Seth MacFarlane

Active - 2005 - 2019  |   Born - Oct 26, 1973 in Kent, Connecticut, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

Share on

Biography by Nathan Southern

Animation pioneer Seth MacFarlane followed in the footsteps of Matt Groening, Trey Parker, and Matt Stone, and others by creating (at age 25!) one of the top-tiered animated series on national television. Family Guy, which debuted in 1999, preserved the sitcom-family premise of The Simpsons but upped the irreverence quotient tenfold (defying many who regarded such an accomplishment as impossible), meanwhile tossing in dozens upon dozens of off-the-cuff (and frequently risqué) references to pop culture -- citing everything from Oz to The Wizard of Oz, The $25,000 Pyramid to songs by a-ha, and thus seizing upon instant identification with Gen-X and Gen-Y viewers. Episodes, which began mundanely enough, could immediately segue, without advance notice, into music video-style montages, game-show sequences, multi-character musical production numbers, mock historical sequences, etc. The basic premise revolved around the nutty Griffin clan of Quahog, Rhode Island: obese toy manufacturer dad Peter; neurotic housewife Lois; ne'er-do-well, dim-bulb 13-year-old son Chris; the angst-ridden 16-year-old daughter Meg, and -- what really made the series bizarre and original -- Stewie, a one-year-old infant with a massive head, a genius IQ, and the verbal erudition of Rex Harrison.

Family Guy found a sizeable audience and lasted for many seasons, yet reportedly suffered from a tumultuous history at Fox, where it endured repeat cancellations, numerous rerun episodes, and reemergence on different networks and in different time slots, meanwhile becoming a cult hit on DVD. In the interim, MacFarlane branched out into another animated sitcom, American Dad (2005). Family Guy eventually gained extremly solid ground, however, and soon spawned a spin-off, The Cleveland Show.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography

Factsheet

  • Started drawing cartoons at age 2; his comic strip Walter Crouton was published in his hometown newspaper when he was 8 years old.
  • Was hired by Hanna-Barbera directly after college when a professor sent his thesis film to the Hollywood animators.
  • Evil baby Stewie Griffin on Family Guy is based on his cousin Tyler.
  • Was booked on the hijacked Sept. 11, 2001, Boston-to-Los Angeles flight that hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, but he missed the plane.
  • An avid Trekker, he guest-starred on episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2004 and 2005; he also appeared on a 2002 episode of Gilmore Girls.