Family Guy is a seemingly unstoppable machine of comedy. Fox tried to cancel it after three seasons, but thanks to impressive ratings in the reruns on Adult Swim, they brought it back and it was bigger and better than ever. The jokes got darker, the characters got more depraved, the story structure became looser, and the whole sensibility became much more outlandish and absurdist.
In other words, a pale imitation of The Simpsons was reinvented as what we now know as Family Guy. The show is still going strong today, 17 seasons in. Here are 11 Shows To Watch If You Like Family Guy.
While Family Guy is often compared to The Simpsons due to the two having a very similar premise, its sense of humor is actually more in line with Futurama. Matt Groening went a little more out there and a little darker with his second show, which some might even argue is better than his first.
It’s set a thousand years into the future as a pizza delivery boy who was cryogenically frozen on New Year’s Eve 1999 is thawed out in the year 3000. He moves in with a robot, falls in love with a one-eyed woman, and gets a job at the Planet Express delivery service. With its hysterical and mind-boggling sci-fi adventures, this show was like an early template for Rick and Morty.
It could be argued that Family Guy is more of a sketch show than a sitcom. Its episodes have plots, but they are very loose and are often left unresolved in favor of a random non-sequitur gag to see the episode out. The cutaway gags have become the main attraction, and they’re like little animated sketches.
Dave Chappelle’s short-lived sketch show has a similar sensibility and, more importantly, it’s very funny. Sketches such as “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” and “Black Bush” are beloved comedic gems. If you can’t find full episodes, most of the sketches are available on YouTube.
Even though South Park did a whole episode about how they hate being compared to Family Guy, TV viewers who enjoy one tend to enjoy the other. South Park made a strong case for itself as the superior show in the episode “Cartoon Wars,” claiming it doesn’t go for cheap laughs, tells real stories, has a more satirical bite, and all of its jokes serve a story.
Still, if you like adult animation and Pythonesque ridiculous humor and characters who do stupid things with hilarious consequences, then South Park will definitely be your cup of tea. It’s more focused on current events than Family Guy, but it’s just as funny – if not funnier.
This animated sketch comedy series was co-created by Seth Green, who plays Chris Griffin in Family Guy. Each episode is a breezy 11 minutes long and they’re animated in a stop-motion style with toys and action figures. The show has also featured guest appearances by Seth MacFarlane and Mila Kunis, and on at least one occasion, all three have appeared in the same episode.
Robot Chicken even has its own series of special episodes parodying the Star Wars saga – something Family Guy often refers to in its own Star Wars episodes. Robot Chicken has Family Guy’s sick sense of humor and it’s just as funny and sharp.
This hit NBC comedy series was created by Tina Fey and stars the SNL legend as, essentially, herself (although the character’s name is Liz Lemon). She’s the head writer of an NBC sketch variety series called The Girlie Show who clashes with her new boss Jack Donaghy, played brilliantly by Alec Baldwin.
Like Family Guy, a lot of the humor in 30 Rock hinges on you being very pop culture literate. There are dozens of references to movies, TV, music, politics, celebrities, and other realms of popular culture in every episode. Sound familiar? It’s also sharp, smartly written, and well-plotted.
The short-lived Family Guy spin-off series The Cleveland Show is often mocked by the mothership as “the black version of our show.” And granted, it’s not as strong or as funny as Family Guy, nor are its character as endearing or well-developed. But it has the same sense of humor and a lot of the same voice actors as Family Guy, and it’s ultimately underrated.
It’s not great; it’s just not as bad as its complete dismissal by the TV viewing community would have you think it is. There’s a lot to love about The Cleveland Show. It’s worth reconsidering.
Family Guy is pretty much a sitcom in name only, as it often deviates from the storylines it sets up and takes on a loose structure. The same could be said of Sarah Silverman’s Comedy Central show The Sarah Silverman Program. The show doesn’t necessarily have stories; it just has half-hour episodes chock full of little nuggets of comic gold.
The two series share the same absurd sense of humor and penchant for random non-sequiturs that take things in a whole new direction unexpectedly. Like Family Guy, The Sarah Silverman Program is edgy and dark, yet still witty and very funny.
Paradise PD is a Netflix animated comedy series about cops from the creators of Brickleberry. While Brickleberry didn’t manage to walk the line between obscenity and hilarity as well as Family Guy, Paradise PD definitely does. It’s like the creators have finally honed their voice and found a way to maintain their crude sense of humor and graphic, explicit style of animation without also being alienating or off-putting.
Like Family Guy, the characters of Paradise PD are well-rounded and always have a hilarious line to add to a scene – plus, there’s a talking dog who likes to drink and do drugs.
This Netflix animated comedy series starring Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, and Jessi Klein is about a bunch of pre-teen kids going through puberty. The show has been praised for showing the female side of puberty and the teenage experience as well as the male side, as pop culture has neglected the female side of things in the past.
Big Mouth follows in Family Guy’s footsteps as an animated show targeted at an adult audience with a lot of cringe humor, crude jokes, and ridiculous sight gags – but it goes one step further as a story that is relatable and human, too.
A lot of the scenes in Family Guy revolve around the family sitting on the couch in the living room, watching TV shows, and commenting on them. Well, that’s the whole premise of this iconic ‘90s cartoon from Silicon Valley creator Mike Judge.
It’s about two teenagers – the titular pair – who sit around all day, watching TV shows (using actual clips from TV shows and not exaggerated animated versions like Family Guy), and making snide remarks. It’s a similar premise to Mystery Science Theater 3000, albeit in an animated form and using short clips of TV shows instead of full feature-length movies.
American Dad! began as Family Guy’s little brother. It was just Seth MacFarlane’s other show. But as Family Guy’s quality has slowly declined, American Dad! has only gotten better. The series began as a political satire about a conservative CIA agent clashing with his liberal hippie daughter, but it has since evolved into one of the funniest, craziest, wildest, most underrated gems on television.
Ever since the show softened its political edge and started focusing more heavily on the Roger character, it has joined the ranks of Rick and Morty as one of the smartest, funniest cartoons on the air.