Seth MacFarlane

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Seth MacFarlane

Seth Woodbury MacFarlane (born October 26, 1973 in Kent, Connecticut) is the creator of the animated series Family Guy and American Dad!.


Early career

MacFarlane received his diploma at Kent School and then attended and studied animation at the Rhode Island School of Design. While in college, he created a short film entitled The Life of Larry, an early ancestor of Family Guy. After graduation, he was hired by Hanna-Barbera Productions and later worked as an animator and writer for Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoon series, which included the shows Johnny Bravo, Dexter's Laboratory and Cow and Chicken. He was also a writer for the animated series Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and created Larry & Steve, a short cartoon that was on Cartoon Network's What-A-Cartoon! show.

Family Guy

MacFarlane's first individual undertaking, Family Guy, is an animated comedy which follows the life of the Griffin family. Peter Griffin, the father, is a loud, obnoxious, sexist, inconsiderate, yet loveable oaf. Peter's wife, Lois Griffin, is a kind, calm, level-headed housewife who teaches piano lessons out of the house part-time while tending to their children. Chris Griffin is the eldest son, who is a little lacking in intelligence, but has a talent for drawing. Meg Griffin is the only daughter of the family who craves social interaction and for the rest of her family to give her respect. Brian Griffin is by far the most eloquent member of the household--even though he is a talking dog--and tends to drink a bit much. And finally there is Stewie Griffin, a talking infant bent on world domination and the destruction of all who oppose him, including his mother, Lois. On the show, MacFarlane provides the voices of Peter, Brian, Stewie, and Glen Quagmire.

Family Guy first aired in 1999 after the Super Bowl on FOX. Nielsen ratings for the pilot episode were excellent and Family Guy's future looked optimistic. However, after three seasons and 50 episodes, FOX cancelled Family Guy. A huge undertaking by the show's loyal fanbase worked to bring it back to life, and, combined with record DVD sales of the three aired seasons and the show doing very well on Adult Swim, led to Family Guy returning to FOX on May 1, 2005.

American Dad!

American Dad! is MacFarlane's latest undertaking and a sneak preview first aired after Superbowl XXXIX on February 6, 2005. It then began airing regularly on Fox on May 1, 2005. It focuses on Stan Smith, a CIA agent convinced that terrorists are everywhere, even in his own household. He has a loving wife and two children, along with two unusual houseguests: Roger, the Alien who rescued Stan from Area 51, and Klaus the goldfish with the brain of a German man implanted into him. MacFarlane has said that his discontent towards George W. Bush's presidency was a motivating factor in the development and plot of the show.

Notable guest appearances

MacFarlane is an avid fan of Star Trek and has appeared as the engineer Ensign Rivers on the show Star Trek Enterprise in the Season 3 episode "The Forgotten" (3.20) and the Season 4 episode "Affliction" (4.15).

September 11, 2001 experience

On September 11, 2001 MacFarlane was scheduled to return to Los Angeles on American Airlines Flight 11 after being a keynote speaker at his alma-mater in Rhode Island. His travel agent gave him the wrong flight time, and he arrived at Boston Logan Airport a few minutes after boarding was finished. He was told he would have to wait for the next flight. At 8:45am one hour after the departure of American Airlines Flight 11, it was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

In an interview in USA Today a few days after the attacks, he said that he was unable to get in touch with his office or his family in Los Angeles. He ended up driving half way across the country before he finally was able to contact his office and parents to tell them that he was alright.

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