The Surprising Connection Between ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Family Guy’

It’s hard to believe that two very different shows such as Law & Order and Family Guy have anything in common, but they actually have a connection that might come as a surprise to fans of both series. 

Who narrates the opening introduction to ‘Law & Order’ and the show’s spinoffs?

Richard Brooks, George Dzundza, Chris Noth, Michael Moriarty in Season 1 of 'Law & Order'
Richard Brooks, George Dzundza, Chris Noth, Michael Moriarty in Season 1 of ‘Law & Order’ | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Any real fan of Law & Order knows the iconic introduction to the series that plays before every episode: “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: The police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”

Another iconic line is the one that comes at the beginning of Law & Order: SVU, which is working on its 22nd season. “In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.”

Have you ever wondered who narrates these iconic lines? It’s actually voiced by Steven Zirnkilton, an actor whose words have become synonymous with the franchise. According to the actor’s Fandom page for the series, Zirnkilton actually voices every opening introduction for the five Law & Order series in the United States lasting from 1990 onward. To add more to the dynamic, the actor was in the pilot episode of the original series in a small role as a detective that included two sentences. From there, he became the voice actor for the memorable narration known by so many viewers and fans.

The surprising connection between ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Family Guy’

Brian and Stewie in  'Family Guy'
Brian and Stewie in ‘Family Guy’ | FOX via Getty Images

RELATED: Joe Biden Was Once in an Episode of ‘Law & Order: SVU’ – What You Need To Know About It

So what is the connection between the L&O franchise and Family Guy? Zirnkilton connects them actually. He not only voiced the opening introduction to the L&O franchise in the United States, but he also voices a different introductory sequence in an episode of Family Guy in season 4, episode 2 called “Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High,” according to the show’s Fandom page for the actor.

Family Guy’s version of the introduction is a play on Law & Order’s opening sequence, and the words “Family Guy” come up on the screen in the iconic blue and red lettering along with the usual “Dun Dun” that Law & Order is known for.

Zirnkilton can then be heard saying: “In the television comedy world, the people are entertained by two separate, yet equally important types of shows: Traditional sitcoms that get laughs out of everyday situations, like trying to fix your own plumbing, or inviting two dates to the same dance, and animated shows that make jokes about farting. This is the latter.” The episode actually goes on to include a play on the entire theme that opens up the episodes of Law & Order

Zirnkilton has also had a voice role in the series Dragnet in 2003 through 2004, which was created by Dick Wolf and Jack Webb, according to IMDb. He also had a voice role in The Rugrats Movie as a reporter in 1998. But he hasn’t just worked as an actor. Zirnkilton was actually a member of the Maine House of Representatives at one point. He served four terms in total from 1982 to 1988, and in 1992 to 1994 as well.

It might surprise fans of either show to know that Steven Zirnkilton is the voice of both opening introductions for the L&O franchise, as well as a hilarious episode of Family Guy.