Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Seth MacFarlane

Creator of Family Guy and American Dad!, Seth MacFarlane came thisclose to dying in the 9-11 attacks; arriving at the airport about ten minutes too late, he was booked onto the next flight, and watched as the plane he'd missed flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis was not the first time the universe was watching out for him. After Family Guy was originally cancelled, it proved so popular in reruns and especially on DVD that it was brought back - twice! It was the first cancelled show ever to be resurrected based on DVD sales alone - Seasons 1 & 2 sold 2.2 million copies in the first year, one of them to the Pop Culture Institute - a testament to how lucrative the home video market is to the networks.

In addition to animating both shows (designing the models, as they say) MacFarlane is also a talented voiceover artist, providing the voices for Peter Griffin, Brian Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Tom Tucker the Anchorman, Glenn Quagmire on Family Guy as well as Stan Smith and Roger the Alien on American Dad!. He's also done voices for Robot Chicken.

I like Family Guy well enough for the way it pushes envelopes left unpushed by The Simpsons (often proving only that some envelopes should remain unpushed, but oh well...) For my money, though, American Dad! is the better show; firstly, because it has a stronger narrative with fewer flashbacks, and secondly I just like its characters and overall look better, not to mention the more political aspect of its humour.
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