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Welcome, welcome, welcome to armchair expert I'm DAX Shepard, I'm joined by Monica Padman. Hi. Hi. How are the Emmy nominations going?


I still only have the one. Oh, OK. But I'm working hard to get more. You're going to get more. Number one, we thought we were maybe going to get a Peabody.


Well, I kind of thought we were going to get a Peabody in a moment of complete arrogance and grandiosity. Oh, we're so human.


Well, speaking as someone who probably will win a Peabody, Seth Macfarlane, you know him as an actor, an animator, a writer, producer, a director, a comedian and a singer. He created Family Guy that's been on since 1999.


Twenty one years, American dad, the Orvil and Ted, one in two. He has a new album. He's also an incredible singer. His new album is called Great Songs from Stage and Screen. So cool. So please enjoy Seth Macfarlane.


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He's in chat. Seth, you're kind of like in the what was the Danny DeVito Travolta movie Get Shorty, right. Wasn't the plan that he wanted to be backlit so you couldn't really see him and be more intimidating? You have that right.


I'll tell you what, my boss did not show my face. Yeah. This is hands down the only room in the house that doesn't sound like shit.


Now, I want to tell you something.


Monica and I looked so much better earlier today or sorry. Yeah, we were supposed to interview someone earlier and then they canceled. And we were bummed because we noticed that we looked pretty good. Gorgeous.


As far as zoom quality goes, I think at this point in time we're all kind of pretty forgiving. Yeah, yeah. The bar is low. I don't resent you right now, if that's what you're wondering.


Do you know about this thing, Misophonia? No. What's that? OK, so at first we thought it was horseshit. Our friend Ryan had it and he's, by my estimation, just really intolerant of hearing noises come out of people's mouths. Yeah, he was laying it out like it was a real medical condition and we were suspicious of it. But then we did twenty three and me and you get a genetic marker back for Misophonia like it's a legit thing.


Intolerants to like mouth sounds.


And then I got a little more compassionate about it.


I'm not wild about listening to people eat cereal. OK, you might have a little bit of it that. Yeah.


What if you're attracted to the person. Like what if it's a girlfriend. Yeah. You know, then I'm Fruity Pebbles. That's what's called the hearty compromise. And does it kind of map like all things do, like if the person is kind of unkempt then it compounds it?


Yeah, it's like a dirty car. Like you can tolerate a certain degree of mess in a car. But when your feet aren't touching the ground and you're sitting in the passenger seat, which has happened to me, then it's too much. That's old McDonald's you got there. Now, this is neither here nor there.


But my father used to sublease cars in Detroit and at one point he had sublist, a vehicle to a gentleman, and then the cashier's check he brought turned out to be fraudulent. So they went and repo the car six hours after this person had bought it. When the driver went to move the seat back, there was a full bucket of KFC smashed down.


Like half of the chicken was eaten, just bones.


And we were like, who? Within the first six hours of voting their cars out?


Fuck it.


I'm going to put a whole bucket of fried chicken under that takes a great degree of confidence in your purchase.


Yeah, I mean, I can only imagine what the car would look like had the person owned it for six months or something almost unimaginable. They wanted chicken bones under the car.


They got it out of there at the right time.


Now, are you still working in quarantine? What's your schedule like? I mean, I am I'm still doing a lot of writing, I guess you'd call it stockpiling scripts. It's a very strange time because I don't know whether any of this stuff is going to get made. I don't know if any of it can conceivably get made with given the restrictions. I don't know if we're ever going to be able to shoot a crowd scene again in the near future.


And, you know, all you can really do is just keep at it and be optimistic.


Now, on the animation side, I would imagine that's the best business to be in currently, right? I mean, it can all go on without a hitch, can it?


Yeah. A family guy and American dad are still in production. It's still not ideal for anyone like the Zoome writer's room is something that's just never really worked for anyone that I've talked to.


It just doesn't cut it. You know, this one excepted, of course, I wind up hating everyone on every zoom call I'm on like very quickly. There's just an inhumanity to it.


But did you have a period like I'll tell you how I was misled. So I'm I'm in a and it's a big pain in the neck to get in the car and go to a meeting and blah, blah, blah. It ends up being like a three hour endeavor when it's really only an hour.


Do you have to do that on Zoome two? Yeah. So when this first started, my regular Tuesday night meetings switch to Zoom and the first three weeks I'm like, oh, this is revolutionary. I can turn on my computer, you know, thirty seconds before it starts and then I'm really just one hour commitment. I can see myself going to lots more meetings and then about four weeks of it, I was like, I don't care about anyone in this meeting.


You're all people I love, but I no longer care about them. I don't care about myself. And I realized, no, there's definitely something happening in person. Right.


Chemically that is irreplaceable, even being able to get up and walk around the room and stretch and still make eye contact. There's a physicality that just goes away. And first of all, we've reached the point where no one's really paying attention to the zoom in like people are looking after their phones.


Yeah. You know, they're doing other stuff on the side.


It's a very flawed endeavor. And you're a writer. And what you and I share in common is lots of alone time staring at a computer. Right. As a writer, it's sure lonely as shittiest job someone can have.


Absolutely. I don't know if Harold Ramis said this or if he was quoting somebody else, but it was always one of the most true statements about writing. So there's no joy in writing, but there is great joy in having written. Yes, I love that one.


And then Lawrence Kasdan too, I think has the best quote on writing I've ever heard, which is writers are people who have agreed to do homework for the rest of their life.


Yeah, I really related to that where like my wife and I would be in a vacation and we're both supposed to be unwinding and relaxing. But all I'm thinking is like, oh, in three weeks I owe that fucking draft and I should really be a. Doing this and there's just no freedom from it, no, no, and there is a love when you're working on a project or writing a project or the fact that you're thinking about it because it's something you're passionate about.


So it's not like you're thinking about those financial reports that you got to finish and for sure, turn into your bosses at Merrill Lynch.


There's a passion there.


I do find the good outweighs the bad, but there is a lot of stress associated with it, certainly.


And I would imagine in some ways you and I are more practiced at this than other people. Like I don't know what your move is when you really got to finish something, but I'm married and have kids, so I go away to a hotel for four days. You sit in the room and I have this whole routine, so I certainly have practice a bunch.


Do you feel like you're a little more rehearsed for this lifestyle than others? Possibly.


I mean, I have nothing that I would classify as a routine. There are some days that I'll write all day. There are other days that I'll putter around and procrastinate.


And then finally at 10:00 at night, I'll be enormously productive.


I do know writers who have a very, very rigid system that they go by with which they write every day. I'm not one of those people just kind of comes when it comes up.


That's fascinating. I would have imagined you would be a creature of habit. Like so many writers, it's very disorganized.


OK, I want to narrow down on writing just a little bit more and everyone will tune out, you know, DACs, there's no TV or movies right now.


So this is the most interesting thing out there.


So there are parts for me of writing that are just joy filled. And that's just generally when I'm writing dialogue, I fucking love writing dialogue. It's the structure that I hate. The story breaking is the least fun. That's where it's pulling teeth. You're absolutely right.


Once you have that and it's great, I know what the scene is. I know what the arc of the scene is now. I just got to make the puppets talk. That's when it gets fun.


And imagine to my mild advantage I've had, which is I'm also an actor, as are you. So when I'm writing, I'm talking out loud the whole time. I have to say it out loud. And I go, Oh yeah, that doesn't sound right. So I need to tweak here.


Absolutely. That's sort of writing with your ears, which certainly for this medium is hugely beneficial.


The trap that I'll fall into sometimes if I don't do that is I'll write something that to me is from a literary standpoint, feels really smart and cool and like, yeah, this is going to make me look good and then I'll say it out loud. And so this just sounds stuffy. And no one would say this. No one would talk like this. I couldn't agree more.


I'll write like a chunk of dialogue, you know, like a nice twelve, thirteen sentences.


And it's basically what I wish I could say out loud in an argument or something.


Yeah. And I just think it's so pleasing to the eye. And then I say it out loud. I'm like, well no human being in the history of mankind has spoken like this.


And obviously the biggest challenge to I remember seeing an interview with Rod Serling guest was taped in the seventies where he lamented the fact that he felt like every one of his characters, male and female, all sounded like one person him.


They all talked like him because all of this is coming out of your own head and you're trying to guess what each of these different personalities is thinking.


Do you find having like a compartmentalized life AIDS in that in other characters point of views? Because I think we all on some level have many versions of ourselves.


Right. There's one that goes back home for you to Connecticut and your whatever you are as a son. And then you're as a buddy and you have these little personas that really you have in real life. And I think if you're kind of aware of them, do you think that can help tap into other points of view or is that too lofty? Did I just go too lofty?


I think what you're describing is much more of a theatrical skill set than a literary skill set to be able to access all those parts. From an on camera standpoint, it's harder to fake it. I think as a writer, you can cheat a little more.


Yeah, well, I've seen actors on set go. Yeah, no, no, I get the line. I just want to hear the writers say it.


I was just kind of like, fuck you. It's like, let me see if you could say this. And like a human being and if you can then I'll buy in. Now, I do wonder I'm so curious about your home because you've basically been unbridled, to my knowledge, by any other input which could go terribly wrong or it could be eaten. Meaning you own a home, I presume, and you're not married. And I don't know that.


Have you had any real long term girlfriends that would have had a say in what you did at your house? Yes.


Oh, you have OK. I mean, as far as decorating, most of my houses have been decorated by a professional decorator that a smart smart. Yeah. I would never trust my own taste to be something that I would want to live in on a day to day basis.


I got to tell you, when Kristen came to my house for the first time again, I lived by myself. I didn't have children. I just knew I had a house. It was a new house and there were lots of empty walls. And I thought, oh, you're supposed to put pictures up. I don't really know what to do. I don't have pictures of myself. So what ended up being in my house, a lot of it is so embarrassing.


Was like many stills from movies that I was in and Kristen, it was like, well, you got a lot of pictures of yourself hanging up in the just the moment she said it looks like the blinders came off and I was like, oh, my God, this is so embarrassing.


Yes, I have mostly pictures of me in character.


You know, again, I have a degree from an art school and I still don't really trust myself to really know good art from bad art.


I can tell what that is, that's a peasant woman milking a cow, and that looks like something I might want to have on my wall, I guess, but certainly not idyllic.


Well, it can be dangerous to be successful, too, in certain areas, right? Because you really start believing. Well, yeah, I got the I'm creative on my this TV show. I designed the whole world. And of course, I can go to our organ and probably no, you can't.


Like most guys, it's like picking out furniture. I just don't know. There are people out there who have such strong opinions about those things and I don't. So it's like, well, that couch looks good. Will that couch looks good, too. I don't know. But you talk to somebody else and there's going to be a huge discrepancy. So I find it best to just keep your head down and write, not even think about.


That's about did you, like, maintain one single room where you were like, OK, designer, this is going to be the ugly room that has everything I want on it. Whatever fucking toys you collect or bullshit like that.


Not really. I collect old books, so I have a library that sort of functions as that. But the only stipulation that I have when it comes to furnishings is just not too much form over function.


I got to be able to sit down at the end of the day. Yes. And, you know, be able to slouch like Archie Bunker. I gotta be able to sink into those cushions. Absolutely.


You need to be embraced.


At the end of the day, my current debate that I have with my wife a lot is we're building a house and then we're at the decoration phase and just I'm out of it for the most part.


But I will say, could you just walk me through how you're going to use that item where it's currently located? Because I just don't see that it could possibly function the way that you want.


You know, like just want to do the logistics of this thing. OK, so I want to know how much of this is apocryphal and how much is real because I recognize the slippery slope of doing interviews.


You kind of throw something off the cuff at some point and then that gets brought back up and you're like, oh, that's sticking around. And that's kind of now. OK, I got to add to that. Yeah, I certainly know for myself there's a few things where I'm like, well, that got out of hand.


You have to perpetuate the line as you beat yourself into a corner. And it might have just been a throwaway joke the first time. You're not going to explain it to the next interviewer just keeps building.


So were you actually able to draw Woody Woodpecker and Fred Flintstone at the age of two?


Well, that's what my parents tell me, OK? And I have sketches that my father has saved from when I was a kid. I can't clock the chronology myself obvious for obvious reasons, but I've been told many times over the years, yeah, you drew this when you were two. You were like trying to copy it off the TV with these stubby baby carrot fingers on hold pencil.


And so that's the official story. Whether they're truthful or not, I don't know. But I got to figure, well, why why would you lie about that other than a million reasons?


Well, right now, five years old, you were actually making flip books and stuff.


You understood conceptually how the mechanics worked of a cartoon in that in a very rudimentary way, there was no reference material that I could find. I think I remember running across one book at about eight years old that was written by one of the professors at RISD where I ended up going to college and it was my first real education, exactly how this stuff was made. But yeah, I was doing flip books at five and there was a show when I was a kid on Nickelodeon that Leonard Nimoy used to host called Lights Camera Action.


I vaguely remember that. Yeah, it was about like filmmaking and whatnot.


And I remember they interviewed a student who had done an animated film, I think it was called Bandits. That was cell animation and looked enough like what I was seeing on TV that like, now wait a minute, I was like, this changes the whole ballgame. Like it's just done by shadowy figures out there in Hollywood using special paints and cameras that I could only dream about, I think was truly eye opening.


Like, Wow, this isn't Bill Hannah and Joe Barbera. This is just some kid.


Right? It's not a magic trick. It can be done. Do you ever just think about how astounding it is that you could have even found this shit like you basically got lucky that that episode existed? Yes. I mean, now I think about if any of my kids expressed any interest in anything within five minutes, we've got the world record holder. We've watched videos like you want to know about who did the most cartwheels. By God, there's a fucking dude who did a whole track, a cartwheels in like under two minutes.


He's like sprinting. But back then, you're just like you have this interest and you just cross your fingers and hope there's an episode of your show. Yep.


That it breaks it down for you. Yeah, it is different now, the resource accessibility that you have nowadays, even just the ability to create animation. I remember my parents buying me like a used Super eight camera I think was like eighth grade. You know, it had like stop motion capabilities so you could do one frame at a time. Yeah, it was trial and error.


That was all I had to go by. And in some ways, I'm kind of glad of it because it taught me what worked and what didn't.


And now this. I guess it was very easy to substantiate that you had an actual comic strip in your local paper at nine years old. Yeah. Now here's where we're getting into Doogie Howser territory. That's pretty bonkers. How do you go from sketching shit to being in the paper?


Yeah, our local newspaper, which was called the Kent Good Times Dispatch, sounds like a paper, that being.


The Andy Griffith Show or something? Yes, it was exactly what it was. There was one competing paper for a while called The Weather Vane. I remember on a weekly basis I would sit down with the editor and, you know, I was nine, so I wasn't completely doing this on my own. Right.


Generally, it was a political cartoon of sorts because he would suggest something that might be a funny angle on something that was going on and then I would sketch it.


Oh, OK. So you were executing this editors initially. Yeah. And then about a year or so I started to say, hey, why don't I just do a few of my own here that just have nothing to do with, you know, current events and are just silly? President Carter.


Yeah, exactly. Nothing to do with President Carter. Yeah. So it was sort of an evolving process. It was a small town. Everyone was super supportive. That's one thing I do remember very specifically. It's like it was a small enough town that people knew that I did this and that they wanted to do. And the nurturing of the community was again, it is all very. Andy Griffith. Yeah.


How are you doing in school? Were you social? Did the kids think that was you? You were a published cartoonist. Did they kick your ass for that? What happened?


I was kind of riding somewhere in the middle like I was by no means a jock. I was not into sports, but at the same time, I don't recall ever getting my ass kicked. Well, you're cute. You're good looking. Well, thanks, Jack. You're welcome. So are you. Well, listen, I think we're all doing OK.


We're all doing great. But when I harken up an image of that nine year old in my school, there were a couple of them, right. We had like a coin collector that somehow his grandpa got him into that and that was his life.


It was such a isolating pursuit that, you know, even if people wanted to be friendly with them, these kids were pretty in their own head. Where were you that way?


You know, I had my small group of friends that I was close to, but, you know, I wasn't out partying like some some of my classmates were. But I was and I was I was social enough that I had a normal childhood. I was definitely obsessed with what I wanted to do. Yeah. You know, having enough luck with experimentation that, again, this was probably unbelievably idyllic compared to what it could have been. But I do remember even from like classmates, people kind of having a curiosity about what it was that I was in eighth grade.


I made a little animated film as my final project.


Did they let you show it to the class? Yeah. Yeah. That's so cool.


As a comedy writer, I wish my childhood had been worse because the jokes would come a lot easier to be a little better. Yeah, I think it wouldn't be such heavy lifting.


OK, so what were your favorite cartoons in that era? What were you consuming that you thought was the high watermark?


Basically everything. I mean, I was watching Transformers, G.I. Joe, the Thundercat oh show Smurfs Jason the Wheel Warriors, League of Justice.


Superfriends, Superfriends. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But particularly I remember was wild about the Superman only episodes or the Batman when they would get everyone together. And there's people with weird powers like one or two time here.


When you got like Green Lantern in, they're like Storm man, the masters of the universe. I mean all that stuff that Saturday morning special that ABC used to do the Friday before. Here's what's coming this fall. I just ate that up.


Yeah. And were you also interested in comedies in general?


Yeah. Yeah. No show planes, trains and automobiles. I mean, there's a wide array like I was very into Monty Python. OK, it's OK to Big Jackie Gleason fan. I like looked for anything that I could find with Jackie Gleason in it.


Smokey and the Bandit, Our Honeymooners, more Honeymooners era. Yeah, I'm all Buford T. Justice. That's yeah.


I live right. Every line of that movie. Buford T. Justice. Unreal.


OK, so when you go to Rhode Island School of Design, when you went there was your fantasy or dream. I'm going to be an animator. I guess what I'm wondering is writing is such a significant part of your success. I wonder, were you even thinking, like, I'm going to pursue this and I'm a writer or were you just thinking I'm an animator?


It was a little of both. When I started there, I was hell bent on animating for Disney. That's what I wanted to do. They were having their sort of second golden age with, you know, obviously The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and and those movies that were just kind of rewriting the rulebook. And I was all in at the same time. There were several things that happened at once. I started doing stand up when I was in college and The Simpsons premiered and once again rewrote the rulebook.


It was the first time I really was conscious of the fact that, oh, this is actually making me laugh out loud. You know, it's not like I'm watching Bugs Bunny or the Flintstones or, you know, these shows that are comedies but acknowledging it's comedy, but it's not making me laugh, but I still love it for sure. And that was what changed. It opened this whole new world like, oh, God, I can do animation now for people my age.


Yeah, I was going to say prior to The Simpsons, imagine I'm no historian on animation, but that's the first time that you could write for adults.


I man before that it was fish police. That was it. And when it went it Beavis and Butthead come out. That was around the same time, I think, wasn't it? Right.


And that was again, another thing where you're like, oh, this is an adult cartoon.


Yeah. Groundbreaking. So is that like a good school for animation? I would have never very. It's very good. But forgive my ignorance.


Is it. Best like isn't can the one out here in Pasadena really good Cal Arts is good. Kailath is very good. Yeah. OK, so where is Rhode Island in that hierarchy?


I initially wanted to go to class because remember at the time they had a very good training program. If you wanted to work for Disney or. Yeah, like a pipeline. Right. Yeah, exactly.


I just didn't want to live that far away from Connecticut. Yeah, but what I found with Disney that ended up working out well for me was that it really wasn't one specific style that they were training you. And we learned cut out animation, we learned cell animation, we learned claymation, you know, stop motion. They taught us everything. Yeah. And then said, great. Now figure out what it is you want to do and go do it.


And as a result, it's like you come out of there with some options and real sense of how you want to apply the skill set in the real world. And it really helped with my trajectory, particularly with everything else that was going on.


OK, so I know nothing about this. So again, forgive any faux pas I make, but were you discovering in that process or were there other artists that were better than you were? Like you were looking like I'm not a plus at this aspect. Yeah.


Most people. OK, ok. Yeah. Life drawing. I did ok. I was like in the middle of my class but I do remember there was that first day of life drawing that if you haven't drawn a nude model before is just so jarring.


And I had to and I walked in and I think we actually did it. We actually put this in the Family Guy with Peter. What I had, I was just sweating bullets because I'm like instructors coming around and it's like, are you supposed to draw the genitals? Like they're they're right. I see them hanging there. Yeah. Am I supposed to draw it? Yeah. And I looked over and there was a kid next to me had just drawn like just a very kind of gestural like that.


Are you sure. Sure. Like a lowercase you.


Was it a woman from the middle of the cross. That was a guy. It was a guy who was like penis and balls. Great.


So there's a lot of there's a lot of rendering to do if you choose to do it. Can I tell you all I would have drawn was the penis and the testicles. I can. I know for sure.


Well, that's what man you would you would have deflected from the rest of us. Hugely helpful.


So did you draw do you do like a can just. I did. I do. I did.


I did what my neighbor was like a little. Just a suggestion. Hmm. Just suggested the penis.


Do you remember if the guy was well hung or not. Because I can't imagine anyone that would volunteer for that must feel a little confident.


That's a very good question.


I don't recall and this is like ninety three or something. Ninety, this was ninety one.


OK, so he is hairy. I'm sure you had all boy 91. Yeah. I think there probably was a bush. Yeah. At the height of the eighties and seventies. Like if you had enough hair you might be able to cover everything up.


I sorry I'm staring at the and I know people can't see it but I'm staring at the image behind you on the wall and it looks like in My Fair Lady where Henry Higgins would map out his phonetics look like that it's a map of spoken Sanskrit you're going to love.


Is that there? I think this is a first. No one's brought up the picture. No, but what's funny about it is that my wife uses our space.


Let's just be clear. This is Monaca, nice Addicks. She takes that down every time she does press or anything in here, OK, because it is a combat vehicles of the US.


It's every plane and wheeled vehicle and tank. This is your wife's taste in art.


No, this is me obviously. But take it down.


She doesn't want to be seen as like jingoistic or pro-war, which I'm not either. I just like history, though. Come on. That's so.


We always known she's been in here working because it's always shoved into the corner when we return. Luckily, Monica hasn't taken a position on it.


I'm a world war to buff myself, so. Oh, yes. Have you read the rise and fall of the Third Reich?


You know what I just recently ordered on Amazon? Because I've been I've been ashamed of not having. That's there. That's the William Scheier. Yeah, it is. It's incredible.


I listened to it on tape and I bet it was a year of listening. I mean, the book just won't quit. Yeah. Yeah, phenomenal.


OK, so when you leave Rhode Island, you've discovered you're not the best drawer there. But I have to imagine it became clear you're probably the best writer there or very funny that the content you can accompany with your drawings, that's your strong suit.


I was one of the only people who was working in narrative animation. I do remember that I wasn't working in abstract. I wasn't doing an art film. I was doing something designed to get me a job in the commercial sector. And so I do remember my instructors who amazing, amazing people and subsequently came around and said, all right, this is what you should be doing. When I first screen the student film that I was sort of a rough version of Family Guy, Life of Larry.


And they said, we're just worried that you're taking the one chance you have to make that one film that's special to you and squandering it on what is essentially a lot of bathroom humor, sharp.


And and then we screened it and it got enough laughs that they said, all right, you clearly have a direction here. Go for it.


Well, you have some kind of resolve and conviction, because even back when you were nine, two in the comic strip, you did something, a picture of someone at communion. And they ask, can I get a side of fries with this or something? Which became a little bit controversial in your small town.


So, yeah, clearly you what? A reason you're a risk taker, I guess, by nature. Yeah, yeah, I remember getting a letter from the local priest saying, shame on you for insulting the almighty God and those who love him.


Look at I'm pro anyone that believes in God that adds value to their life. I'm so for it, I can see it adding value to a lot of people's lives.


The one part I just can't help but push back on as you worship a dude that's that vain like is concerned about a nine year old making a joke at his expense.


You know, I went to a very religious school, so I had to take three years. I was not religious, but that was part of the curriculum. You had to take three years of theology. There's a lot of very human characteristics prevalent in the Bible that God displays, even in the worst of the human characteristics.


Yeah, yeah. Well, particularly in the Old Testament. Yeah.


Like vanity and insecurity. Kill your son to prove you love me. It's all.


Yeah, that's that's the trouble that I've always had is that so much of it feels like it comes from the human hand. And again, like I have friends who are very religious, so I'm very close to. But there are a lot of hiccups there for me that are red flags. I just remember that cartoon came from I remember being taken to church when I was a kid and just being so freaked out by communion, just seeing the people go up to the altar, kneel down, be fed this little wafer.


Yeah. And then everyone drinking from the same cup, which obviously not don't how they're doing that now.


Yeah. Yeah. I remember like asking. I don't even know whether my parents or the person sitting next to me. What is that. And they said it's, it's the blood of Christ. And I was like, oh my God.


Yeah, yeah. No way. Yeah. Even worse, the body of Christ.


I could drink a goblet of blood but eating the body of Christ.


It's interesting. It was it was a very jarring experience as a child. I, too attended a lot of Catholic masses with my grandparents and my mom for a spell. And yeah, I was more just I want to know what it tasted like, like just the snack or anything.


It was like, what is that thing? Good. Look, they did make it look good. Yeah. And I think your nose was a chew like your nose was a, you know, really get into it.


You're supposed to kind of let it pass because it looks like a Necco wafer.


Yeah. Necco wafers, depending on what color you get. They're good. Yeah.


Or Anelli Niloufer a mile away from all members of the Wafer family.


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OK, so you leave there and then you get a job with Santa Barbara.


Now, had you at that point come off Disney a little bit or were you stoked to be in Santa Barbara or, you know, by that point, I had veered away from the Disney side of things, mainly because I it was all about prime time animation at that point. That was really what was again, The Simpsons had just rewritten everything. Yeah. Yeah. I was I was thrilled to be working in Santa Barbara because of their history and their, you know, what better place to learn television animation than the company that invented it.


But also they had begun this program called What a Cartoon that was deliberately going out of their way to seek out very green, brand new, untried young animators and to give them a shot at making a seven minute short, which would air on Cartoon Network.


So the timing for me, I've worked hard throughout my career, but luck is also not to be underestimated, like the timing of a lot of this stuff. It's like Mr. Magoo driving the car and that strut comes in at exactly the right place so he can drive across. Yes, it's a big part of it. And that program was I mean, it couldn't have come at a better time.


Well, not to brag, but we just interviewed Bill Gates. And yeah, when he starts talking about the number of variables that had to line up perfectly for him to come, Bill Gates, it's not just that his aptitude for that would have gotten him where he is. Right.


There's just so many little things that and of course, all of our egos are inclined to write that off because it's not as good of a story bootstrap story. But, yeah, for all of us. Right. Luck plays a huge role.


You do have to sweat like you do have to work hard and follow through with things. But it's for sure a combo.


You have to do all the things and then get lucky. Right. And have the luck. Yes. Yes, yeah. No, it is it is for sure a factor.


And through that process, you I guess you had different roles, right? You you were an animator. You also did storyboards. You wrote. What did you learn there that was vital?


All of those skills that you just mentioned, it started as a storyboard artist, actually. No, that's not true. No, because they figured out pretty quickly that I was bad at that. And so they hired me as a writer. I was writing for I spent most of my time writing for a show called Johnny Bravo and did a little bit of work on Dexter's lab and Cow and Chicken, which are now, I guess, sort of classics to a certain generation, which makes me feel very old.


But from then I got a gig running the writing staff of Ace Ventura, the animated series, which I'm prouder of than anything I've done in my career.


I don't know if you're serious or not, because when I read that about you, I was like, I didn't know there had been an animated version of this.


It was a very valuable learning experience and I'm glad to have had it. So there was that I did a little bit of writing for Disney for some of their television shows. And then while I was there, the Turner Time Warner merger happened. So you had all of these people, they didnt know what to do with us. We're all sitting in offices, taking up space, collecting paychecks. They don't want to fire their whole creative team, but they just didn't know what to do with us.


And I just remember there was about a six month period where all you had to do was pitch something once a week and justify your paycheck. I was working on the Family Guy pilot.


And were you trying to protect it from that pipeline? Like I've heard stories where, like Lorne Michaels owned your characters. If you've done them more than twice the business and there's some weird thing and some people held characters that they wanted to later do in a movie.


Yeah, this was sort of a gray area, because if you look at that short, Larry and Steve were the two characters in the animated short that if I had of Barbara, the similarities to Peter and Brian are undeniable. I mean, it's it's a completely different visual style because it was a different audience and a different tone. And but, you know, there are so many similarities, those characters. And so that was where it was kind of a gray areas that I had managed to preserve the characters that I had created and done sort of an alternate version for that short.


So I still had them. Yeah. Again, another example of a whole lot of luck to have six months where you're getting paid because a company is in turmoil. Yeah.


And they don't know what they're doing with their team. I seized on it. I took advantage of it and I was animating like crazy, like this is the only time I'm going to have to do a film that I had pitched it to Fox and they'd give me a budget of about 40 grand.


Yeah, I read that. That's an average budget of an animated episodes. A million. Right. It's not even five cents on the dollar. It's yeah.


Again, it was a confluence of events.


Now, when you became the showrunner of Family Guy, you were at that time and maybe it's still stands is the youngest showrunner ever in Hollywood. And I wonder what like interpersonal struggles were there being a twenty four year old boss and trying to run a writers room and having not done it and all these things like, was that a challenge for you?


It was as much of a challenge as it would be for anybody. Yeah, that's where I credit my parents for having given me the political skills to know what it was that I wanted, but at the same time be conscious that it was a collaborative effort. You know, I struggled at the beginning to learn that on the job I was surrounded by people, every one of them who are a lot more experienced than I was. I was with a show running partner who was a lot more experienced than I was those first few years.


There were some clashes. It's the only time in my career that I ever remember having that many clashes. And I think. Was growing pains in retrospect, there were things that I'm glad I held my ground on and other things I just hadn't learned yet. Yeah, yeah. And I think, you know, with any job, you don't get to go in day one and tell people how things work.


Also, when you're twenty four. Right. You're willing to die over a lot of stuff that you learn later in life. It's not worth it.


But it's exactly learned that the hard way pick your battles is there's one lesson that I learned in this town that applies to everything. Lessons more and pick your battles. I would say those are be the two. We're seeing it on a large scale, like we're in a country where every battle, large or small, is dialed up to an 11. Yes. And so the ones that are important and that are big are diminished because everything is at that level of intensity.


So that was the most significant thing that I learned. Whether you are starting your own company or whether you're in Hollywood working or whether you're in government, if it's your first day on the job, you've got to listen as well as talk. Yeah.


Now, I do intend to spend the rest of this interview just talking about Seth Green, if you're comfortable.




I just adore him so, so much. I got to do my first movie with him and he was just so generous and kind and taught me all the ways to act. And he's just the most lovely guy in the world. And I wondered when you cast that show like you're in a much different position now, like if you were to cast a show, now everyone wants to be in it. There's some likelihood that it's going to go 350 episodes, you know, but I have to imagine at that time you were in a much different.


Have you seen Dad? No, I just I just counted your argument. Go ahead. A whopping six and a half.


OK, well, when you were casting that, were you getting all your dream people? Not necessarily. I mean, I do remember even at that time having a sense that I didn't want to cast a lot of celebrities. I did have sort of a dim awareness that when I was in seeing Pocahontas and that was Mel Gibson was in that right. Is that the one I'm thinking of?


I don't know. But I know Gibson do get to do a voice in Pogany's. That sounds right.


Even if it's not, it sounds right. Let's pretend that that's the case.


Yeah. You know, I'm conscious that I'm you know, I'm seeing a character moving his lips, but I'm hearing Mel Gibson's voice. And there's a disconnect, right. Because I know who Mel Gibson is, for better or worse. Yeah.


Even when I see him acting now, it's somewhere in the very deep background. I'm hearing the rant in Malibu. It's like it's just slightly in the background. I can hear it. Yes. No, it's true.


But, you know, when I'm watching King of the Hill or The Simpsons or Beavis and Butthead, you know, I'm not seeing Mike Judge because I didn't know what he looked like. Right. He was famous in that way. So I was completely immersed in those characters. And that that was a distinction that I remember making at the time.


So I didn't really want to populate it with a bunch of famous people. I remember William H. Macy auditioning for Brian. Oh, wow. Looking back in retrospect and like what arrogance? I had to say, no, it's not working. I'm just going to do it myself. Well, I was curious about that.


If you did you get any pushback on a network level or studio level for doing as many voices as you did? Do they want you to focus on the creating?


The only reason I didn't is because I had a piece of film to pitch them that also functioned as sort of an audition and it was working and they were laughing and they obviously has a handle on it. So let's not mess with it. Yeah, but you know, Alex Borstein, who does Lois was suggested by one of the Fox executives at the time, said, hey, we got this really talented comedian who's on mad TV. She's willing to do it.


Part of it was sort of this hodgepodge of people who were available, people who they could get not have to pay a lot. Yeah. Seth Green, what was cool about what he was you know, the character designs were all complete and I didn't really know what I wanted Chris to sound like. I just knew he wasn't going to be that bright. And people would look at the design and, you know, 95 percent of these auditions were people doing surfer guy voices.


Look at the design of Chris and guys got long blonde hair. He's got the hat. He's a surfer. Yeah. And so be a lot of like, hey, do a lot of like Ninja Turtles kind of stuff.


A little ripper. Exactly. Exactly. And so here comes Seth Green, who out of nowhere does Ted Levine in Silence of the Lambs?


I was going to say he has told me privately and I assume he's told you he's doing.


Yeah, it just made us laugh and it was different. It just felt fresh. And that's that story. Yeah. How about Mila? Well, Mila came in and sounded like a teenager and it just fit the character and it felt real and it felt authentic. And so we gave it to her and she's been doing it ever since.


OK, so now as the show evolves and it becomes successful, I'm wondering this is a potentially a trap. So I'm going to ask you to say what you're best at.


But is it the writing or is it the voices you proved to be so quintessential on the performance side of it? And I think so much of the success of the show is built from that. But also the writing obviously is kind of king in that format. What do you think you ended up thinking?


Oh, this is what I should bet on in myself as far as leaning into the writing as a career?


Well, you just you have all these components to the job, right? You're doing you now overseeing the animation, you're running the writers room, you're writing yourself. You're also then performing. And I'm just wondering which of those things did you think you proved to have a real knack for?


That's a good question. I mean, look, some would say none, OK? I love all of it. That's a tough. One to answer, I guess what I'm wondering is which one of those things shocked you? Did any of them shock you? Again, you start because you love to draw and you want to you want to replicate what you saw on a TV. And then it just keeps evolving into these other aspects of the career. And I would imagine some of them had to be like kind of shocking, like, oh, wow, this comes really easy to me.


And that's not even something I was really any of it comes easy. If anything, the Orvil is probably the easiest writing job that I've had because I'm not sweating over jokes.


The interesting about animation is it's the one art form that encompasses so many different types of artistry. And it's visual art. It's theatrical art. It's musical art.


It's all these different disciplines that are mixed together. You know, even just, you know, the use of an orchestra every week on Family Guy still remains arguably the most pleasurable part of that whole process.


That stems from your own proclivity, right. You love music and you're like, fuck, I can do this. I'm going to do this.


Yeah. Yeah. And it's and I do think there's a difference. In college, I was aware of what shows were doing it and what weren't.


I was aware that The Simpsons was using an orchestra. I was aware that Warner Brothers was using an orchestra for Animaniacs and, you know, the animated shows that they were doing. Yeah. And I could hear the shows that weren't. And there was a difference. And that was something that was very, very important to me. And I think it's the only reason that Family Guy is able to do those musical numbers.


I don't think people would sit still without them trumpets right now as the show becomes crazy successful. I think all of us in this business start becoming aware of what an insane amount of money you're making. You're the highest paid showrunner. Maybe you still are. Had that been a part of any of your fantasies, like, did you think that that much money would accompany this endeavor? Because I guess prior to groaning and some of those handful of guys, it's not like people became billionaires in animation.


That starts with The Simpsons, right?


Yeah, I know. That was something I did not predict at all. Not the highest paid showrunner, but thank you. You're not who's above you. Oh, God. I got to figure Chuck Ryan. Murphy's got to make more money than me, right? Chuck Lorre. I don't I don't know.


Well, I'll look it up for the fact check. Oh, yeah. Chuck Lorre has got to make more money than I am. I'm definitely not at the top of that list.


Everyone like you that I've interviewed that has amassed like some great fortune. I think one hundred percent of them. We're not pursuing money.


It doesn't make you any happier if it helps. Not that I'm unhappy, but doesn't affect it. It depends on how you like some people take it and cocoon themselves with it. I tend not to do that. I mean, the house is a little bigger. Your car is a little nicer. Air travel is the only thing that does get a lot easier. Right. But other than that, it just depends on how you want to treat it.


I mean, it's like if you're hoarding it, that's one thing. If you're finding constructive things to do with it and giving to charity and all that, and that's another way to go.


I'm not a hoarder, but did you derive any self esteem from it? I mean, I just look at Howard Stern, who I have always worshipped, but I know when he went to serious. Right. And then it became kind of public knowledge that maybe he had gotten some hundreds of millions of dollars. It did, perception wise, click him in to some other zone where even people maybe that previously wouldn't have gone on his show. They come in and they kind of revere him in a way.


It'd be naive to assume it doesn't come with some status element to it. And did you derive any self esteem from that?


I suppose to a small degree? I mean, who wouldn't? Yeah, just a little bit of an extra boost, especially for somebody who, you know, who was sort of an introvert. Yeah.


In school, but not significantly. You know, look, you know, I've had enough projects that have had the shit beat out of them from critics and that humbles you properly. I don't ever recall at any point in my life being super confident in your financial success or just period.


There are creative things that I've been confident like. I'm confident that if I'm having an argument about does a story point where, you know, do we need to change this part of a script, there's confidence there. But as far as an overall self-confidence, that sort of alpha mentality is something that that's foreign to me. OK, I think that's very healthy.


I think I'm perceived as somebody who has a lot of confidence, you know, when oftentimes when I'm offered acting roles, it's always that character that's like kind of cocky and has like that's like a lot of swagger. And it's always really hard for me to lock into when I'm not doing a voice. Right. A character voice.


One of the things I thought when I was learning about you today was you kind of had it made in that all the upsides of this business, in my opinion, are like the many great people you get to work with and collaborate with, like that's worth a trillion dollars. Oh, yeah.


It's not the part they fantasize about, but it is the part that should be fantasize about. It's so wonderful.


So you had money and you really get to be around everyone and then you went and made yourself famous. And I just wonder, was that the right move? I think of Bill Murray's my favorite quote of his is, if you're thinking about becoming rich and famous, I just recommend the rich part.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. There isn't some intelligence to that. I mean, I don't know that part of it is fun, too. I my sister and I both grew up doing a lot of theater when we were kids, most mostly musical theater. The performance part of it is fun.


I had a blast doing the Oscars. That was what really tipped the scales for me as far as OK, well, once I do this, there's no going back. And it was a blast.


Oh, you aimed for the fences. I got to say, I don't I don't know that anyone had seen you perform and then you sing in. Dance and do all this stuff, it's like, of course, people think you're confident that took an incredible amount of confidence. I think what did it was? You know, I'd done some hosting, but not anything. The speaker and I hosted some Comedy Central roast. But I think what finally tipped the scales I presented at the Emmys and I didn't show up for rehearsal and I hadn't walked on stage, had no idea where the mike was just talking.


And I was standing here and literally like next to me, some producer backstage, like, raised a mic up from the ground so that I could speak.


And I didn't see it. I didn't it was right next me. I didn't see it. I was like, oh, it's over there. And I walked over and, you know, the whole time I was kind of privately panicking, but I guess it was hidden enough that they're like, all right, during a crisis, he's going to be OK on his feet.


Right. So what you learn there is you can survive the experience. Yeah. Yeah.


That part of it is funny. I loved making that Western. You know, I've had a blast doing the Orvil like Ted, would you want to be able to play in the sandbox with the other actors, you know? Yeah.


OK, now when I'm most interested on this show is, you know, I can't relate to someone who wins Emmys. I don't relate to gold medal winners. I relate to people who get humbled a ton. I've had that experience a lot. Well, me too. Yeah. I think you can learn the most about life and the person with the humbling things. So I do wonder you were on such a trajectory, right? I mean, between Family Guy being so successful and an American dad being so successful, you're going to have your three 100th episode of that.


And then you do TED, which is the biggest R rated comedy, I think still, which is incredible.


Not still. Not so. I think I think we've been knocked off.


Chuck Lorre, again, 21, Jump Street, knock us off the list.


I don't know about substance. OK, OK. Well, Savi's is a credible run and I want to know what your internal monologue is at that point, because I just got to say personally, if I had that many hits in a row, I would really pretty much think, oh, I know what people want to see in here. I figured it out. I think you'd be foolish to not think that.


Well, that's where the longevity of Family Guy is unique, because it's animated and because it's now, you know, essentially self run. I mean, the same people that I was working with for years on that show are now running it.


Yeah, it's an enormous luxury. It does enable the ability to do things like the Western, to do things like the Orvil, to experiment with things that maybe I might fail at. But there is that safety net. Yeah. If Family Guy ever goes off the air, then I'll probably have to reassess.


Do I want to find some way to keep milking that cow? But I think it gets a little dull for me to be doing that over and over and over. I like things that scare me a little bit, things that I haven't tried and things that I could very possibly fail at.


I would imagine for you to just having an excuse and a requirement to learn is always wonderful, right? Like, if you just do the same thing, you're never, ever forced to be a student again. And some of the most pleasurable moments in life are like really taking on something new.


It's fun. I mean, it's fun. It's scary and it's stimulating. I mean, I had no idea what I was doing when Ted began. I walked on set and I had to project this air of experience and authority so that the crew would feel like it was worth their while. But really, I had no idea. I wish I whispered to my DP like, OK, so what's an over?


You sure. You know, what's the difference between this lens and that?


Like, what's a fifty fifty, like all these terms that now use every day.


I had no clue. Yeah.


And is it easy for you to acknowledge your ignorance and ask for help.


Yeah, well that luckily that part of it I was well aware of and I know how I want it to look. But as far as how to get there with this unfamiliar technology, yeah, the idea of coverage was foreign to me because I had come out of animation where you planned every shot a year in advance. And so I didn't want to shoot any coverage. I was like, what are you talk about? We got that's how I'm going to cut it together.


We got this shot, right? We got that close up. That's all we need.


We need a wide shot. That was something, thank God, between my DP and my producer is that trust us, just get it. There's no harm in having it.


I far prefer to learn that lesson in the editing room. Or are you nothing like.


Are you kidding? I didn't shoot. All I shot was a white boy. Was I confident?


Yeah. Nothing, nothing. This is it. OK, now my own personal experiences I would write when I was at the Groundlings, I would write, you know, six sketches a week. Some of them were hints and some of them ate shit. And I have to say, I was not a good judge of that at all. And the ones that were hit, I felt the exact same way about the ones that not one person related to.


So I learned quickly, it's like I know what I think's funny, but boy, there's a broad spectrum of who's responding to that. And I wouldn't even know how to what one to bet on.


Yeah. To this day, yeah. I have the same experience that audience screening. It's like workshopping material. If you're a stand up comic, there's no way to tell in isolation. Yeah.


So I guess and again, this is not to like in any way try to embarrass you, but when a million ways to die in the West comes out and it doesn't reach the bar you set with Ted, what's the fallout? Do you have a couple months of being blue? Do you are you quick to write it off because you have the safety net? Like, what's the experience of getting over that?


There are several facets to that that I had to process at once.


One was my friend Jon Favreau pointed out he's look, you're going to get to a point where they're just going to be gunning for you and. It's going to be your time to take a beating at the Oscars in the West. And that was my time to take a beating. You just got to take your lumps. Did you get a beating from the Oscars?


You know, the numbers were great and the crowd was great. The next day, the people writing articles. Yeah, but my cousin used to do these deep dives into box office and he's like, well, wait a minute. Brad Pitt's movie cost 70 million and they had an opening weekend of 20 million in your movie costs 40 million. And you had an opening weekend of 17. Both of those movies are hits are both are failures. It can't be one or the other.


Yeah. And so you got shafted. So that was like, all right. Well, yes, obviously there is some knife sharpening before it even comes out. But it was also more than that. It was that, you know, Ted was a blessing and a curse. Like if Ted hadn't done what it had done, the bar wouldn't have been set so impossibly high. Like I could go my whole career and most likely will then not do something.


That is the monster success that Ted was. It was a freak of nature. And it's and it's like, again, there was luck in there, too.


Yeah. Was it hard for you to cast that movie or. Because if it was your directorial debut and you get Wahlberg, who's on top of the mountain at that time, was that challenging or was it easy?


We both had the same agent who believed in the project, really, I think, encouraged the two of us to work together. And it was just a fantastic experience.


You mentioned you're not very alpha, and I've met him a couple times. He's he's incredibly alpha.


I guess in some ways he does have a very subdued side, like there is a very quiet side to him when he's working. I could probably count on one hand the times we've just gone out and just socialize for the hell of it are working. Relationship is like an absolute dream, like it was just the smoothest thing. It was clockwork. He was just fantastic and so funny and so genuine. Initially, we wanted to cast a comic in that role like a, you know, Will Ferrell or a Seth Rogen jar.


You know, whether it would have worked as well, I don't know. But with Marc, he wasn't coming at it from that direction. It was very heartfelt, is very earnest, and it was very dramatic and a lot of ways. And it worked so well. I mean, even when you watch the footage before we put the Baron, he's so invested in it that you realize like as brilliant as that VFX work was, like how much of it was also the reality that he was endowing this thing with.


Yeah, oh, he can be brilliant.


Him and I Heart Huckabees is just incredible. But I do think there's like back to the luck thing right now, the fact that you're probably not Super Alpha and that there was no competition for what Lane either were you were in and the fact that maybe he felt a little vulnerable because it was comedy and a much different swing. That's the kind of thing where you can't orchestrate that again, goes back to luck a little bit like me. It was just the perfect pairing in that way.


I've had a lot of good luck, if you want to call it that, with collaborators in this book. I'm trying to think if I've worked with anyone who I've had a terrible experience with and I can't think of one.


Well, isn't that says a lot about you, right? I always listen to Stern the other day and I love Steve Miller and I was so bummed. Every single story he told the punch line was that person was an asshole and tried to fuck me over.


And I just thought, you know, at some point, if you've got 60 stories, you might maybe you, you know, yeah, you might have a problem because I've had my ass kicked after writing and directing and starring in it.


For me, it was a very hard regroup. And I think for me a lot of it and I would imagine it would be more tempting for you, which is just like too much of my life is easier. Do I need to go through this beatdown? You know, I don't I don't think you can help but ask yourself that question when you do take it on the chin, just like, oh, is this worth it? Putting myself out there this much?


I mean, it's also the thing that every comedian or every actor, every director of a writer goes through. You can get a thousand good reviews and one shitty review.


And that's the one that you focus on, Star, because it confirms my own story about myself that I'm unworthy, basically. Yeah, right. Right.


Because you think, oh, my God, they know they've discovered I'm a fraud and it's hard to read negative reviews, the things that I've written or things that I've directed. And my brain does kind of go to the place. Well, man, this guy's got an axe to grind with me personally. Yes. I don't know whether that's really the case or whether it's because it's being written about me that that's how I'm perceiving it.


I remember when Ted came out, we got a really good review from Roger Ebert, which made me so happy because I'd always been a fan of his. Yes.


Ever since there was a movie in the eighties that came out called Back to the Beach with like Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, like reprising their roles from the beach movies.


And it was kind of panned, as I recall. But Roger Ebert, I remember, wrote this great review of like, here's why this works. I was like, man, this guy kind of thinks out. He's marches to his own drummer. He's really he's really using his own critical thinking skills and not just going with the herd. And so I wrote him an email and said, hey, I don't know if this is like a faux pas in this business or life.


Like, I was very cool to get a good review from you. And he wrote me back and he's like, look, if it makes you laugh, it's funny. If it turns you on, it's sexy. That's what Siskel used to say. And Ted made me laugh. And it was just like the best response that I could have gotten. You know, there's a Pulitzer Prize for criticism. There is. Yeah. That one shocked me. Oh, wow.


That one shocker. Oh, wow. I had no idea. Well, now I want to write some criticism, see if I can't. That's the only way I'm going to win a Pulitzer Prize.


By the way, the Oracle sets it one hundred percent on Rotten Tomatoes. So I have nothing but the highest regard for the work of the Hollywood critic. Yes, and and they're very right in that case. Oh, well, they couldn't be more right. They could not be more right now.


One thing I've liked about you and I could see this going the other way for Hater's, which is I'm sure for some people they're like, wait, now you're going to sing. Now you're a singer. And I'm the opposite. I'm like, oh, here's a guy who has stayed true to himself, which is you have this whole world of success and yet you're a fucking space nerd, which I love. And so you're like, I'm going to bring Cosmos back.


I think that was so great.


It actually made me very interested in you as a person simply because of that. I thought, oh, this is great, this is counterintuitive. And I too, share a love for that property. And I had a really funny experience where I was on the Fox lot and I went to grab a little bite before a meeting. And I'm sitting there eating and I turn I looked to the left and there's a monster eating next to me, really cute monster.


And we start chatting. And I was like, you got to still love this about show business. Like, you can turn to your left and there might be a cowboy or a monster sitting next to you at the commissary. Yeah, yeah. There's some really cool about it. And she was on your show. And so I think that's how I learned of Orvil.


You'll be starting your third season whenever that.


Yeah, we were halfway through our third season when all this started. And so we're currently trying to figure out, like everyone else, how to get going again. But yeah, I would like to finish.


But again, I really applaud that you were like, no, no, I'm going to do all the things I'm interested in and I'm in a position to do that. So I am I'm going to do it. And then, you know, it's successful. You got nominated for an Emmy last year. Yeah.


For me, that show was like I just missed that kind of show on television. You know, look, huge success. What do I know? I was kind of Hunger Games to out with like the negative dystopian like this is how horrible the future is going to be. And, you know, great. I've heard the cautionary tale about a thousand times. I hear you loud and clear. There has to also be room for the blueprint for what can be achieved if we do things right, if we go the other way.


And that was very prevalent on TV in the 90s. And it just is gonna look like growing up the shows were influential to me.


Well, I'm sure you've heard the explanation this. I buy this explanation, which is generally in times where we're very optimistic and feeling positive about public life, you generally will get lots of anti-heroes work. Right.


And then then the times that are very scary, i.e. the Cold War, you know, the shows that you're talking about, work like Cold War shows. And then now people are very scared and there's lots of divisiveness. And for some reason, all these anti-heroes kind of went away and now kind of more positive stuff is being embraced. Do you buy into that theory?


Well, I don't know, because the 90s were as prosperous a time as I can remember in recent history and the like Clinton era. Yeah, yeah. I mean, just as far as like the economy and like even in this town, like the deal people were making, it just doesn't happen anymore. Right. But post 9/11, you started getting a lot more shows like 24, which I was a huge twenty five.


Oh, yes. That's awesome.


I love that show, but I don't know, maybe there's a pattern. It's a hard one to see because at the moment I see a lot of dystopian fiction and a dystopian world at the same time.


Yeah, well Handmaids is pretty uplifting. That's doing it. Yeah. Yeah. It's got some good, there's some good musical numbers in there.


It's a lot like Glee and that with some good morals that we should pursue some ethics. Yeah.


Stay tuned for more armchair expert if you dare.


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Bunga bunga, bunga bunga is available on Apple podcasts. Or you can listen early and add free by joining 100 plus in the one free app. Download the app today. OK, now, did you have any reservation about being public, about loving to sing and pursuing an actual music career? Were you were you nervous that people would be hypercritical of you or did you have any apprehension about that?


I didn't, because it wasn't something that I sought out. I had done this variety show. I hope I'm getting this timeline right.


But as I recall it, we did this variety show for Fox, Alex Borstein, and I was like a one off and with an orchestra was it Universal Republic Records approached me and said, hey, do you want to do some kind of an album with us? We liked the special. And I said, well, what? Like what it said, I don't know, whatever you want. I said, well, could I just do like a like just a bunch of songs like Standards or.


Yeah. And they said, sure, whatever you want. And so it was presented to me and I snapped it up because it was a big fan of that kind of music. I love Sinatra. I love Dean Martin and Crosby and victim Owen and Mel Tormé and Gordon McRae like all these vocalists. And so I took advantage of the opportunity and loved working with orchestras. My whole family had sung. My dad sang my mom song, my sister sang.


So it was always a part of our lives and part of my childhood. And it was something that was too good to pass up and did well enough to keep it going. I said, go, this can be a great kind of side gig. I enjoy it. Yeah, it's not going to be what pays my mortgage, but, you know.


But you were nominated for a Grammy. Yeah, that's phenomenal. That's incredible. Are you almost an icon now? You got to win, I think to be.


You got no. But if nominations counted, I guess.


OK, yeah, you're any guy but they don't I I've never been nominated for a Tony. Yeah. So so nominations do not count so I'm nowhere near being any guy.


OK, so I guess what I'm one of the things I'm curious about is what let's talk really quickly while we're on the topic. You have a new album that's coming out really shortly here. Right? Great songs from stage and screen. That's your next album. Yes. OK, you seem quite sure of that. I say something wrong. You're like, yeah, I. No, no, no, no, no. I didn't realize that was the end of the sentence.


Yeah. I guess my cadence can be misleading. Sometimes it's like you're talking to a Scottish guy all of a sudden your new song, great songs from stage and screen, great songs from stage and screen.


It's a fun series of Up-Tempo tunes and ballads that are all from a show of somehow with be an old film or an old Broadway show and some more well-known, some more obscure. It's very light. It's a very light album.


Do you tour ever do you like go perform. I have.


I mean not like a regular til like what I have done in the past for a number of years in a row actually is to sit in with symphony orchestras, like I'll take my conductor Joel McNeilly and our rhythm section and we'll do a show with the Boston Pops or the San Francisco Symphony or the Chicago Symphony or Philadelphia Symphony. So we've been all over the country with orchestras. And it's fun because we bring all of our charts and you play those songs with a 90 piece ensemble.


It's the best.


You feel some safety in that. Like, to me, I guess the reason sketch appealed to me more than stand up is like if I died, at least I'd go backstage with the people I died with and it'd be funny. I would imagine that having that armament around you is a little bit of a club.


Oh my God. Yeah, yeah. You can sing in a mediocre fashion and with some of these orchestras, it's OK.


It's still a delightful night. I'm still a delightful night because they sound so good. Yeah, it's a musical pillow.


OK, now your output of work is so enormous. And as we've learned and I was already suspicious of its money's not driving you. So I'm curious, what is the engine for you?


Well, it depends. If it's something that I'm taking a personal interest in, then it's just purely for the creative pleasure of doing it.


I mean, things like Ted, things like Family Guy at the beginning, things like the Orvil, our shows that I've been directly involved with, and I mean, even Cosmos, that was androgens baby. And she and Brannon Braga were the creative muscle behind that cosmos. I was more of a conduit to help get it, promote and get it on FOX.


But have you developed a personal friendship with Neil deGrasse Tyson? Yeah.


As a result, I met Neil through this organization for the Science and Entertainment Exchange in Hollywood that I believe started by Jerry and Janet Zucker. The idea is to introduce writers to scientists. Yeah, because so much of America gets their science from fiction. Yeah. So we might as well get it right. There's sort of a sense of responsibility. So I met Neil through that and I had lunch with him in New York and I said I'm at a point where there's a little bit of disposable income here.


What can I do? How can I help. Yeah. To expand the enterprise of science. And he said, well, we're talking about doing a reboot of Cosmos for the Discovery Channel or whatever it was. And I said, well, OK, well, maybe I can help there. What if it was where a lot more people who need to see it would say, yeah, yeah. And so that was Fox. And that's how I met Andrew in, who's probably the smartest person I know.


Oh, that's saying a lot. She's, I would say a legitimate genius and. Yeah, and it's a labor of love. And so something like that, it's more of a I suppose it's a public service.


So it's like you're interested some call to your community is validation in there. Are you human? You don't hate it.


You don't you don't hate it. So I mean, look, it's something like cosmos. The real validation comes and will we see an improvement in that facet of our society? Will we see more of an interest in a trust in science than we have in recent years as a public works? Right. Yeah, if that show can push us even a small amount in that direction, then it'll do some good. Yeah. OK, now I'm going to air one of my own insecurities.


OK, you're ready for this. Sure. So as I'm sure has happened to many actors, you'll find out you were made fun of on Family Guy, right.


So someone like tweet you basically. Right. So yeah, I'll get like a barrage of the family guy, make fun. I'm grabbing a water. Yeah, grab a water. I'm listening. Go ahead. Grab a grab your heart monitor and a water.


All right. What do we do. What are we doing here?


Well, I'm going to I'm going to try to walk through this in the most a way as possible. So I'm just starting with acknowledging this is all my baggage. But OK, so I learned that I was made fun of on Family Guy. And to tell you the truth, I can't even remember what it was. Do you remember what year it was? Was I there? It was I this was probably seven or eight years ago.


I was gone. OK, my good friend Bradley Cooper, he became aware of like there was a whole episode basically against him in some capacity.


That one I was there for.


OK, so here was my thing. I was fine with it. I think in general, like Family Guy makes fun of tons of people in pop culture.


Right. I guess when I looked at all that and I know that that was part of the bread and butter of the show, you know, I'm smart enough to go like, yeah, you're totally punching up. It's not like you're making fun of orphans, you know, or disadvantaged people or anything.


So clearly, there's really nothing to feel that bad about that. You're making fun of celebrities. I've happened to see where it did hurt some people's feelings. I was fine with all of it. But I have to say, when you hosted the Oscars, I was a little bit like, well, hold on, you can't skip. You are everyone and then also want to be in the group and be friendly with everyone, and I felt this objection and I think I voiced that to people like, well, no, you pick your lane.


Either you fucking want to shit on all of us or you want to be a part of us, but you shouldn't get both.


But again, Ricky Gervais or Billy Crystal. Yeah, a little bit, you know, and I just but at the same time as a human, I'm like, well, of course you'd want to be accepted by all your peers. And of course you are in that group. So it's not really hypocrisy, but for whatever reason, the whole thing was a bigger deal in my mind than probably deserves to be.


And then I just felt like I wanted to share that with you. Yeah.


I mean, part of it is the atmosphere of and I don't know if this is the case for all comedy writers rooms. It was certainly the case for our writers room.


Like it was ruthless in there. Sure, sure. It was like, you know, you came in experimenting with a new hat and it was all that was talked about that day.


You got a very specific kind of haircut. And that was the conversation for the day, right? In some ways it was like, oh, whatever. This is like everybody does this, right? Yeah. You know, coupled with the fact that my experience hosting was roasts, I hosted Comedy Central roast. Yeah. That was pretty much the extent of it.


Yeah. And those again, just so you know where I'm coming from, I think they're brilliant. They can be. Yeah, they're just not for me.


Like I've been invited. A lot of those I've been asked to be a part of. I'm like, no, I'm a sensitive creature. Like you'll make fun of my nose and three weeks later I'll still be thinking about it. Or you'll make a joke about my wife and it'll bother me.


I'm just not thick skinned enough for it. So it's just my own personal weakness in that category.


Yeah, I get like on the one hand, like when Ricky Gervais takes heat, I always have to roll my eyes a little bit like, well, again, as you say, like these are people at the top of the fucking food chain.


Yes, they're fine. Yeah, they're OK. Yeah, they're going to be able to take it. I guess it's the tone of it. It's one thing when it comes out of an animated character's mouth, it's another thing when it comes out of a person's mouth. South Park is a good example, like their two parter that they did about Family Guy I thought was very funny. Those guys are very talented, very funny. There was a two part episode they did.


A cameraman was called, but it went after the cutaways a lot.


I was going to say their beef with you is that you do flashbacks. Yeah.


So half of it was like you are 100 percent accurate and the other half was that that doesn't I call foul because the cutaways themselves, you know, look, that's what 30 Rock did. Oh yeah. That's the style of the show. They got it backwards a little bit. It is a lot easier when you write to expound on a theme page after page rather than having to come up with a whole little mini world. Essentially those cutaways, it's like creating a little far side cartoon.


A lot more work than you think. Yeah, but where they were on the nose is the setups were getting lazy. Like Family Guy was like making these left turns that were just non sequitur. Yeah. But it's so non sequitur that it was like this gag is so funny, it's got to go here and it doesn't matter how the fuck we get so bad. I was all right. That is 100 percent fair play. I had read an interview with those guys years ago where there were some less than kind things said about our writing staff.


And it's like when I wait a minute, these are guys that are like making less money than you. They don't have the megaphone that you have. Yeah. Take shots at me, but not on my staff. And so that to me is the difference. It's like when it comes to, you know, how you go, I mean, look, you could very easily make an argument that Bradley Cooper gag was so uncalled for, it would take me a minute to figure out how to construct my defense again.


The only thing I can really point to is that that's what the show does. That's kind of its style of comedy. It just takes pot shots at famous people. Yeah.


By the way, I can can I admit to you, I did it. I made fun of the cast of The Expendables because I had a movie coming out against it. And I was saying that, sure, their muscles are big, but I don't know if steroids do anything for your tendons. If you notice they don't ever run anymore.


They just kind of like you over here and lay in my bed and I'll fuck you up, you know? So I did this whole kind of impromptu I didn't plan it, but yeah, I had a lot of people going, like, you fucking you know, they were so mad at me. I'm like, really? I can't make fun of Sylvester Stallone the all time alpha male of Hollywood.


Well, but that's where Hollywood kind of eats itself. That's where comedy is being sort of annihilated. I mean, it's like you make a joke about anybody in any capacity and it's like, oh, that's mean. It's like, oh, that's fine. The rich, they're millionaires.


Yeah. Yeah, I agree. Like I said, you were always punching up.


You're dealing with people who are at the top of the food chain. It's like I think now I'm having trouble coming up with the celebrity that I don't want to upset.


I think Jon Voight is going to be OK.


Yeah, he'll live. He'll live. And guess what? I lived. Everything's fine. You know what it was? Oh, well, here I can get closer to an AA part where I can acknowledge my real own thing, which is I worshipped Vince Vaughn. And somehow in my worshipping of him, I collected stories about him that I would hear and then I would repeat them to people. And they were derogatory in general. And it was this weird mix words like, I worship this dude.


And I think I felt very intimidated by him and I can't do what he does. And I'd like to be able to do what he does. So I'm like perpetuating some weird rumors about it. I mean, this is all I've come to realize. It's so fucking embarrassing.


So you were the person starting those rumors. Yeah. So I think I see. Well, I may have purged. To you, which is something I suffer from, which is like I felt excluded from this club and I gathered kind of details about them and I would be critical of people and very much wanted to be embraced by them. Yeah, you know, this is my own story, so I guess maybe I projected that onto you. Yeah.


So I'm Donald Trump. Donald Trump.


It's a weird dichotomy when it comes to him. Like, I do think there is a secret desire to be embraced by those people. It would be so easy for him. Yeah, it would be so easy. Just do the right thing. Yeah. It's so simple. Are you happy I brought that up or did that make you uncomfortable? No.


At this point in my career, I'm happy to talk about anything other than the usual questions. Let me put it that way.


Have you ever had, though, like Stern has run into this over the course of his life as his status ratcheted up? He's now like at parties with people that he's skewered, you know, or had these public feuds with. And he's always been very open about when they buried the hatchet or this or that. And I do think in his defense, because I love him, it's like, well, you got to separate what was the bit on his show.


He's got to feel four hours a day and what he may really feel about somebody. And then there's been these come to Jesus moments where he's repaired. So I just wonder if you move through Hollywood an occasionally bumped up against someone that was sincerely hurt by the show or something. Yes.


Like what you've just described as it's a very nuanced thing that is not as black and white as I once thought it was. And a lot of it depends on context. It depends on what was said, what the joke was. There's so many factors. Is there someone you know is someone you don't know? You know, a script will come through oftentimes on Family Guy that I'll be asked to record. And it's got some jab in there at someone that I that I know or know well or who has expressed to me that they love the show.


And it's like, guys, let's not do this. This this person is. Yeah, I don't want to look this guy in the eye and and have to weekly say, well, it's not me, I'm not there anymore.


Right. But I will say ninety nine percent of the people that I've run into who have been made fun of on the show have been super cool about it. They've had a great sense of humor. Oftentimes what happens is they'll wind up on the show. Oh, really? Yeah. Marlee Matlin got a hold of us and said, Hey, thanks for making fun of me on the show. Can I be on the show? And we're like, yeah, come on the show.


Well, in my own case, I got to say, there's like part of me was also flattered. I'm also flattered.


Like, I guess I'm I'm relevant enough that you could make a joke on Family Guy about me. So in some ways that's a huge compliment. And if I focused on that, I'd probably feel great.


I mean, there you go. It's like people know who you are so. Well, like you're talking to somebody who I have not written on that show since about 2010. So I'm really reaching back to like where my mindset was, what I was working on it. But that is the good thing is that nine times out of ten, it really is met with good humor and a good attitude. There was one instance I was at a party I had just seen the movie Splice, which I thought was really cool and really different than fun.


And I approached Adrien Brody.


All right. This is it's funny you bring him up. Yeah. And, you know, I said I hope there's no hard feelings because we had taken a couple of shots out of one family guy and he was not thrilled, as I recall.


And I just remember, like turning to Forest Whitaker, who was standing next to him, going help me out for good guys.


Right now. He's like, I'm staying out of this. And so that's one instance. And again, I'm sure if I ran into him now, he would he would laugh about it.


OK, I want to close things up with I just want to kind of commend you for a couple of things. Well, one is Alec Sulkin. I only know him from Twitter. He's one of your writers. Yeah, he is.


Yeah. He's running a family guy. Oh, he runs it. Any objection to Family Guy? Alec Sulkin in twenty twenty is the guy to talk to.


Yeah, he's one of these people I just discovered on Twitter and fell in love with. And then I found out he wrote for Family Guy and then I was like, oh well this is complicated.


I think I am. My feelings are hurt by it. And this guy might have written a joke and I think he's brilliant.


So what do I do now? Yeah. Yeah, you're very generous and I think it's really rad. I think it's something you see maybe in people in their late 50s or 60s or they get married and they want to do something. But you're very involved in you're very generous with a lot of different organizations. And I'm wondering what compels you to be that benevolent as opposed to malevolent?


Yeah, well, I'm it's like I said, I'm a selfish pig. If it wasn't for my wife, I would donate nothing.


So, again, that's just my family. That's how I was raised. If you have money, that's what you do. If you're able to help, you help. Yeah, it's no more complicated than that. You have a foundation. You have a yeah.


You have a foundation appropriately named Seth Macfarlane Foundation. We both lost parents to cancer. I do a bunch of work with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. That wasn't even the the brand that took out my dad. But alas, there I am. So you're heavily involved in helping fund and draw attention to cancer research. Are you optimistic like I am?


If I'm being really honest, I'm not hugely optimistic about the near future, only because something like covid, for example, is requiring. It's like, what are we just talking about with the military? The military, through necessity, through the fighting of wars, inadvertently generates technologies that then become useful in peacetime. So I think is it possible that something could emerge from the gun to your head, necessity of developing a vaccine for this novel virus? Yeah, it's possible that there could be some side effect that we can't predict.


To me, cancer always seems. Like, it requires some sort of absolute ground up rethink of something that we haven't hit on yet in order to fight it. And look, immunology is probably the newest science in that regard. There's that lab in Houston that does groundbreaking work when it comes to immunology and like the using of your body's own defenses in a redirected fashion. Yeah.


Getting your body to identify cancer as a pathogen, right? Yeah. Yeah, but it's tough. We live in a society where people won't even get their flu shots.


They won't go to physical therapy. They won't get flu shots. Yeah, they're terrified of vaccines.


So there is a long way to go. And part of that is education. And the more educated we are with that stuff, the better chance we have. You know, the more educated we are, the more we're going to be invested in trusting science to get us there quicker. So it's all kind of part of the same ball of wax.


Have you read The Emperor of All Maladies? No, all the two books now that I haven't read that you've recommended. I know.


And what I've identified you as someone that's very smart. I thought we were going to geek out on a few books, and I'm a little bummed out right now, but there are a lot of books out there that it turns out there's many books.


Well, point is, it's a history of cancer and fighting, and it's the most well-written book so many people recommended on here that I finally got it and I'm almost done with it.


And it's just this beautifully written, really comprehensive history of the battle against cancer is fascinating book. I highly recommend it after you rise and fall further the rise and fall. Yeah. Next year when you finish that book.


I pick up next year. Yeah, that's a beast. That's a beast.


That book. OK, so my last question for you to end things and thanks for all your time. What does the future hold for animation specifically? I think about the fact that with the streaming platforms, there's really less and less. Will there be a syndication window or a foreign rights window? Right. All these revenue streams that made your show so profitable, where do you see the future of animation? And do you see this is helpful or harmful?


Will we get more quantity but less quality? What's going to happen?


I mean, I don't know if it's more quantity and less quality. I think it's more period and so more greater odds that something inspired will emerge.


It's tough to say. And I think technology is going to play a big part. Up till now, two dimensional animation still rules on television. It's still king that Pixar CGI 3D animation technology hasn't really been harnessed in television. I don't know why that is. I think it's just what it requires to hold people's attention is something you can only do with a film schedule.


I mean, that's, I think animation. You know, you watch Bob's Burgers or Family Guy or Big Mouth or any of the shows that are on now, they're all kind of existing in the same visual world. They're not that different. Yeah. So the big change is really going to be something technological. I think. You know, as far as the formula, I mean, Big Bang Theory is is that's a show that looks like every sitcom from the 80s or 90s.


I mean, sitcoms, they don't change. Right? I think at the moment, neither does animation. So it's going to be somebody overturning a rocket or somebody just completely rewriting the rulebook the way The Simpsons did in the nineties. The elephant in the room, too, is it's very hard in the age of Twitter. Comedy exists on pushing boundaries. It exists on experimentation. I remember hearing that Dave Chappelle made people put their cell phones into a bowl when he was workshopping standup material, because if he told a joke that didn't fly, he wanted to know if it was too far over the line before the world saw it.


Yes. And that's why you workshopped things. And so, you know, animation historically is certainly since The Simpsons television animation that's been its M.O. is to dip your toe across that line and see where it is. And the only way to do it is to try it and see what sticks and what's too far. And I think now there is a lot less of an ability to separate fiction from reality.


The number of people that I read online who watch Family Guy and think, oh, this must be who this guy is, and it's like, no, this is fiction. It's like saying, oh, Norman Lear must be a racist because Archie Bunker was a racist. Now it's a character, right? It's not real or even real.


Again, is math chef. I think that began with reality shows and became more pronounced with social media and then came to fruition with Trump.


This haze of where does reality end and where does fiction begin? And I think that's one of the things that's really hurt comedy and made comedy kind of a challenge at this point, because who wants to? I mean, look, it's one of the reasons that I love doing the Orvil. I'm not even taking that risk anymore. I'm writing sci fi. I'm loving it. I don't have to worry about waking up. Oh, did that joke go too far?


Am I going to be canceled on Twitter?


Well, I think we share this right, because you also give money to a lot of free speech causes. And I think we're probably unique on the left because we're both big old fat liberals, right? Yeah. And yet I'm increasingly concerned to your point, that should a show writer or creator be on Twitter and say something that somehow the whole the whole empire goes down around, that is a little troubling.


It is troubling. And by the way, it gives centrists who we need to win this election. It gives us a bad name. Yeah, it just does. It makes it really hard. It's like, do we really want to give this up or do we really want to come off like lunatics when we need these people to stop a much greater evil? And it's also it's like who has the energy?


I can't ever remember being angry about anything that I've seen. In fiction, but I've seen a fictional character utter I don't ever remember getting angry, you know, I remember when when the Supreme Court overturned the anti-gay marriage law and that Kentucky county clerk that Kim Davis was denying people marriage licenses to same sex couples. And I remember getting really mad about that because I was seeing an injustice perpetrated directly on a group that really upset me because it was real, like a real person doing something real, real people suffering.


This wasn't something that was in fiction.


Oh, you know, that's offensive and that it's a movie. It's a TV show. Now, some would make the argument, well, the power of television and the power of movies have the ability to influence cultural norms in a way that can't be understated. So you do have to acknowledge that responsibility, which is also valid.


So it's not as black and white as anybody paints it. It's a very nuanced thing, I think. Yes.


And I would say one of the things I'm nervous about disappearing is the trope of being in on the joke of actually skewering a kind of repugnant point of view through comedy and through a character who's embracing that. Like, I think the nuance of this is probably not the easiest example, but I'll just say, like, you know, there are many people I've been in arguments about it that think Andrew Dice Clay was Andrew Dice Clay, and that wasn't a persona on a stage.


That's a little frustrating to me. Like, no, no, he's playing on the fucking juiced up Guido in the TransAm with the fucking you know, he's he's not celebrating. He that's the joke.


And I worry that there's no appetite for that exact approach to it without that license.


What, you then wind up with characters who are all perfect? Yes. Characters who are all just live in a state of perfection. Again, it's like Archie Bunker was a groundbreaking character because liberals watching knew that who he was was what was being mocked.


Now, people who were more conservative at the time would watch and think, yeah, goddamn right, I agree with him. It's about time someone said, which is not much you can do about that. But yeah.


Yeah, you know, the reason that show had such power and I don't know that a character like that could necessarily exist now and get past Twitter and quite frankly, get past the critics. I just don't know that that would be allowed.


It most certainly wouldn't be. But I'll go even further. I've started to notice even the villains, the the antagonist, they have to operate in some kind of semi PC realm.


Right. Even the bad guy who you're supposed to hate, you shouldn't violate some of these precious tenets either.


Yeah, because it's a lot of fear and it's an inability to separate the writer or the director from the work. And it's like, no, Norman Lear is not Archie Bunker. They couldn't be more different. And it was through that character that he was showing a part of society that he felt had not been looked at with a critical eye. And so its context, its nuance, its an intelligent way of looking at something. And I think more people are capable of that now.


But they're shouted down so much by the few that did express outrage to make it about themselves. And I think there's a lot of that on Twitter. You read a lot of response to things. Yeah. You're not really mad about that. You're kind of wanting to make this about you. There is a lot of that on social media.


Yes. Also, we like credit those people. Maybe that's an opinion they've been mulling over for six months. And we never just think, oh, they're bored. There's a lull. They can get mixed with this sentence. Yeah, yeah. And we're giving it all this credit that it doesn't even deserve.


It's very true. And it is a problem. I mean, even in politics, before social media, if a politician had something to say, a statement was made. Yeah. And now it's like, shit, if I don't say something today online, I'm irrelevant. But half the time they don't have anything to say. There's nothing to say.


Yeah, I think of myself as a centrist in many ways. And the thing I really think is happening is that the furthest two percent of the left in the furthest two percent of the right are eating up about 80 percent of the the coverage. Yes, that feels like consensus.


Like I definitely think if I was a conservative and I was hearing the stuff from the three percent on the left, I mean, they're batshit crazy as yeah. As I sometimes mistake the far three percent of the right as being mainstream right now. It's not at all. I just think we're all being very misled about where we stand.


I think there's a lot of truth in that. I've never considered myself a centrist, honestly. I've always considered myself liberal and thought and centrist and presentation, I think would sort of be the ideal to say what's right, but don't shout it at me.


Yeah, well, I'd argue that one percent on both sides pushed me more towards the middle. I probably was more left before I started hearing the insanity. To your point, the thing that I can't stand about our side of it is the fucking eating ourselves.


I mean, it's just they can rather eat their ally than their enemy. I do feel a lot of that at times, too. I'm like, well, wait a minute, I'm on your side. We're all on the same side. The default mode can't always be rage. It just can't. Yeah, because there are some things, as we know, that are very deserving of rage and other things that just require conversation. Yeah. And I do think you're right.


I do see. And certain politicians on our side, certainly on the other side, but on our side, too, it has to be said that at least that method of communication is very intensified and very amplified in a way that sometimes seems unproductive. I still think at the moment there isn't really a comparison as far as when you average out the aggregate of behavior of both parties at the moment, I don't really think there's a comparison. I think one has gone further into crazy town than the other.


Well, you don't think Kuhnen is real?


I think it's just really about communication. And I do think you're right that the loudest voices are shouting down the majority, which does still have the ability to communicate with each other. And when you get people face to face, you see that still, you're right, it's not a hopeless situation.


It's just that, yeah, when people communicate over this platform, it's cursus, it's anonymity. I have talked to a number of conservatives who I disagree with vehemently, but who I'm able to have a conversation with, with at least the hope that I can change their minds on some issues or whether it works or not. You never know. But the communication has been just utterly decimated by these new technologies, so I don't have a fix for it.


All right. Well, if you get one, will you come back on and tell us because we'd love to save the world, Sherman?


Well, Seth, I very much enjoyed talking to you.


And I like you and you're a nice person at any moment. I was upset was literally a waste of moments of my life that I didn't need to have.


DACs I like you, too. Oh, good. I was hoping I was hoping that maybe you would like me by proxy with Seth. I was thinking like, well, Seth approves of me.


You must give me a shot. All right, Seth, real good time talking to you. I look forward to bumping into you in real life when all this passes.


Same here. Same here, man. All right. Take care. All right.


And now my favorite part of the show, the fact check with my soul mate, Monica Padman. Can I be frank with you?




I'm really enjoying my Tumblr I made in your kitchen. It is a Mason jar.


It is the 350 ice cubes. Oh, my gosh. Maybe I'm overestimating that.


A little athletic greens and some water shake, shake, shake.


And I feel you made a little cocktail. I know.


I feel like I'm having a classy cocktail. Oh, Friday. Happy hour and the cocktail.


I if I had to compare it to one, I would say it would be like a Bloody Mary, you know, Bloody Marys, you feel like, oh, I'm getting healthy because there's tomato juice in here. It's a trick.


They're not for me. They're not.


No, man, I'm surprised you're not into them because they get so artisanal. They can really they vary greatly.


Some of them are absolutely mind blowing. Why did you blow that candle? Because it's making it hotter near a car. I thought maybe.


And your foot was close to it. I don't think you and I have ever had such a gap in our internal temperatures then we have over this last week. Yeah, because you're in a sweat shirt and long pants. Yeah. And when I got here, tank top, I'm in a tank top and shorts.


Yeah. And I'm a little warm and you're a little chilly. I'm worried about your iron levels.


I'm running a little cold these days. Yeah. Doesn't that. Yeah.


I got my blood work done just now.


And you see it's funny, you and I always argue about your health, but do you care a lot about some things that I think are what are you worrying about that? And then now we here we have something like this that to me feels immediate. You really need to get this checked in. You're not really listening to me.


I did. OK, I had a doctor's appointment as I was speaking of. I was thinking that might be a good idea to update armchairs because some of them wonder they check in with you. Yeah. Yeah.


So I had an appointment with my neurologist. It was the first appointment I'd had since my original appointment. So right after the seizure and it went well, we're going to run some tests to see if the medication is showing up in my blood.


OK, if it's not, we're going to increase because you shared with everyone what happens to the pills we have, right?


I think we have we must have just a recap. You see them visibly in your stool sometimes. Yeah. Yeah. And it kind of concerns you that your body's not processing them. But then you brought that up to your doctor, which was that a humiliating conversation?


Of course. Yeah. You know what I think I often think this about you is you have a ton of integrity. I say that often about you. It's true.


But also I can see you being one hundred percent honest with your doctors. I feel like that's that's who you are. Oh, are you now.


Oh OK. OK.


I mean, I don't think any of us are a hundred percent honest, but you seem like you're really honest with your doctors sometimes.


I mean. Oh fuck. OK, I've become more careful. I don't want to stay on your couch. No that's your. Oh my. That's just the sound. I guess it's like Foley. We have it on Foley. Yeah.


It's not me. So Foley it's just like a really nice I bet people are getting thirsty right now, but there's a Pavlovian response. They're salivating.


It's like rocks. OK, OK. So like when you have to fill out the form about how many, how much you drink and oh I always lie about that.


You what do you, how much do you cut it. I have no I just say like a couple drinks a week. Oh, my God. Well, that's sometimes you mentioned a couple drinks nightly.


No, that's just because of now. Because of. OK, sometimes it's it's true. It's only a couple per week.


You think you've had a week where you only drink to two drinks in my life. Yeah. I'm saying within like the last five years.


Yeah. Oh yeah. Definitely right.


I mean when we were playing Catan a lot I wasn't drinking very much then.


That's true. But I always remember there was always like I felt like during that period there was two nights a week where you and Jess went to mess hall.


Right. So two nights or nine and I probably had two drinks there for drinks.


Yeah. I just didn't know if it was over to because that really is just one day of having drinks for you.


Right? I'm sure there's been. Absolutely. There's no question. I know.


So I lie about that. Uh, but other than that I am pretty honest because I want them to have all the information. Absolutely. Yeah.


So the pills were in my stool and that was scary.


Yeah. I was like, are these getting just passed through on digested. I don't think I've actually told this on air because you're embarrassed about looking at your stool.


Every single human eh does look at their stool and B you should look at your stool. Yes. It's a great indicator of certain things. Exactly. Your blood thinners. It's time to go to the doctor.


Yeah. Did it ever cross your mind just to like, hold off on pooping like for four days so that it would dissolve. Never.


OK, yeah I, I can't do that. I go multiple times a day. I know. I'm so impressed with your movements. The fact that you would spend the Monica spent the night for two nights this week because they were working on some plumbing issues above her apartment.




So Monica will not and this is with great frustration from Chris and I. She will not poop in the main house. She goes down to the basement and goes pooty in the gym. That's right. And so you went at six thirty in the morning. Your body made you Monica wakes up around 9:00, right?


Yeah. So you're up two and a half hours earlier than you should be, and you had to run all the way outside a dark still.


You know, it was light, but I think it made me lightheaded.


Of course, I jumped out of bed so quick and had it was it was it was an emergency, a little bit of an emergency.


Any who she woke up at six thirty in the morning, ran to the basement and unloaded. And I was like, girl, just go in the toilet. I know, but OK.


I was saying in Delta's room. Yeah.


And I was nervous that she was going to come in to start school in like five minutes after the pooty drop. But that's two hours before the Pooty drops.


You just weren't. No, I didn't know. I didn't know what time her school started. So I thought, what if it started at seven and it was six thirty, she would not care.


Or were you more worried that the parent accompany her to the Zoome would take a sniff?


No, I just don't want anyone to take any sniff. What is it like? Went somehow through her.


Zoome Like what if she was like Ehle teacher Miss Emma. It stinks in my room, Miss Emma.


Miss Padman went foody in my toilet. This stinks.


And then all the kids laughed.


They would laugh and they'd try to point at you, but you'd be nowhere around. So who would care at all to say I could never wait for days? No. And I'm doing great.


I'm doing just great.


You're doing fantastic. Well, did a little medical housekeeping.


Do you have any medical housekeeping and a medical issue? No, I'm doing really good. I think in fact, I'm mad at myself. I'm meaning to send a text for like two days now. I've been wanting to send a text to my doctor, Dr. Ryan, about what a great job he did on my shoulder.


I can just feel that he did it perfectly like everything's in alignment.


There's no weird feelings with my tendons that they're not, you know, get all that thing like at the perfect angle in a rehab.


Can't barely tell that he was in there. That's amazing.


Yeah, it feels like a really successful surgery.


Shout out to my doctor, too. His name is Dr. Sykes and he's a neurologist and he's really good in neurologists study neurosis.




So let's just shout out to all our good doctors out there. Thanks for being doctors, man. I'm so grateful people dedicate that much of their life to something I know to help us, too.




Oh, um, Seth Macfarlane. Seth, he said Harold Ramis said there's no joy in writing, but there's a great joy in having written. And then Seth was saying he didn't know if Harold made that up or took it from someone. And the quote is, I hate writing, I love having written. And that's by Dorothy Parker. Oh, who's Dorothy Parker? I knew you were going to ask that. Oh, man. I know. That you're going to, like, guilt me and I should know this prominent female writer, I did anticipate you asking that and I don't know.


OK, OK. So OK, you said that there's a guy who did an entire track of cartwheels.


Oh, yeah. It's a guy who's got the record for, I want to say most cartwheels in a minute. Yes. Humans.


But yes, I did you watch the fucking video on YouTube. You can watch it on YouTube. I'm like nervous for the guy. He's going so fast. Yeah, I'm afraid. Like he's going to get an aneurysm or something.


He did 72 cartwheels in a minute. That's more than one a second. Yeah, that's crazy. All right, you guys should look it up because it's it's pretty amazing. What should they search specifically?


Cartwheeled will record cartwheels in a minute. Cartwheels track. OK, lots of things to appease. His name is Jabbar Ali.


It's a strong name. Jabbar. Yeah. That's your son's name.


Son's name Tyree. I follow him on Instagram. It's so wild to see him turn into a man. How old is he now?


I'm sure I'll get it wrong, but he appears to be like 17.


He's a good looking man. Yeah. It's so wild.


I've more and more thought. That I should be in touch with them more because I was a part of his childhood, I always thought about this. I was like, you know, for me, this is six years out of at the time.


Thirty five years of my life is just way less significant. But he he spent, like, you know, a lot of his formative childhood on that set with his daddy.


And I really loved acting with him.


It was so fun for his parents on set. Yes.


Primarily his mother. And she was she's just lovely. But his mom and dad are lovely.


But I mostly was around the mom when he was so cute on that show. Impossibly cute.


Oh, yeah. There's no way that would have been my son. No, I actually I think they did a really good job, really.


He does look like he could be a combo of you enjoy. Yeah.


I guess when Joy's looks just lifted everything up and I mean she was a professional model. Yeah. She's she's so beautiful. So beautiful. Oh my God.


More Foley, Oh, we could update everyone that I'm on day four of no dip. Yes, let's do that. Yeah. Day four of no delay.


You had your sobriety birthday and you have 16 years.


In a few weeks, you'll have 15 years off cigarettes. Oh, my God. And I've got four days off. Deb, it's so I went back to Dieppe after having a year. I had eight years off.


Did that's OK. That's all right. We go onward. Yeah. Yeah. OK. When did Beavis and Butthead come out and was that around the same time as The Simpsons, Beavis and Butthead. Nineteen ninety three and Simpsons. Nineteen eighty nine.


Eighty nine. Yeah. So four years. Yeah.


So around the same time I suppose. Yeah. Oh I got it weekly and I love Beavis and Butthead.


Oh my God. I hated it. I'm sure you did. The part we like the most is they had a friend Todd, who was like the cool guy in town and they worship Todd and he was so mean to them.


He threw a party at their house and he like pulled up in his hot rod and gave him a lawn job. And they just thought he was so cool that he had ruined their house.


And I wonder if I'd like it now. I might.


I think you would if I did Mel Gibson do a voice and Disney's Pocahontas. Yes, he was John Smith. OK, that makes sense. Oh, wow.


Well, I think that was pre that was pre Rhodes. Oh yeah. You're gonna miss you don't think Disney would touch him with a ten foot Pocahontas?


I don't. OK, who is the highest paid showrunner? I saw a few different things here articles.


But this is a hard figure to actually know because you have both their upfront yearly fee or like they can have a five year deal at NBC worth three hundred million dollars. That's getting split up. But then their ownership of the show when it sells into syndication, might then rock at them.


Right. But it's hard to know whether they're referencing their back end or they're upfront fee. Yeah.


So the list that I saw that's on The Hollywood Reporter. Yeah.


These buckle up, everybody. These are the highest paid people in Hollywood. Yeah. All the directors and actors and everyone look like bozos.


OK, so no one is Greg Berlanti. Really. Yeah.


Four hundred million a year. Four years. Four year deal. Four hundred million. Oh my gosh. Dawson's Creek brothers and sisters. Everwood Riverdale.


Wow. That's that's interesting. Yeah. Greg Berlanti and second Ryan Murphy. OK, was this son of a gun point.


That's what Seth also had guest Ryan Murphy. Three hundred million for five years. OK, ok. Yeah. Netflix. OK Shonda. Oh good for her. Yeah. The rhymes.


Hundred million for four years. That's not enough. Yeah. Netflix. I agree. Yeah I agree.


Especially seeing the gap but I will say her ownership of Grey's has made her hundreds of millions. That's where we're getting into the part that might be missing now.


That's true. Yeah. She's I'm sure she's in the hundreds of millions. Yeah.


But as far as what she's getting paid right next to, you think, well, it's weird that Chuck Lorre isn't already at the top of this.


He's not on this list. OK, so then there's something he must just take all of his money in the not up front or something. Yeah. Because again, I think he has a billion dollars. He's got to be. Yeah, yeah.


Oh my. Sure. Yeah, yeah.


Mike, what does it say. It says one twenty five for five years at Universal. Good for my. Yeah. Isn't it.


I think it would be interesting to people though that are not in show business to realize that these show writers are the ones that are making the, the lion's share of all the money.


I know they should they work.


Oh my God. It's the hardest job in show business. Yeah, but it's hard to say that it's, you know, someone who's writes and directs a movie and they go back to back to back like it's hard to imagine anyone works harder than Christopher Nolan, per say that's true.


And his work is so brilliant that it's all about that syndication money.


That's really why it's all happening.


But also, TV at this point makes more money than movies. Oh, yeah.


So they're going to, you know, plan has for years. Yeah. So they're going to put their eggs in that basket.


Absolutely. And then they're going to take a little picnic somewhere with it.


OK. Oh Ted used to have the biggest box office for an R rated comedy, but then he thought that that got knocked off and he thought maybe twenty one jump street. But when I looked this up I just looked up highest grossing R rated films in general. OK, it's kind of tricky because it's like what counts. So the highest grossing. R rated film of all time, well, let me guess, The Passion of the Christ, no.


Oh, Joker. Oh, sure. Yeah, that was this year, 2009. Yeah. Yeah, I didn't realize that.


A billion dollar already a movie. And then number two, which this is sort of comedy or they're considering it even though is Deadpool too. Oh sure. It is so funny. Yeah. Oh God. Yeah.


Both movies are really funny. Yeah. Number two is Deadpool two and number three is Deadpool.


Um, we love Ryan Reynolds.


I'm going to read you top ten. Ted is eleven.


OK, but for comedies or No. Of our time. Oh ok.


Yeah. OK r rated top eleven.


Can I just really quickly I know is this worldwide or domestic.


It's worldwide. OK, great. Number one joker number two, Deadpool to number three, Deadpool number four, the Matrix Reloaded.


Mm. Number five it oh two thousand seventeen.


It is number five. Good for that. I know. Wow. Number six Logan. OK, sure. And then seven, Passion of the Christ.


All right. Well that sucker make like eight hundred million.


Six hundred and ten. OK, number eight and also independent. That's the highest grossing independent movie of all time. Wow. Well, this whole episode is kind of about Mel. Oh my gosh.


Tionne Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Number eight, the hangover, part two. So that also is above Ted. And that's definitely comedy. Yeah. Nine Fifty Shades of Grey, ten the Mermaid. What? I don't even know what the mermaid movie is. That Chinese movie formula. Yeah, Chinese it is. Yeah.


What a good guess that was shown in races that first.


But now that I've been confirmed it feels good.


And then eleven instead. It sounded like I said 11 is 10, 11 is TED, 11 is 10 and 12 is 11.


Now 12 is American Sniper. Oh Brown.


This got a few on here. Does jock or producer of the Joker and he's got a hangover. What a piece. You know, ABC really cool.


The big cat, the big cat knows how to get in there in the top 10.


OK, now you let me know if you want to hear this, but I looked up their Family Guy joke about you.


Oh, you found it? Yeah. OK, great.


It's just one line. The mom was at the doctor and said if Brian doesn't have the surgery, will he be all right? And the doctor says, I don't know. Is DAX Shepard all right? Oh, I don't even really get it.


Well, it just means that it went bad for me somehow and whatever else.


Surgery and. I don't know what, sir. I don't know. I just I don't think that's even that funny or I mean, obviously it's not funny, but it's not even that precise of a joke. Doesn't really make sense.


No, it isn't. It's neat, though, the idea that a doctor would reference me at some point in a discussion about outcome.


Yeah, yeah.


It's probably your feelings when you hear they did at the time and now it doesn't know but doesn't know and you know. Right.


No, I always I feel I'm sure as as many people have felt, which is like you hear that in my first thought is like what I do to that guy or those writers. Like, why yeah.


What did I do to them that they would want to, you know, take a shot at me.


Yeah. But now I'm of the opinion that it's to be grateful for because as I said, I'm somehow I'm you can say DAX Shepard on TV and people are like, who the fuck you they now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm trying to see the the glass half full aspect of it now. Yeah.


Now the one with Bradley was just I think it was just me. Yeah. That one, that one song was super jealous of Bradley Owens. All coming back full circle.


Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding. OK, the South Park two part episode that makes fun of Family Guy, he couldn't remember what it's called. It's called Cartoon Wars.


Mm. Yeah. He seems to have a good positive reaction to that. He kind of did. Right. He was like one thing's for shit.


The cutaways. Yeah. Hard. Yeah. But he said they were really right about something heard.


Yeah. He could be kind of objective about it. Yeah. Yeah that's true. Yeah.


I think maybe he must feel maybe flattered to that train. Matt even took the time to make fun of them.


So Emperor of all maladies. His name is Siddartha Mukherjee. Mukerji. Yeah.


And that's it. That was all. That's all for staff.


Those were all fun facts because they were like about money, how much things made and how much people got paid.


Yeah. You love that.


Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Dion money. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. I love you.


I love you.