Brian Griffin is a fictional character and is one of the protagonists of the animated comedy series Family Guy and the pet of the Griffin family. He is voiced by cartoonist Seth MacFarlane and first appeared on television, along with the rest of the family, in the 15-minute short on December 20, 1998. Brian was created and designed by MacFarlane himself. 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".
Brian is a member of the Griffin family. He primarily works in the series as a writer in various styles including essays, books, novels, scripts and newspaper articles. Brian is also the father of a human boy named Dylan.
His appearance was a redesign of the protagonist Steve from MacFarlane's previous animated short films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. The Brian Griffin character has received generally positive reviews from critics. He has appeared in several pieces of Family Guy merchandise, including toys, t-shirts and a video game, and has made crossover appearances in other shows, including South Park and the Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show.
Brian is a white furred dog who acts more human than canine throughout the series, performing acts such as standing on his hind legs and walking on them like a human, using his front legs and paws as human arms and hands complete with opposable thumbs, speaking, and often acting more rational than many of the characters in the series. He is the pet dog and friend of the Griffin family. He is the son of Coco and Biscuit, who are normal dogs, though Brian's human attributes have been present since he was a puppy. Brian is unemployed but he is often seen writing various types of artistic literature. In the episode "Play it Again, Brian" Brian won an award for an essay he wrote. In the episode "420", Brian finally publishes his novel "Faster Than the Speed of Love", and the novel is shipped, but it is critically panned and does not sell a single copy. Then, in the episode "Dog Gone", he receives an invitation to an award ceremony celebrating his novel, by the Rhode Island Society for Special Literary Excellence. Brian, convinced that he is a great writer, attempts to gain the family's interest in this piece of news but fails to do so. Once he arrives at the "award ceremony" however, he discovers that he has misunderstood the meaning of the word "special". Later in the episode "Brian Griffin's House of Payne", he wrote a television script entitled "What I Learned on Jefferson Street", and it was shown to a TV network who picked it up after reading it.
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