his fictional, animated counterpart appeared more than once, it was always impressionist Dave Van Dam doing the voice.
6 Did: Gene Simmons
Simmons, the frontman of rock band KISS, has appeared multiple times on Family Guy, in his full performance attire. In the story, he is a past lover of Lois Griffin before finding fame as a musician. Since Family Guy is a comedy and not a straight drama, protagonist Peter Griffin (Lois’ husband) takes pride in the fact that the two slept together, rather than being annoyed.
Providing his voice with each appearance, some of the plots that the animated Simmons has been involved in include playing at a fictitious Kiss-based festival in Quahog, supporting the Griffin family’s band, and appearing for a fourth-wall-breaking curtain call at the end of an episode.
5 Did Not: Patrick Swayze
The late star of classic films including Dirty Dancing and Ghost, Swayze was at the height of his fame throughout the 1980s, achieving status as a “sex symbol” with his leading man roles. He won numerous accolades such as a Golden Globe nomination for each of the aforementioned films. In 2009, Swayze died of pancreatic cancer at 57.
In Swayze’s appearances on Family Guy, which occurred on more than one occasion, it was never him doing the voice. While his animated counterpart visited Peter Griffin from beyond the grave and depicted an alternate ending to Dirty Dancing, the voice was provided, in Swayze’s last episode to date, by his brother Don.
4 Did: Bryan Cranston
Cranston is a diverse actor known for several roles across different genres. Most notably, he has played cancer-stricken chemistry teacher turned drug lord Walter White/Heisenberg on Breaking Bad and Hal, the lovable if the somewhat childish father of Malcolm and his siblings on Malcolm In The Middle. He has appeared in other shows including Seinfeld, The X-Files, and How I Met Your Mother.
On Family Guy, while Cranston has played fictional characters, he also played himself on one occasion, appearing in live-action during the episode “Herpe, The Love Sore” (Season 12, Episode 16). Cranston also reprised his role as Hal in “I Take Thee Quagmire” (Season 4, Episode 21) and Peter’s boss Bert in “Pawtucket Pete” (Season 17, Episode 9).
3 Did Not: Shonda Rhimes
Since 2005, Rhimes has been known for creating and/or producing a string of successful dramas for ABC. These include Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and Private Practice. Rhimes is also an executive producer of How To Get Away With Murder.
In “Emmy- Winning Episode” (Season 16, Episode 1), Rhimes appears among other celebrities who are against Family Guy winning an Emmy as well as white actors voicing characters from an ethnic minority. For this purpose, she was voiced by actress/writer/comedian Frances Callier.
2 Did: James Woods
Woods, a two-time Academy Award nominee, and two-time Emmy winner is a recurring presence in Family Guy. As well as the local High School formerly being named after the actor, he has also been a thorn in Peter Griffin’s side. In the Agatha Christie inspired episode “And Then There Were None” (Season 9, Episode 1), Woods is seemingly killed-off, only to return in a later season.
In addition to playing himself as a character in the story, Woods also filled the role of “host” of the episode “Inside Family Guy” (Season 15, Episode 4) in which the audience is shown the day-to-day operations of how the fictitious Family Guy show-within-a-show is run. However, in the context of the episode, Woods still interacted with the characters as real people.
1 Did Not: Miley Cyrus
Once known as the star of Disney sitcom Hannah Montana. Cyrus has successfully reinvented herself to have a steady singing and acting career as an adult. She has sung in many different genres including country, hip hop, and pop.
On Family Guy, she was voiced by Candace Marie Celmer, a fellow actress/singer-songwriter. The character of Stewie Griffin is depicted as being a fan of Cyrus and her alter-ego, Hannah Montana. Celmer reprised the role in an episode of The Cleveland Show.
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