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Seth MacFarlane: A Comedic Genius Who Hits and Misses

Updated on August 17, 2014

The Man Behind the Shows, and the Money

Seth MacFarlane's success is unbelievable. In a little over a decade he has heavily influenced popular culture, created many television programs, become a household name, and made unimaginably massive sums of money. In 2008 alone he signed a 100 million dollar deal with FOX to write American Dad and Family Guy through 2012. Below I will discuss three of his most popular and highly advertised programs American Dad, Family Guy, and The Cleveland Show.

Family Guy

To say that Family Guy is extremely popular is an understatement. MacFarlane's debut show first aired in 1999, has been cancelled twice, and has created a billion dollar franchise. After watching the show for many years I had to stop. Lately the show has become dry, dull, and seems to be filled with situations and jokes that are simply not very funny. It has seen better years and this is an example of a show that MacFarlane started out great, but has since got progressively worse. The musical numbers that used to be occasionally funny have now become forced and much to frequent. The recent episode "Stewie and Me" is an example of how bad Family Guy has really become.

American Dad

American Dad was MacFarlane's second show which has ran since 2005. The show provides some great social and political commentary, and is hilarious. The characters are fantastic, specifically Roger, and the writing is top notch. What is best about American Dad is that in the past year the writing in American Dad has not gotten substantially worse as Family Guy has. This may not be MacFarlane's most financially successful show, that is obviously Family Guy, but in my mind it has the best writing and is the most consistent show.

The Cleveland Show

What was Seth MacFarlane thinking? Creating a show around Cleveland Brown was simply a bad idea. The character himself is not very funny, besides when he is falling out of a tub, and it seems ridiculous that a spin off would be created for him. After watching the first and second season I was unimpressed. The show seemed forced, predictable, and seemed to reinforce some African-American stereotypes. At the end of the day, to me, the show was a failure and unsuccessful. In my opinion creating the show in the first place was a horrible decision on Seth MacFarlane's part.

What is your favorite animated show by Seth MacFarlane?

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    • Lynn Savitsky profile image

      Lynn Savitzky 2 years ago from New Jersey

      I still hold affection for early Family Guy, but it's gone from refuge in audacity to just plain nasty. And I wanted to like The Cleveland Show but it fell flat, too fast.

    • jamesjacques profile image

      jamesjacques 6 years ago from Seattle

      American Dad is underrated. thanks for the comment.

      @Alma Cabase

    • Alma Cabase profile image

      Alma Cabase 6 years ago from Philippines

      American Dad rules...very funny..although I can't watch it on television..the internet a good source to watch these epic cartoons..XD

      Good hub!



    • jamesjacques profile image

      jamesjacques 6 years ago from Seattle

      @Jacqui2011 and @my SciFi Life it is good to see that other people see some of the problems that Seth MacFarlane's shows are facing, and some of his biggest successes.

      @ruffridyer I agree completely with the odd changes in Stewie's character. However, I do think that Klaus has his moments, and he takes up very, very little time in the show, with maybe two or three lines of dialogue, so he shouldn't ruin the show for you. You don't like Roger? I guess we all have our own tastes in comedy. Personally I think he is one of the funniest characters on TV. Watch the episode "Dope and Faith" it's available on Netflix Instant if you own it. It shows Roger at his best, and could change your mind.

      Thanks for all the feedback!

    • profile image

      ruffridyer 6 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      I love family guy. The dog brian and the baby stewie are the smartest charactors on there. I did like it better when stewie was trying to take over the world, now they are pushing the idea that he is gay and that idea falls flat.

      Personally I think American Dad could be improved if they flushed the goldfish down the toilet. He adds NOTHING to the show. Also I don't care for Roger at all. I don't find him funny or interesting at all.

      Haven't seen Cleveland Show but agree he is a boring character, even his name is dull. This remians me of the Friends spin-off with Joey. The weakest out of all 6 friends. Anyway a good hub.

    • My SciFi Life profile image

      My SciFi Life 6 years ago from London, UK

      Family Guy used to be awesome but it has become somewhat dated and relies too much on the gross out factor which is annoying. I've always enjoyed American Dad too, but I don't think we get The Cleveland Show out here in the UK yet ... I do agree though that he is not the character I would have picked for a spin off. Voted up and am a new follower.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      I agree, I thought Family Guy was very funny to start with but got predictable and a bit unimaginative towards the end. I haven't watched The Cleveland Show, but I enjoy American Dad. Voted up.