How 9/11 almost put an end to Family Guy

In the year 2000, Family Guy faced a nearly insurmountable obstacle when Fox decided to cancel the show. And while there’s been a lot of buzz since then over the cartoon’s ability to survive this and yet another cancellation in 2002, what’s truly fascinating is the story of how it survived the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane was scheduled to be aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the first jet to hit the World Trade Center. “Through a combination of me being hung over and being late the next day,” MacFarlane once told an interviewer, “I missed it by 10 minutes. It was very, very fortunate.” In the same interview, McFarlane said he would never make a gag out of 9/11. But as his show has carried on, he’s broken that vow quite a few times. His Wikipedia entry cites at least six Family Guy jokes referencing the terror attacks, often at George W. Bush’s expense.