Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born October 26, 1973 in
the small, New England town of Kent, Connecticut. His parents are Ron
and Perry, and his younger sister is Rachael. He began drawing cartoons
at age 2, and his comic strip "Walter Crouton" was published
in his local newspaper by the time he was 8. He attended high
school at Kent School in Connecticut, and then went on to study animation
at the Rhode Island School of Design.
After graduating from RISD, MacFarlane got a job working
for Hanna-Barbera Productions (now Cartoon Network Studios) when a professor
sent his thesis film, "Life of Larry" (a precursor to "Family
Guy") to Hanna-Barbera. He was a writer and/or storyboard artist
for the shows "Johnny Bravo", "Cow and Chicken",
and "Dexter's Lab". MacFarlane also did some work for Walt
Disney Animation as a writer on the TV series "Jungle Cubs".
In 1996 MacFarlane created "Larry and Steve",
the follow-up to his thesis film. It caught the attention of the executives
at Fox, who originally offered him a deal to create featurettes to run
between sketches on "Mad TV". The deal fell apart, but Fox,
not wanting to lose MacFarlane, gave him $50,000 to produce a partial
pilot for a comedy series. He hand-drew the 15-minute presentation of
"Family Guy" over the course of six months.
Fox Network picked up "Family Guy", and it
premiered after the Super Bowl on January 31, 1999. "Family Guy"
was moved, cancelled and picked up on numerous occasions, but in 2002,
Fox Network cancelled the show for good at the end of its third season.
However, the exceptional sales of the "Family Guy" DVDs —
combined with the high ratings of the show’s reruns on Cartoon
Network — soon convinced Fox to put it back into production for
a fourth season in 2004.
During the interim, MacFarlane and two writers from
"Family Guy" — Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman —
pitched a new show to Fox called "American Dad". It went into
production in 2003, and premiered on February 6, 2005.
"Family Guy" recently wrapped its fifth season, and "American Dad" its second. Both shows are in production for the next season, and air on Fox Network on Sunday nights. "Family Guy" is also airing on TBS and Cartoon Network, and on the BBC in the UK.
MacFarlane's one live-action venture, "The Winner",
produced and written by former "Family Guy" writer Ricky Blitt
and starting Rob Corddry, was cancelled due to poor ratings. Fox did,
however, allow all six of the filmed episodes to be aired.
MacFarlane has appeared on live-action television shows
such as "Gilmore Girls", "Star Trek: Enterprise",
"The War at Home" and "Mad-TV", and lent his voice
to other animated shows like "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" and
MacFarlane has won two Emmys: one for Outstanding Voice-Over
Performance and one for Outstanding Music and Lyrics (shared with "Family
Guy" composer Walter Murphy). He also won an Annie for Best Voice
Acting in an Animated Television Production.
MacFarlane has received two honorary degrees, the first
from Harvard in 2006 after delivering the Class Day Speech as several
of the characters from "Family Guy", and also from his alma
mater, the Rhode Island School of Design, in June 2007.
MacFarlane's talent is evident from his job titles as
voice actor, producer, animator, comic and writer.
Written by Seth MacFarlane Unlimited.