Seth Woodbury MacFarlane (born October 26, 1973) is an American actor, voice actor, animator, screenwriter, comedian, producer, director, cartoonist, singer, and television host. He is the creator of the TV show Family Guy (1999–present) and co-creator of the shows American Dad! (2005–present) and The Cleveland Show (2009–2013). He also voices many of the shows' various characters.
A native of Kent, Connecticut, MacFarlane is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where he studied animation, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Recruited to Hollywood during the senior film festival by development executive Ellen Cockrill and President Fred Seibert, he was an animator and writer for Hanna-Barbera for several television shows, including Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Dexter's Laboratory, and his own Family Guy-like "prequel" that aired as part of What a Cartoon!, Larry and Steve.
As an actor, he has made guest appearances on shows such as Gilmore Girls, The War at Home, and FlashForward. MacFarlane's interest in science fiction and fantasy has led to cameo and guest appearances on Star Trek: Enterprise and voicing the character of Johann Kraus in Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army. In 2008, he created his own YouTube series entitled Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy. As a singer MacFarlane has performed at several venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
MacFarlane has won several awards for his work on Family Guy, including two Primetime Emmy Awards and an Annie Award. In 2009 he won the Webby Award for Film & Video Person of the Year. He occasionally speaks at universities and colleges throughout the United States, and he is a supporter of gay rights.
On an episode of Conan that aired on February 10, 2011, MacFarlane announced that he was directing his first feature-length comedy film, Ted. The film stars Mark Wahlberg as an adult who, as a kid, wished his teddy bear would come to life. MacFarlane voiced and provided motion capture for the bear. It was released on June 29, 2012, and went on to become the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time. In September 2011, MacFarlane released his debut album, Music Is Better Than Words. Also in 2011, he began a revival of Hanna-Barbera's The Flintstones for the Fox network. The first episode was due to air in the U.S. in 2013, but production has been indefinitely delayed due to MacFarlane's schedule.
MacFarlane received his high school diploma in 1991 from the Kent School. While there, he continued experimenting with animation, and was given an 8 mm camera by his parents. MacFarlane went on to study film, video and animation at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. As a student, he had originally intended to work for Disney, but changed his mind upon graduating. At RISD MacFarlane created a series of independent films, eventually meeting future Family Guy cast member Mike Henry, whose brother Patrick was MacFarlane's classmate. In his senior year at RISD MacFarlane created a thesis film entitled The Life of Larry, which eventually would become the inspiration for Family Guy. MacFarlane's professor submitted his film to the animation studio Hanna-Barbera, where he was later hired.
After college MacFarlane was hired at Hanna-Barbera (then Hanna-Barbera Cartoons) based on the writing content of The Life of Larry, rather than on cartooning ability. He was one of only a few people hired by the company solely based on writing talent. He worked as an animator and writer for Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoons series. He described the atmosphere at Hanna-Barbera as resembling an "old-fashioned Hollywood structure, where you move from one show to another or you jump from a writing job on one show to a storyboard job on another". MacFarlane worked on four television series during his tenure at the studio: Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, I Am Weasel, and Johnny Bravo. Working as both a writer and storyboard artist, MacFarlane spent the most time on Johnny Bravo. He found it easier to develop his own style at Johnny Bravo through the show's process of scriptwriting, which the other shows did not use. As a part of the Johnny Bravo crew, MacFarlane met actors and voiceover artists such as Adam West and Jack Sheldon of Schoolhouse Rock! fame. Meeting these individuals later became significant to the production and success of his Family Guy series.
He also did freelance work for Walt Disney Television Animation, writing for Jungle Cubs, and for Nelvana, where he wrote for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Through strict observation of writing elements such as story progression, character stakes and plot points, MacFarlane found the work for Disney was, from a writing standpoint, very valuable in preparation for his career (particularly on Ace Ventura). MacFarlane also created and wrote a short, titled Zoomates, for Frederator Studios' Oh Yeah! Cartoons on Nickelodeon. In 1996, MacFarlane created a sequel to The Life of Larry entitled "Larry and Steve", which features a middle-aged character named Larry and an intellectual dog, Steve. The short was broadcast as one of Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toons. Executives at Fox saw both Larry shorts and negotiations soon began for a prime-time animated series, Family Guy.
|1995||The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show||Rhode Island Bug (voice)||Episode "Bugging Out!"|
|1997||What a Cartoon!||Larry, Steve (voice)||Episode: "Larry & Steve" also creator, writer, storyboard artist, director|
|1997||Johnny Bravo||writer (21 episodes), storyboard artist (26 episodes)|
|1997||Dexter's Laboratory||writer (26 episodes), storyboard artist (43 episodes)|
|1997||Cow and Chicken||writer (2 episodes), storyboard artist (1 episode)|
|Family Guy||Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin, Various voices||Also creator, executive producer, writer|
|2002–2003||Gilmore Girls||Zach, Bob Merriam||2 episodes|
|2003||Aqua Teen Hunger Force||Wayne the Brain (voice)||Episode: "Super Trivia"|
|2003||The Pitts||Radio voice||Episode: "Squarewolves"|
|2003–2005||Crank Yankers||Dick Rogers, Arthur Johnson (voice)||4 episodes|
|2004||Complete Savages||TV Announcer||Episode: "Nick Kicks Butt"|
|2004–2005||Star Trek: Enterprise||Ensign Rivers (Engineer)||2 episodes|
|2005–present||Robot Chicken||Various voices||16 episodes|
|2005–present||American Dad!||Stan Smith, Roger, Various voices||Also co-creator, executive producer, writer|
|2006-2009||Late Show with David Letterman||Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin (voice)||2 episodes|
|2006||The War at Home||Hillary's Date||Episode: "I Wash My Hands of You"|
|2006||Help Me Help You||Seth||Episode: "Moving On"|
|2007||Robot Chicken: Star Wars||Emperor Palpatine (voice)||TV special|
|2007||59th Primetime Emmy Awards||Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin (voice)||TV special|
|2008||Yin Yang Yo!||The Manotaur (voice)||2 episodes|
|2008||Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II||Emperor Palpatine, Various voices||TV special|
|2008–2009||Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy||Various voices||50 episodes; also creator, writer|
|2009||Bones||Stewie Griffin (voice)||Episode: "The Critic in the Cabernet"|
|2009–2010||FlashForward||Agent Jake Curdy, FBI Agent||2 episodes|
|2009–2013||The Cleveland Show||Tim the Bear, Various voices||88 episodes; also co-creator, executive producer, writer|
|2010||Phineas and Ferb||Jeff McGarland (voice)||Episode: "Nerds of a Feather"|
|2010||Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III||Emperor Palpatine, Various voices||TV special|
|2011||Night of the Hurricane||Various voices||TV special|
|2012||FOX 25th Anniversary Special||Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin, Stan Smith (voice)||TV special|
|2012||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Ted (voice)||Episode: "10.293"|
|2013||85th Academy Awards||Ted (voice)||TV special|
|2013||The Simpsons||Ben (voice)||Episode: "Dangers on a Train"|
|2013||Futurama||Seymour (voice)||Episode: "Games of Tones"|
|1995||The Life of Larry||Larry, Steve, Lois (voice)||Student film|
|2005||Inside the CIA||Stan Smith, Roger||Short film|
|2005||Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story||Stewie Griffin, Peter Griffin, Brian Griffin, Various voices|
|2006||Life is Short||Dr. Ned||Short film|
|2008||Hellboy II: The Golden Army||Johann Kraus (voice)|
|2008||The Negotiating Table||Alan Richdale (voice)||Short film|
|2009||Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder||Mars Vegas Singer (voice)|
|2010||The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!||I.S.R.A.E.L. (voice)|
|2012||Ted||Ted (voice)||Also director, writer, producer|