Seth MacFarlane Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane To Host “SNL” Season Premiere

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is like the Neil Armstrong of the animation community, venturing into places that other animators have never dared to go. In another first for an animator, it was announced today that MacFarlane will host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live on September 15.

(Photo of Seth MacFarlane via s_bukley/Shutterstock)

  • The Gee

    I was going to write how great it is that he has yet another feather in his cap but then it dawned on me he should open the show dressed in drag.

    It wouldn’t be hilarious to me but him wearing lots of feathers, a bola, a shimmering gown a little rouge, and lots of bling. It would be hilarious to someone who watches that show.

    Do it, man! Immortalize thyself by wearing Spanks!

    • Marti386

      Ummm, as a trans women, I have to say I find the idea of him showing up in drag REALLY offensive. Yes I KNOW some people still find the idea of men dressed as women to be humorous (god knows WHY), but such images perpetrate a particularly nasty stereotype that is damaging to trans people. PLUS, MacFarlane’s LESS than sensitive portrayal of trans women in an episode of Family Guy was VERY offensive. Trans people are REAL people too. We have feelings. And we don’t like it when mysogynist dudebro’s like MacFarlane get SNL gigs.

      • Brianna Jonson

        Yeah I understand exactly what your saying and agree. But couldn’t you then make the same agreement against Drag Queens? These people who actually take their craft very seriously and spend years working to create their performance art. Also, aren’t Transsexuals and people who dress as a different gender two different things? I never considered Drag Queens and Transsexuals the same thing, because a transsexual is a person who wants to become a different gender, while a Drag Queen or someone dressed as a different gender, is most likely doing it for comedy.

  • James


  • wever

    I’m debating terms here, but has Seth ever been an animator, anymore? When was the last time he actually animated anything? He is an executive producer and voice actor, which, in this case, is nowhere near a first for hosting an SNL episode.

    • He did a student film called “Life of Larry”, which he animated. And I think he animated on the original pilot for “Family Guy”.

      Otherwise he was mostly in writing and storyboarding before he got his show.

      • wever

        I’m asking when was the LAST time he animated anything?

      • Why does it matter? Walt Disney didn’t animate much either.

        • Brianna Jonson

          No one ever claimed Walt Disney was an animator.

    • Aymanut

      I’m not arguing with you here, but when has a voice actor (strictly voice-actor only) hosted SNL?

  • Hey, wasn’t Jon Heder technically the first animator to host SNL?

  • Aaron B.

    I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t hosted the show yet. It isn’t as if he isn’t already a household name in the world of TV comedy.

  • Jennifer

    If I were making an animation to space analogy I would put Walt as Neil Armstrong and Seth as Ham the Astrochimp.

  • T.D.

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  • Rick R.

    Neil Armstrong of animation?

    I don’t think so. More like the Ralph Bakshi of TV. He’s a fine voice actor, but his shows are all the same and just being more vulgar is _not_ the same as being the first person to step on the Moon.

    • “Ralph Bakshi of TV?” Bakshi’s done his share of TV – Spider-Man, Rocket Robin Hood, Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, Spicy City, and Mighty Heroes.

      As an aside, it disappoints me that MacFarlane gets to host SNL before Mike Judge. Judge isn’t as big as MacFarlane, but Judge did add a small contribution to SNL history.

      • Rick R.

        Cameron, I wasn’t trying to disparage Ralph Bakshi at all. Wasn’t my point.

        I just meant as Ralph made his name with X-rated cartoons, Seth’s animated material themes tend to be sexual and scatological. That’s all. If you want to say Seth’s stuff is neither as good nor is it groundbreaking, okay.

        And yeah, I like Mike Judge too.

  • Many of us would dare to go on Saturday Night Live but aren’t given the same opportunity, which he deserves.

  • I Can’t Draw

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    • JimBob

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  • Silver B

    If they get him to sing, I’m sold.
    Seth shouldn’t be the public image of animators, but I think he’s better than what most people say about him.
    Besides, he has been the host of the Comedy Central Roasts; does this really come as a suprise at all?

    • Funkybat

      Seth has a lot of talent, though I wouldn’t put his drawing and animating skills near the top of the list. Seth is a sharp wit, a gifted singer and voice actor, and overall talented exec. Not just anyone could oversee, even in a limited fashion, three ongoing primetime animated shows AND voice-act in all of them (well, two and a half, he’s not really a major voice actor on Cleveland Show.)

      I consider Seth’s product to be a guilty pleasure. The shows vary from downright hilarious to just plain disgusting. He and his team have their schtick down and are sticking with it, hell or high water.

      Would I like to see stuff with better animation than Family Guy or King of the Hill on primetime? Of course! But the execs in charge seem to greenlight only crudely or at least simply-drawn shows. Allen Gregory was probably the slickest animated show on modern primetime but it was also the biggest flop since the early 00s for the “genre.” I’ll give MacFarlane his due, but I still hope that someone who actually wants to do more classicly-styled character design makes it to broadcast or even cable TV.

  • Toonio

    “Neil Armstrong of the animation community”… history is written by victors nonetheless. Jesus Christ! Neil Armstrong? really people, really?

    Walt Disney and McFarlane on the same sentence got to be a blasphemy of biblical proportions. Name one major contribution of Seth to the animation industry and you’ll find none. Walt Disney on the on the other hand: multiple camera (arguable but still), storyboards and the undefeated 12 principles of animation just to name a few.

    John Canemaker has more talent on his pinky toe than McFarlane in his whole body.

    And id it wasn’t for whoever godfather he got in Hollywood he would be gone by now.

    So its cool all his money and power (good for him), just don’t insult the rest of us.

    • whoiseyevan

      “Walt Disney and McFarlane on the same sentence got to be a blasphemy of biblical proportions.”

      Macfarlane is the highest-paid television writer and producer in history. I wouldn’t call a Disney-Macfarlane line a stretch.

      • Jennifer

        How does salary measure someone’s contributions to society?

        No offense, but Seth MacFarlane can’t even hold a candle to Matt Groening let alone Walt or Neil Armstrong. That’s like comparing Primus to Dylan.

        Side note: according to the internet, Seth MacFarlane has an estimated net worth of $100 million. Walt made $182,000 a year, Neil Armstrong made $30,054 when he walked on the Moon.

    • George Coffey

      he’s got a lot of people who previously wouldn’t watch much animation to respect it as an adult medium of entertainment.

      • Jennifer

        Simpsons came first. Flintstones before that. Doesn’t make him a pioneer. I did love TED though.

  • Hey now

    ^ “Name one major contribution of Seth to the animation industry and you’ll find none.”

    I dunno, employing hundreds of artists over 10+ years seems like a little bit of a contribution to the industry.

    Hating on Macfarlane in 2012 is a bit passé.

    • Toonio

      I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Him (or somebody at their studio) pushed for cintiqs to get rid of a LOT of people. Business? sure, arguable? maybe, does employment has something to do with legacy? nope.

      • Hey Now

        @Toonio: You didn’t say legacy. You said contribution to the industry. Also, what major studio DOESN’T use Cintiqs?

      • Greg Colton

        Cintiqs got rid of no one at Fox Animation. In fact, we’ve hired MORE board artists and revisionists since switching to Cintiqs. It’s just something we use instead of paper.

  • Matt Sullivan

    I know a lot of people don’t like Seth but he’s a real nice guy. And he works very hard. I heard from friends over at Family Guy he put himself in the hospital 3 times from being overworked.

    • Aaron

      Yeah I’m not a big fan of his shows or most of his output but he seems to be constantly working. Plus I like to complain when somebody else is more successful than me.

  • Tina

    Hah, nice photo you chose of Seth there, Amid.

    Anyways, as jarring as that was for me, I still really like American Dad and I guess I have a reason to tune in on Saturday, eh?

  • Crystal

    I’m not a Family Guy fan, but I don’t really see what’s so WRONG with him hosting SNL.

    @Matt, I think CB mentioned his hospitalization once (fairly recently) but said that he wouldn’t do that kind of work on his animated projects in recent years.

    And I don’t think SNL went from being “consistently great to consistently awful” like a lot of people think–it goes through waves. It always has.

  • Anthony D.

    Eh, I’m fine with this (and quite surprised!). It might be cool to see Seth host SNL.

  • I think Amid was just making a joke with the Neil Armstrong thing.

    I don’t have much to say. The guy is a decent showman I guess. I don’t get why most people love his shows so much or why is he so popular but as long as he doesn’t ruin The Flinstones I won’t get too mad.

  • iseewhatyoudidthere

    From reading over the comments, it almost seems like a better comparison would be calling him “the Tyler Perry of animation.”

    He is consistently working and employing lots of people and is one of the most wealthy artists in the business despite his productions being of questionable quality.

    • Well said. Like his work or not (personally I don’t like it too much) he is getting paid to do his own stuff and he was not afraid to create questionable material. Most likely he never questioned it, he simply enjoys it, figured others would as well and put it out there with enthusiasm. Can’t blame a guy for that.

      Although, the one interesting fact is that this show seem to be almost universally hated when it came out and was canceled by Fox, only to be resurrected by its hard core fans when they bought the crap out of it on DVD. Then it came back to Fox and has gained audiences and opinions about the show turned completely around. I’m not sure if the show actually got better or people literally started to like it more over time. This sometimes happens with TV, movies and music. Not really a good or bad thing (I think) but interesting in what it says about all of us and popular culture over time.

      • Funkybat

        As a fan since the beginning, I would say the show actually went down somewhat in quality after its return, though it took a couple of years for it to really show. Like the Elder Simpsons, a lot of the humor became dependent on in-joke references and awkward non-sequiturs. The seasons before the mid-2000s “rebirth” are classics, for all their drawing flaws. The writing was spot-on, and to counter what Frank said, every guy I knew back in 99-2000 totally loved the show, and traded around bootleg videos of it after it got cancelled. I did notice that very few women seemed to enjoy the show, but I could understand why.

        FG came out when I first went to college, so I guess I would also say most of my friends and I were very much the “target market” for Seth’s humor. I wouldn’t doubt that there were a lot of 30 and 40-somethings at that time who just thought it was another Simpsons retread, even though the humor was always much more shocking & pop culture-oriented than the Simpsons. FG came out more or less at the right place and time. Internet fandom/piracy kept it alive long enough for someone to see the wisdom in releasing DVD sets, and once the numbers came back for sales of legit copies, they saw that there was a lot more gold left in that mine.

  • One small step for man, one giant leap for animators.

    Like him or not, he is proving to be one of our most successful guys.

  • I hope they make fun of his addiction to spray tan.

  • Well, there’s another episode of SNL I won’t be tuning into.

    Credit given, he’s a saavy business that surrounds himself with talented people. Alone, though, he’s just not that interesting. Yay, pedophile joke. Yay, 80’s sitcom reference. Yay, homophobic reversal joke. Yay, 90’s political joke. Yay, fat guy or talking dog or resident alien joke.



  • Pedro Nakama

    SNL is not funny. Seth is not funny. Perfect match.

  • I don’t see why anybody who hates his work -I don’t ‘hate’ it but I find it pretty mediocre- should change his mind because his shows give works to a lot of people. That doesn’t mean they are any better.

    Hating on Macfarlane in 2012 would be passee if his work had increased in quality in a noticeable manner.

    Personally I didn’t follow Family Guy so I can’t really tell, but I think it probably goes like this: first episodes were tolerable, subsequent episodes were meh or bad, recent episodes are tolerable again because the story uses less flashback and the stories have a little more ambition. Still, unlike The Simpsons or Futurama, I’ve never seen an episode I would like to rewatch twice or three times.