- Year created: 1995
- Family Guy premier: 1998
- Job: Piano teacher
- Archrival: Marge Simpson
Lois Patrice Griffin (née Pewterschmidt) is a character from the animated television series Family Guy. The Lois Griffin cartoon is voiced by writer Alex Borstein and first appeared on television, along with the rest of the family in the 15-minute short on December 20, 1998. Lois was created and designed by series creator Seth MacFarlane. 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”.
The Lois Griffin cartoon is the mother of the Griffin family. With her husband Peter, she has had three children: Meg, Chris, and Stewie. Lois is often portrayed as a stereotypical television mother, despite her admitting to being a drug user, a recovering meth addict kleptomaniac. Lois has also had several affairs, one of which allegedly resulted in the conception of Meg. She has appeared in other media relating to Family Guy—including a video game, commercials and books—and inspired an entire line of merchandise. The Lois Griffin cartoon’s distinctive New York accent originated from a character in a stage show that Alex Borstein had performed in, which was largely inspired by a relative who grew up on Long Island, New York.
MacFarlane initially conceived the Lois Griffin cartoon in 1995 while studying animation at the Rhode Island School of Design. During college, he created his thesis film entitled The Life of Larry, which was submitted by his professor at RISD to Hanna-Barbera. MacFarlane was hired by the company. In 1996 MacFarlane created a sequel to The Life of Larry entitled Larry and Steve, which featured a middle-aged character named Larry and an intellectual dog, Steve; the short was broadcast in 1997 as one of Cartoon Network’s World Premiere Toons. Executives at Fox saw the Larry shorts and contracted MacFarlane to create a series, entitled Family Guy, based on the characters. Fox proposed MacFarlane complete a 15-minute short, and gave him a budget of $50,000. Several aspects of Family Guy were inspired by the Larry shorts. While working on the series, the characters of Larry and his dog Steve slowly evolved into Peter and Brian. MacFarlane stated that the difference between The Life of Larry and Family Guy was that “Life of Larry was shown primarily in my dorm room and Family Guy was shown after the Super Bowl.”
The Lois Griffin cartoon was born to affluent WASP parents, Carter and Barbara Pewterschmidt. It is revealed in the episode “Family Goy” that her mother is actually a Holocaust survivor who concealed her Judaism, retconning her apparently Jewish Long Island and New York accent, even though she was raised a Protestant. The Lois Griffin cartoon is the wife of Peter Griffin and the mother of Meg, Chris and Stewie Griffin. Lois and the rest of the Griffins live in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island which is modeled after Cranston, Rhode Island. Lois primarily works as a housewife throughout the series, though she did give piano lessons in early episodes of the series. The Lois Griffin cartoon has also had various jobs in single episodes such as in “FOX-y Lady”, were she becomes the new reporter for Fox News Channel and in “It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One”, the Lois Griffin cartoon is elected the mayor of Quahog.
Some of this article uses modified material from the Wikipedia article on the Lois Griffin cartoon “Lois_Griffin“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.