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Larry Shorts

These consist of 2 short films produced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane during the mid 1990′s, while he studied for his degree at the Rhode Island School of Design and later as he worked for Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. These shorts beared great similarities to some of the characters in Family Guy, inevitably leading to it’s creation.

Larry and Steve, 1997

“The Life of Larry”

Short #1, released in 1995
Produced during Seth’s time at the Rhode Island School of Design, this short begins with a live-action segment where Seth himself briefly describes the show and introduces it’s characters. The short features a middle-aged slob named Larry Cummings, his cynical talking dog, Steve, supportive wife Lois, and pudgy teenage son Milt. The short shares many gags with the earlier season 1 episodes, including the Star Trek parody in “I Never Met the Dead Man”, and is also as random and crude as Family Guy was and is. Watch It >>

“Larry and Steve”

Short #2, released in 1997
This short was made during Seth’s time at Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc., in which time he worked on more child-oriented cartoons. This was reflected in the series’ sequel, “Larry and Steve”, which was very kid related without any adult language unlike the first. This short opens with Steve the dog in front of a camcorder recording an SOS tape for somebody to come and save him from his bumbling owner, Larry. Steve recounts for the tape the misadventures that have ensued ever since Larry bought Steve from the dog pound, focusing on a series of misadventures and hijinks that ensued when the pair went to the mall to buy items for Larry’s apartment. Although not as crude as the first short, it still retains the same random feel with sight gags that mirror gags later used in Family Guy. Watch It >>

Voice Cast

As with Family Guy, Seth was very eager to show off his own voice talents in the shorts, voicing nearly every character.
// Seth MacFarlane as Larry, Steve, Old Man, Pilot, Ricky, Redneck, Scotsman, Kid in Pound
// Lori Alan (Diane Simmons on Family Guy) as Cindy and Old Woman

Larry and Steve; Peter and Brian

Similarities With Family Guy

As Seth MacFarlane voices many characters in the Larry shorts and Family Guy, one would expect many of the voices to be similar. However, the similarities don’t end there. Many personalities, likenesses and names are also similar. The most obvious of these would be Peter Griffin, who is based on Larry, and Brian Griffin, who is based on Steve, as well as an airline pilot character with a voice and appearance very similar to that of Glenn Quagmire, who is an airline pilot on Family Guy. In the Larry and Steve short, Larry even mentions a store named “Stewie’s”. Larry’s wife is named Lois, and Peter’s teenage son, Chris, is very similar in appearance to Larry’s son, Milt.

The “Drive-by arguments” (seen in “There’s Something About Paulie”), Tom Hanks in “Philadelphia”, the priest’s reading the story of Job with God in the audience (seen in “Death Has a Shadow”), the “What is diarrhea” (seen in “Brian: Portrait of a Dog”), and Star Trek parody gags (a couple seen in “I Never Met the Dead Man”) seen in the Larry shorts were later recreated almost identically for Family Guy.