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Western Animation / Larry & Steve

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Larry & Steve is a What A Cartoon! Show short from the mid-1990s. It is about a bipedal dog named Steve and his dopey owner, Larry.

It's Steve's last day at the shelter. He has one more chance to be adopted or he's euthanized. Thankfully, a man named Larry adopts Steve because he can understand his barking.

The short is most famous for being a prototypical version of Family Guy. The short is a sequel to a 1995 short film done as a thesis film by Seth MacFarlane. It doesn't have Larry's son Milt and Larry's wife Lois in it, but Larry and Steve are mostly the same as they were in the previous short. Being aimed at kids, it lacks the vulgar humour of its successor, but the similarities are still clear. Steve has the same voice and characteristics as Brian and Larry has the same voice and characteristics as Peter. Elements from the pilot were reused for the first two Family Guy episodes as well.


This cartoon provides examples of:

  • Animals Fear Neutering: Averted. Steve admits that he's neutered and shows no issue with it.
  • Animal Talk: Steve speaks to the viewer but others, besides Larry, hear him as just barking.
  • Black Comedy: While not as crude as the Life of Larry short, the cartoon does feature people getting crushed by falling billboard letters and Steve being subject to Amusing Injuries.
  • Butt-Monkey: Steve. He gets injured all throughout the cartoon.
  • Captain Obvious: At the start of "Larry and Steve":
    Steve: Hi. I'm a dog, in case you're... well... stupid.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: In "Larry and Steve", while the car is driving out-of-control towards a stack of TNT, Steve interrupts his scream to point out: "Wait a minute, isn't that a little contrived?"
  • Curse Cut Short: It's implied Steve was about to swear at the store employee before it switched to her perspective where she just heard barking.
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  • Cutaway Gag: Larry and Steve had some. Justified in that Seth MacFarlane was behind the cartoon and this would later be the hallmark for his more popular work, Family Guy.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: When Steve notices that Larry's driver's license is suspended, Larry responds that "they only took it away temporarily."
  • The Ditz: Larry. He is noted by Steve to be an idiot, and his stupidity causes Steve misfortune.
  • Easily Forgiven: A pilot gives a plane's controls to his son, and he ends up crashing the plane into a mall. The pilot instantly forgives his son after he makes a sad face.
  • Epic Fail: At the end of the cartoon, when Larry tries to tighten Steve's tripod, he somehow causes the camera to go out.
    Larry: Whoops.
    Steve: Idiot.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Everyone has them.
  • Held Back in School: Larry spent 12 years in kindergarten. He insists it wasn't because he was stupid, as he did not get held back, but he got his foot stuck in a radiator and it took 12 years for him to get out.
  • Lampshade Hanging: While the car is driving out-of-control towards a stack of TNT, Steve interrupts his scream to point out: "Wait a minute, isn't that a little contrived?"
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the Life of Larry short.
  • Made of Iron: Steve endures a lot of abuse throughout the cartoon, crashing into TNT, getting beat up by a malfunctioning massage bed, and getting stuck on the tip of a plane as it crashes into a mall. It's a wonder he can still go on.
  • Negative Continuity: This cartoon and the Life of Larry short cannot exist in the same continuity, because even if you were to try and consider this as a prequel, in the first short, Larry was married, had a son, and lived in a house instead of an apartment.
  • Never Say "Die": It's stated on an intercom that Steve would be "destroyed" if he wasn't adopted at the last minute.
  • Partially Civilized Animal: Steve walks on two legs and can act human, but he's still a pet dog and is treated as such. The other characters even see him walking bipedally, so it isn't Stylized for the Viewer.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Steve treats the shelter he's in as similarly to a prison.
  • Rule of Funny: Larry somehow got his foot stuck in a radiator at school and took 12 years to get out. Somehow, nobody ever came and found him in all that time, and he did not starve to death.
  • Rules of the Road: After Larry and Steve pass a sign warning of a fork in the road, they crash into an actual giant fork.
  • Shout-Out: When Larry supercharges a lamp with an 800 watt bulb and causes it to shoot light so powerful it can cut through things, he says "Luke, this is your landlord. You still haven't returned my weed wacker".
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: For whatever reason, Larry speaks dog. Larry is not the exception because Steve mentions having another dog that spoke Dutch.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Larry is much dumber here than in the Life of Larry short.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • "That's cute! Your dog walks on two legs".
    • And then when Larry's car is bisected laterally by a literal fork in the road and Steve's side crashes through the house of an old couple playing Scrabble.
    Old Man: What was that?
    Old Woman: Half an Oldsmobile.
    (Smash Cut of Steve's side of the car crashing through chicken coops)
  • Widely Spaced Jail Bars: At the pound, Steve's bars are clearly wide enough that he could squeeze through if he tried.

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