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Former Collegiate student now cracks wise for a living, writing for the Fox TV animated sitcom. 

Richmond Guy Also a "Family Guy"

President of his class for three years, native Richmonder Mike Henry graduated from Washington & Lee in 1988 with a degree in history. So what's a guy like him doing these days? Is he a history professor, an investment banker, a politician?

Nope, nope and nope.

Henry's job is much cooler. He's a writer and vocal talent for the much-hyped animated Fox TV sitcom "Family Guy," which airs at 8:30 p.m. every Sunday in the coveted time slot after "The Simpsons."

A native Richmonder who graduated from Collegiate in 1984, Henry is a close friend of "Family Guy" creator and former Hanna-Barbera animator Seth MacFarlane, who went to college with Henry's brother Patrick.

"I'm just about to start writing my first solo episode, the Valentine's Day episode for next year," says Henry enthusiastically. "We just got picked up last week for 22 more episodes."

On the show, Henry also provides the voices for some walk-on characters and Cleveland, the laid-back African-American friend of cartoon dad Peter Griffin.

So aside from being a friend of the show's creator, what are the prerequisites for a career in animated sitcom comedy? For starters, creating some of the funniest body-function humor in history.

Mike Henry and his brother Patrick, a filmmaker and writer, created the infamous Clio Award-winning "fart ad" for the now-defunct Texas-Wisconsin Border Cafe. They also filmed the world's largest penis joke — the howlingly funny "Little Donnie" episode of Comedy Central's "Upright Citizens Brigade" show. (It chronicled, documentary style, the trials of a boy with "Little Donnie's Disease," which is described as having an enormous penis.)

Creative pursuits run in the Henry family. Their dad, Chuck Henry, is a noted sculpture professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and their mother, Barbara Sullivan, is a popular local portrait artist.

Mike Henry, who now lives in Los Angeles, did a lot of local television ads and went on to a career in stand-up comedy in California ("I waited a lot of tables, actually."), where he studied with the famed Groundlings comedy troupe. He's also acted in some national ads for companies such as Foot Locker.

Henry and his brother still team up on projects, and though they don't get back to Richmond as often as they'd like, they hope to bring a project back home soon, he says.

As for "Family Guy," Henry says, "I think we're living up to the hype. ... The hours are pretty brutal, but I like to think it's worth
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