“Family Guy” is one of the most popular and well-known animated series in the history of television. The show will be entering its 14th season and looks to add to its already impressive legacy.
Along with its millions of viewers, “Family Guy” proudly boasts more than 20 nominations for some of the most prestigious television awards and has taken home more than a few of them.
However, the origins of this beloved show were not even close to smooth sailing. On this turbulent ride was Union graduate Chris Sheridan, Class of 1989.
Sheridan, born in the Philippines, grew up in New Hampshire. Early in high school, Sheridan discovered a love for writing and after high school, he found himself at Union.
He spent a good chunk of his time taking many different creative writing courses. Following graduation, Sheridan moved back home and took up several part-time jobs but quickly learned that if he was to pursue his dream he would have to venture west, to California.
With hopes, dreams and jokes, Sheridan made the journey.
Sheridan got his first gig in 1992 as a writer for “Shaky Ground,” a sitcom based on the life of a middle-aged, middle-management and middle-class father and husband.
The show was canceled just a year later and Sheridan joined the team of the show “Living Single,” but like “Shaky Ground,” the show met an early termination.
In 1998, the only option for Sheridan was “Family Guy.” Going against his belief that animation would ruin his career, Sheridan took the job after meeting with the show’s creator Seth MacFarlane.
Being one of the show’s first writers, Sheridan wrote the second episode of the first season, “I Never Met the Dead Man.” The episode received a positive review and many concluded that the whole show was “elaborate and creative.” (This is personally one of my favorite episodes!)
Sheridan went on to write many other great episodes in the second season. Following poor ratings, the show was canceled and Sheridan found a home on the set of Titus.
After the show’s short break, Sheridan rejoined the team and began working on season four. From 1999 to 2003 Sheridan was a co-producer and in 2005 became the show’s executive producer.
Since 2012, Sheridan has been a consulting producer to the show. Along with being a producer and writer for the show, Sheridan often lent his voice to some of the most memorable side characters, most famously James William Bottom Tooth III.
His talent brought him much deserved attention — the Union grad has been nominated for five Prime Time Emmys.
So, Chris, if you ever need a writer, just know I “Only Live To Kiss Your Ass.”