Seth MacFarlane Answers Question About Whether He Ever Worked On The Simpsons With Thoughtful Shoutout To Matt Groening, Al Jean And Co

Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson
(Image credit: Fox)

Seth MacFarlane is getting a lot of press as of late for his work on The Orville (which is no longer on Fox) but, of course, many know him for his work in animation. MacFarlane is the mastermind behind Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show, so he’s had a lot of success in that medium. So much so that one might assume he cut his teeth working on The Simpsons before crafting his own hits. And when he was asked about that, he answered and gave a thoughtful shoutout to Matt Groening, Al Jean and their collaborators.

Seth MacFarlane answered the question during an interview for Wired's Autocomplete Interview and his opening response, “I fucking wish,” really says it all. While MacFarlane didn’t create or work on The Simpsons ahead of his other work in animation, it's very clear that he has no problem giving props to the people who do work on the long-running animated sitcom:

The Simpsons definitely had an influence on my work, and I think every animated show that came afterward. They rewrote the rule book. So, no, I did not, but hopefully, you still like me.

Seth MacFarlane went on to note that he’s friends with the creator of the Fox series, Matt Groening, as well as other notable names from the show like Al Jean, Mike Reiss, and Mike Scully. It’s clear by the things MacFarlane said about the show that he values what it's done for animation and how it paved the way for future shows like Family Guy

Though the actor and writer didn't work on The Simpsons, the series did have a crossover with Family Guy back in 2014. “The Simpsons Guy” featured the characters meeting each other in what seems like a once-in-a-lifetime event, and MacFarlane provided the voices for his usual characters like Brian, Stewie, and Peter. The episode definitely turned some heads and in hindsight, serves as a perfect example of how Matt Groening's show influenced the FG, which didn't truly rip it off. 

There was once a point in which Simpsons was considered “edgy” in pop culture but, in an age where South Park and Family Guy continually push the envelope with controversial humor, it’s perceived as much tamer now. Other critics expressed just that when “The Simpsons Guy” was released and noted how the melding of the shows' varying comedy styles felt somewhat jarring. 

Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy has followed in The Simpsons’ footsteps in a number of ways, but there are still things it needs to accomplish for itself. For example, the franchise hasn’t had a big-screen adaptation, while other shows that came after it,  like Bob’s Burgers have had animated features. Seth MacFarlane claimed in 2019 that it's still something he wants to do and that he even has an idea for a story. There hasn't been any news yet but, when it comes to making a film, I'd take some cues from the Simpsons buddies he admires so much.

Family Guy airs on Fox on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET. The summer season is approaching, and with so many shows ending for the season, now is as good a time as ever to look up what new shows are premiering and find some new things to watch. You can also stream episodes of Seth MacFarlane's show by streaming them with a Hulu subscription.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.