Earlier this week, we asked you to submit questions for American Dad showrunner Matt Weitzman, and submit you did. Below, the best of the bunch, plus Weitzman’s mostly jokey answers. This post is sponsored by American Dad, which starts its TBS run on October 20.
1. How do you think the show has managed to avoid writing Hayley off as a
lesser character than her brother, when this is often the case for the
daughters on an animated show? - I’m In Tech
Matt Weitzman: Well, Hayley is played by Seth’s sister, Rachael. If we treated her like a lesser character, he’d fire us.
2. Dear Mr Weitzman, Are there any ideas you had for characters or episodes that for whatever reason couldn’t be worked into the show?
MW: We’ve actually used every idea that’s ever been pitched for the show. Two hundred episodes is a lot. We’re kind of running out of ideas. Do you have any ideas? We need ideas!
3. “Tears Of A Clooney” was the episode when I realized this show was
something different, that it would go all the way down any crazy damn
rabbit hole it wanted. Was there a particular moment in the development of the show where a conscious decision was made that continuity could just go fuck itself? If so, which episode was most closely associated with that decision? - Lorne H, Winnipeg
MW: Lorne, I have no clue what you are talking about. Point out one time, one time when our continuity wasn’t perfect. Continuity could “go fuck itself”?! You could go fuck itself!
4. Steve’s love of’ 90s R&B is a big part of his personality, and one
of the best parts of the show. How did that character trait come about?
It’s so specific, which makes it funnier, IMO.
MW: Due to a bad marriage and a prescription drug issue, I have no recollection of anything after the ’90s. So, that’s all we’ve got. No, honestly, the ’90s music seeps into our scripts because it’s all we listen to at work. ’Cause we can only write when we’re hard.
5. When you started out, you had to fight the impression that American Dad! was just a Family Guy clone. When do you think the show solidified its own creative approach? And when did audiences catch on that you were doing something different? - Andrew R.
MW: It never bothered me when people compared us to Family Guy. Deep in my heart I always knew we were an All In The Family clone. With some Alf mixed in. As for when things solidified, maybe after the first Golden Turd. At that point, we all knew we were doing something different. Just being willing to take time out to become a Noir suspense drama for three minutes in the middle of a cartoon comedy spoke volumes. I don’t think it was until we started repeating on Cartoon Network when people started paying more attention. Wait, did I just answer a question for real?
6. Hi! I was wondering if we will ever get to meet Francine’s hot sister Gwen? Thanks! - Audrey
MW: Hey, Audrey, try Googling it. It’s all over the Internet.
7. The new season of the show on TBS has been advertised as “edgier” than before. But I’ve always thought that the show’s biggest assets are its inventiveness and heart, not its “edginess.” I’m a little worried that we’re just going to get more dick jokes. Should I be? - John R.
MW: John, what happened in your life that these are your worries? Do you not have a family? A pet? Do me a favor and search for “Ebola.” Now, I’m gonna go suck my own dick. P.S. we can show that now.
8. Do you ever worry about running out of personas for Roger? How do you develop them? Do you usually have a real-life person in mind, or do you just concoct what you need to fit the story? Thanks! - Caitlin
MW: What is with you people and worrying? I worry about my 401k. I worry about if my Tesla will arrive by my birthday. I worry about if the girl raising my child is qualified. Roger personas? Uh… hypochondriac cowboy. Absentminded volleyball coach. See, it’s easy. I can do this all day. No, that’s not true. Believe it or not, every Roger persona is based on someone in your life. Your life, Caitlin. We love you. We’ve been watching you. But if you could do us a solid, make more friends this year.
9. Even though the characters don’t age, the show hasn’t been afraid to make changes to the Smith family structure over time, most notably with the whole Jeff Fischer saga. But are there any major “sacred cows” that you
just won’t tamper with? - William, L.A.
MW: We have made an effort to not go to Roger’s planet. Or to have his people appear on Earth. We’ve tried to keep him special and unique. Maybe if there’s ever a movie that’s where we’ll go. There. I gave two real answers.
10. Who’s the best guest star you’ve worked with on the show—and, if you’re willing to say, the worst? - Brian
MW: As long as they don’t walk out of the sound booth in the middle of the record and make me feel like an incompetent idiot, causing me to doubt my abilities to direct actors for the next three years, they’re great in my book! Who’s the worst? Ted Levine.
11. What’s your favorite piece of fan art in this often-frightening DeviantArt
gallery devoted to American Dad!? - A Fan.
MW: It’s so difficult. They’re all so good. If I had to pick, it would be one of the ones I can’t access from my work computer due to sexual content.