Seth MacFarlane Talks To ZOO About Family Guy, American Dad And Ted!
Your new film is about a guy and his talking, weed-smoking teddy bear. It’s Like a bromance, but a bearmance…
Exactly! It’s a bearmance. We should put that on the posters. We’ll send you a cheque.
Does this mean you thought your toys were alive when you were a kid?
No, I was able to separate reality from insanity. I just gobbled up whatever toy was thrown at me, depending on the year – ThunderCats, GI Joe, Transformers, Jayce And The Wheeled Warriors… You have no idea what that is, do you?
I was very quick to become rabidly obsessed with whatever corporate America were feeding me.
Will there be any Ted toys?
There already are. I think there are three sizes of Ted bear. I’ve seen prototypes. They do talk.
What do they say?
They’re allowed to say anything but “f**k”. That was one of the problems. He was going to sing the Thunder Buddies song [from the film], but he couldn’t because it’s got the word “f**k” in and they wouldn’t allow it!
Have you got a big box at home that you put jokes into whenever you think of them?
“At home you have a big box”? Ha ha! Sorry, I’m always on the clock. Moving on. Do you mean do I have a big box of ideas? Not really. You don’t know when they’re going to pop up and you just try and write them down when they do. Ted was an idea I had for an animated series years ago and when it was time to make my first movie, I felt like it had the potential to be a sort of fairytale for adults.
Will Ted ever appear in Family Guy?
You know, we might just f**king do it! I don’t know when, where or how, but I don’t think it’d be a good idea to have Peter drinking with Ted. That’s like having Carter Pewterschmidt and Seamus The Pirate together – they sound too similar!
There’s a lot of offensive stuff in the film. Did you have to cut much?
I don’t think we had any real slip-ups like that, mainly because we’ve had so many years of Family Guy to educate us. Any time we use a Disney character in Family Guy, it has to be altered. They are so notoriously litigious and that’s something the lawyers take into account – “Is this company likely to sue?” And, sometimes, it’s just as simple as, “Are these people assholes or not?” If we make a joke about The Flintstones, the risk is a little lower because Warner Brothers just seem to have a better sense of humour.
So do you have to alter much in Family Guy?
Well, there are a lot of things we can’t do, but it’s like we make two different cuts of the show: one for TV and one for the DVD release. We had one where we had a John F Kennedy Pez dispenser and the head was blown off. That had to come out after the first airing! We also had an episode where Brian and Stewie go back in time and Brian tells himself about 9/11, so he successfully prevents it from happening. But it causes all this other bad business, so they have to go back in time again and stop themselves from telling their past selves about 9/11. Then they come back to the future, Stewie looks at his laptop and says, “Let’s see if it worked. Yes! There it is… We made 9/11 happen. High five!” And he then says, “I suppose, taken out of context, that probably wouldn’t look very good, would it?”
Finally, as the man behind all this funny stuff, are you fun at parties?
I’m hardly the guy to answer that question. After four glasses of Jack Daniel’s, I think I’m the funniest guy there! But that is for the party reviewers to determine. Right, did you get all your weird questions out of the way?
You should hear what we wanted to ask Mila Kunis…
Some weird ones? You f**king perverts. Ha ha!
Look who’s talking…
All right. Touché!
Ted is out on 1 August.