This past Friday, Seth MacFarlane – creator of Fox TV’s “Family Guy” and “American Dad!” along with the profane teddy bear “Ted” films and “A Million Ways to Die in the West” – went on Reddit (the self-proclaimed front page of the internet) to do a Q&A with fans.
However it appeared some wires got crossed between Reddit and MacFarlane’s PR folks when he began his (first) AMA thread by stating he would answer questions about his new show ‘The Orville’, writing: “For the next 30 minutes, I’m answering as many questions as I can about The Orville. Ask me anything.”
But AMA on Reddit stands for “ask me anything” and the community there takes that literally. Members balk at any attempt to use an AMA for strictly promotional purposes – whether it be for a new TV show, movie, product or service – and Seth’s stumble resulted in an almost immediate reference to an inside joke involving the film ‘Rampart’.
That debacle involved a 2012 AMA with actor Woody Harrelson, star of the then upcoming film “Rampart”, when announced he would answer questions about the film and seemed to stick to that limitation – although he did appear to answer some non-film questions. The resulting blowback from Redditors resulted in a debacle that’s become a meme of sorts on the AMA subreddit.
But in Seth’s case, this mistake was quickly realized by both MacFarlane and the Reddit admin his team was coordinating with, and a second AMA was opened where he answered a number of the thousands of questions thrown at him.
His responses included both amusing quips as well as some insight for fans of his shows. A few of them are featured below:
Redditor Pandapownium asked:
Hey Seth, what’s the craziest thing you have ever personally purchased?
An accordion. It sits in my living room untouched. One day I will play it.
If you could have any super power, what would you pick?
Untangling Iphone earbuds in under six minutes.
Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses?
The second one. You just climb a tree and you’re safe.
…Who’s your favorite comedian of all time?
Which character on Family Guy was your favorite to voice for? Least favorite? Was voicing any of them difficult?
These days, Brian is my favorite because it’s an easy vocal transition – Quagmire is the hardest because my voice is pretty much thrashed by the end of the session
What was the coolest thing you saw as a kid? What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?
I once saw Neil deGrasse Tyson eat an entire bottle of Flintstones vitamins on a dare
[MacFarlane is the producer of Fox TV’s ‘Cosmos’, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson (pictured below)]
Cosmos season 2: still happening?
Stay tuned. I can’t give a concrete answer to that yet cause I’m not allowed, but let’s just say you won’t be disappointed.
What do you think about the South Park episode lampooning you?
I thought it was really funny. They flagged our cutaway setups, which had been getting a little fast and loose at the time. Props for that. RE: the cutaways themselves, though, they were off the mark a bit. The cutaways are actually the hardest things to write on the show. Story-centric jokes come a little easier, but when you have to conceive and invent a whole independent little sequence several times in a episode, it’s challenging as hell. Like doing a Far Side cartoon 10-12 times an episode.
MacFarlane also revealed his current involvement with Family Guy
Being involved in so many shows and projects all at once, how do you manage? Do you ever feel pulled toward one project and burnt out with another? Does your passion tend to go back and forth between different projects at a time?
I jump between TV and film for that reason. I felt fried after 12 years of Family Guy so I left to do Ted. At some point maybe I’ll wind up writing for Family Guy full time again.
do you contribute to family guy much at all anymore?
I haven’t written on the show since 2010. I still do the voices, but it’s now run by my co-writer Alec Sulkin.
A hint at what (now) may be coming up on future episodes of The Orville ..?
….I want to know – will The Orville have a race of teddy bears (perhaps Ted’s family)?
They will now, son. They will now.
Hi, Seth! Would you ever consider having Patrick Stewart and/or William Shatner guest on The Orville?
I want Shatner to show up only in the background as a grandfather playing with his little green grandkids.
If you have his number, call him and ask. I’ll back you up.
And regrets? Seth’s had a few…
…What’s the worst reaction you’ve had by a celebrity you lampooned?
Adrian Brody got pissed at me at a party one time. Also I remember hearing that we got an angry call from Ellen Cleghorne, but I never got confirmation…
[Redditor WubbaLubbaDubStep posted a “Family Guy” clip featuring Adrian Brody that may be the one referred to]
Are there any Family Guy scenes/episodes you regret making? *What are some Family Guy scenes you feel are underrated, in your opinion, or maybe just your favourite not-so-popular scene?
I ah… I could do without the JFK Pez dispenser scene.
[Redditor casc1701 posted the video clip in question]
You can watch The Orville at its new time on Thursdays – check local listings for time and stations.