Family's Guy Stewie Has Been Faking His Voice All This Time
Stewie is arguably the best character in Family Guy, with the best one liners and a tongue capable of putting down his many detractors.
Voiced by Family Guy creator, Seth McFarline, who also voices Peter and Brian Griffin, Glenn Quagmire, Tom Tucker and others, Stewie has had a clipped, upper-class British accent throughout his run on the show, at odds with his father's New England brogue.
It has often been the source of speculation, though given the bizarre randomness of Family Guy in general, most viewers have been happy to enjoy Stewie's madcap ramblings and bids for world domination due to the hilarity onscreen.
However, in 'Send In Stewie, Please', a recently broadcast episode of the show, it was revealed that he's been putting the accent on all this time.
Asked by his therapist to be himself, Stewie says he 'doesn't know how'.
"Everything about me is this carefully constructed persona to keep people at arm's length. This isn't how I really talk," he says.
From there, he jumps into an American accent not dissimilar to his father's recognisable Rhode Island tones, a 'code of armour' to get him through the day.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Family Guy writer Gary Janetti said when he pitched the episode, which features Sir Ian McKellen as Dr. Pritchfield, MacFarlane was initially reticent, but was won over after reading it through and hearing how the various voices used in the episode would sound.
"I've always wanted to go deeper with Stewie," he told Entertainment Weekly.
"I've always wanted to write a really long monologue for Stewie, and it never naturally happened. I had just worked with Ian McKellen in London on the show Vicious, and I wanted to bring him in.
"I thought, 'Well, what better way than to do a therapy session?'. It's just Stewie talking to Ian for a half hour, where he can just talk to somebody in a way that he has never talked to somebody before."
Fortunately for viewers, McKellen was game, leaving Janetti with only MacFarlane to win over.
"I didn't know if Seth would go for it," he told Entertainment Weekly.
"[But] when he read it, it was hilarious, because he instantly read that voice that he does in the episode, which is this normal kid voice, and it's very disarming."
Stewie's voice is based on British stage and screen actor Rex Harrison. MacFarlane modelled the voice of Stewie on the actor's voice after seeing Harrison in an adaptation of My Fair Lady.
It remains to be seen whether Stewie will adopt his 'real' accent in future episodes, but given the bizarre occurrences that take place in the show, it's likely he'll have to adopt his 'armour' again soon.
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