American Dad is an excellent series from the same creative mind that brought the world Family Guy in 1999-- Seth MacFarlane. As per his usual creative repertoire, the humor is crude, poking, and scabrous in all the best ways; a humorous reflection on society and the world at large told through crass humor and excellent writing.
Even though the show isn't as popular as some of MacFarlane's other creations, there is still a large following behind the Smith family and their many ridiculous trials and tribulations. With the talent-packed cast that voices Langley Falls citizens and bystanders, there are bound to be more than a few allusions to some of the actors' past work, with one voice actor even playing himself.
In addition, with the multiple twists and turns the series has taken over the years, their are bound to be some references and winks that even the most die hard Smith family fanatic is bound to miss. Don't fret-- we've visited Langley Falls, partied with Bullock, and even tried on some of Roger's wigs in an attempt to bring you a few hidden facts that may have slipped under the radar.
Put on your American flag pin, load up your service weapon, and get ready to serve your country, because here are the 15 Things You Never Knew About American Dad.
15 There Was A Buffy The Vampire Slayer Android
In the episode "Virtual In-Stanity", Stan feels that he and Steve are growing apart and struggles to find a way to remedy their flailing relationship. In typical Stan Smith fashion, he finds a completely insane, beat around the bush way to deal with his problem, as opposed to just facing the problem head on (pretty much the solution to every one of Stan's problems in each episode).
Stan decides that he'll pilot a busty, high school female android in an attempt to get closer with Steve, arriving on the fact that he wants to be there when Steve looses his virginity to make up all the lost time that they've missed.
The android that Stan pilots if voiced by none other than Sarah Michelle Gellar, or to the bloodsuckers in the audience, the protagonist from Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Although that doesn't seem like much of a huge deal, another girl (a real one), takes interest in Steve, who is voiced by none other than Alyson Hannigan; the actress who played Buffy's right hand gal Willow in the same series. We're really hoping that they only work as a package deal since they were such a good team on Buffy.
14 There Were No 1986 Olympics
Multiple times in the series, sentient CIA experiment goldfish Klaus will comment on his days in the 1986 Olympics, either through random mentions in the dialogue or allusions made by other characters.
There is also an entire episode, "Da Flippity Flop", that recounts the smart mouthed fish's days as an Olympic skier in the 1986 Olympics, and his subsequent plot that ends up with his mind in Stan's body so that he can have another shot at the gold (in his mind anyway).
There's only one problem with the malicious fish's story-- there were no 1986 Olympics. It's not like this would be a writer error, the writers for American Dad are obviously pretty astute individuals. So, what gives for the fake Olympic year?
Some fans contribute it as a quirk of Klaus', sighting that he is an obvious psychopath that made the story up to drive the point home to advance his ploy to take over Stan's body. Others have sighted that it may be an attempt to dodge any legal trouble from the Olympic Committee, or to appeal to sensibilities that any viewers may have concerning the Olympic games.
13 Jeff Fischer Is Played By Jeff Fischer
Jeff Fischer is the pothead husband to Haley Smith and the constantly burned out thorn in Stan's side. Apart from adding some baked out of his gourd comic relief and serving as the traditional lazy stoner archetype, Jeff Fischer is an actual real life person. Of course, there are bound to be quite a few Jeff Fischer's out in the world, but not all of them would be lucky enough to actually play a character named "Jeff Fischer."
That's right, Jeff Fischer on American Dad is voiced by the real voice actor Jeff Fischer, who has lent his talents to multiple outlets, including television and video games. This presents a real "chicken or the egg" scenario for fans of the show; was the voice actor offered to voice himself before hand, or did Jeff Fischer think he could nail an audition as himself?
Could you imagine the existential crisis it would cause if an actor failed to score a role playing themselves? In addition to the actor having the same name, the real world Jeff and the American Dad Jeff both bear a striking resemblance to each other.
12 Steve Smith Got A Huge Upgrade
When Steve Smith was first developed as a character, he was going to be a mega nerd-- he was originally going to have a long neck and be stereotypically unattractive, as an ode to nerds of the day like Family Matters' Steve Urkel. However, Steve's voice actor eventually ended up making the show's artists change the entire design of Steve to better reflect his voice.
Voice actor Scott Grimes replaced original Steve Smith voice actor Ricky Blitt, and brought his steamy, smooth voice to the character, making the artists reconsider the gawky, nerdy design of Steve that they were originally going to use.
With Scott Grime's sexy voice, his character had to be adequately sexed up as well, so the illustrators went to work halfway through production. Steve was made to still be a geek, but a more attractive geek who would actually be seen as somewhat desirable to Langley Fall's citizens, mostly because of his voice.
The show's creators also didn't want him to be too similar to another one of Seth's other geeks: Neil Goldman from Family Guy.
11 Klaus Was Meant To Be French
Any fan of American Dad is familiar with the Smith family's talking fish Klaus. A gold fish with the implanted human consciousness of a German olympic skier, Klaus is a standout member of the family, and when it comes to the Smiths that is actually saying a lot.
With his sociopathic attitude, homicidal tendencies, and thick German accent, Klaus is a staple to the show, identifiable by his trademark German inflection.
However, if the producers would have had their way, viewers would have been more familiar with a fish wearing a beret and eating a baguette, as opposed to the one wearing Lederhosen and munching on spätzel.
When voice actor Dee Bradley Baker showed up to audition for the bowl-bound role, he apparently told producers that he would be reading the lines with a German accent, as compared to the French one that they had originally asked for.
Baker claims that his French accent was lousy, and opted to throw some umlaut's over his vowels instead. The producers liked Baker's German accent so much that they changed Klaus's nationality before offering Dee the role.
10 The Family Has Really Absurd Middle Names
Middle names are somewhat of a strange thing when you really think about it; originally used as a way to establish your kids as part of the aristocracy, they have become common place as a way to instill maiden names on your children, or to just name your progeny whatever the heck you want. That last part is particularly important if you're the Smiths, as both their children's middle names are absurd to the point of being hilarious.
Steve's middle name is "Anita" for reasons that are still not entirely clear to the fanbase. Some believe that the odd middle name is an homage to a number of famous conservative figures. However, the real answer isn't so far fetched, Stan's middle name is also "Anita," meaning that it was passed down to Steve, as is custom for some families.
Haley's middle name is revealed to be "Dreamsmasher" in the episode "Stanny Slickers 2: The Legend Of Ollie's Gold", when Stan goes mad trying to find buried treasure rumored to be hidden as a result of the Iran-Contra affair. Stan gave Haley the insulting nickname as a result of her birth being the event that stopped Stan from searching for Ollie North's gold earlier in his life.
9 There Is A Support The Troops Easter Egg
In one episode of American Dad, a yellow ribbon can be seen tied around their front tree. The yellow ribbon is a symbol of support for United States military troops, and is often done in reality. With Stan's gung-ho sense of patriotism (which borders on the line of fanatical, if not completely overstepping it), this really isn't much of a surprise.
It can be seen in the fifth episode of the first season, both in the intro and also in any exterior shots of the house throughout the episode's entirety. It's a heartfelt Easter egg that shows that, even though American Dad often pokes fun at America, it's government, and its citizens, the staff that works on the show truly does care about the men and women of the armed forces.
In a society like ours, meaning one that becomes obnoxiously offended at the slightest transgression or insensitive comment, some may take the writer's commentary on America a bit too seriously. It's a nice tie in that shows that we should all be able to poke fun while keeping what's really important in view.
8 Snot And Booger Are The Same Person
Fans of the movie Revenge Of The Nerds will obviously be familiar with Booger; he's the nose picking, joint smoking, quip throwing member of the gang that is a standout in the series as one of the all around funniest and crass characters. Snot from American Dad shares a lot more in common with his boogery brother than a just a name-- in fact, they're the same person.
Snot's character was directly based off of Booger from Revenge Of The Nerds, sharing the same style, namesake, and sense of humor as his disheveled parent figure. However, it gets even deeper than that; Curtis Armstrong, the actor who played booger in the Nerds movies, provides his voice acting talents to the show by playing Snot, a character constructed in his tribute.
There are few other things that would be as flattering as voicing a cartoon version of yourself, aside from having the entire cartoon be about you. This fact obviously wasn't lost on the writers, who have Snot make multiple allusions to have never having heard of the Nerds movies, adding that the films sound pretty dumb anyway.
7 "Minstrel Krampus" Was Postponed Due To A School Shooting
The Sandy Hook School Shooting was one of the most shocking and violent events in American history, resulting in the unfortunate and completely unnecessary deaths of twenty young children on the morning of December 14th, 2012 in Newtown Connecticut.
It sent America, a country unfortunately familiar with the tragedy that follows in the wake of obscenely nonsensical gun violence against its citizens, into a state of nation wide mourning that still impacts the country to this day.
Although the effect could be felt through the obvious media outlets-- the news, social media, and the internet at large-- the tragedy impacted television scheduling, including a particularly violence-heavy episode of American Dad.
The Christmas episode "Minstrel Krampus" wasn't shown until a full year later, originally postponed out of respect to the families of the children who were killed in the shooting. Although a small act to compensate for an unspeakable tragedy, it was still nice of the staff at American Dad to alter their scheduling out of respect for the families, and in effect, the country.
6 It Had One Of The Highest Viewed Pilot Episodes Ever
American Dad is a pretty popular animated show, first beginning on FOX before being turned over to TBS, where it continues to air today. Being a Seth MacFarlane show, it has its convent of fans who are die hards, and the rest of the television watching community who might catch a passing episode or two. Even though the show may have died down in popularity with the later seasons, it had one of the most viewed pilot episodes in all of television.
The first episode of American Dad aired after Super Bowl XXXIX, which had an estimated audience of 86 million viewers, making that first episode of the series the most viewed in its entire history.
With Seth's name on it, and the already religious status of Family Guy, you can bet that a whole lot of football fans gave the show a try, especially as they sat drunk and bloated on their respective living room furniture.
5 5. Their Living Room Is A Replica
Fans of the show have probably become pretty familiar with the Smith household over the series progression; the living room, kitchen, Stan's secret underground lair that contains his figure skating gear-- it's all pretty standard as far as the show goes. For fans of a completely different series, however, they may think that the Smith's living room looks pretty dang familiar.
The Smith's living room is a near identical replica of the living room from Everybody Loves Raymond. Even though many would consider this a coincidence, there are some similarities that can be ignored.
For example, the couch and chairs are arranged in the center of the living room, almost to the exact spot where Ray's furniture is. The table with drawers contains the same clutter of nicknacks, and the stairs leading to the second floor are decorated with the same sets of pictures.
4 It Had A Nudity Warning
With Seth MacFarlane's name on the cartoon, viewers can expect his particular brand of humor to grace the show, especially when he serves as a major creative force that drives the tone of the writing and show in general.
Even though he makes animated shows, his humor is completely geared towards adults, with pressing issues being veiled behind odd asides and overly violent or in your face jokes and content.
It's fitting then that American Dad is also appropriately adult, so much so, in fact, that it is one of the only animated shows to receive a nudity warning before one of its episodes aired.
The episode "Threat Levels" followed Stan as he begins his own version of bum fights, where he tapes homeless people fighting each other. The episode contains some minor nudity, but it was enough to earn American Dad the distinction of a warning before the episode began.
3 There Are Many References To Star Trek's Picard
There aren't many people who haven't heard of Star Trek, and there are even fewer who haven't seen at least one episode of The Next Generation with Picard sitting in the captain's seat.
Anyone who has seen American Dad has also heard Patrick Stewart voice the crazy head of the CIA, Avery. Patrick Stewart's voice carries Avery's character to unseen heights-- to hear the renowned and articulate voice of Stewart spout a nursery rhyme about strippers while throwing dollar bills around in a club is to have your life changed for the better.
However, Stewart's relation to the Enterprise is a lot more apparent in American Dad than some fans might realize. There are a multitude of Easter eggs hidden in the show that point towards Patrick's intergalactic acting role of years past.
Aside from a whole bunch of direct references and mentions of the show in general, a fish tank can be seen in Avery's house that is a direct replica of Picard's on the Enterprise.
2 Some Of The Episodes Are Written 2 Years In Advance
Show writers have a serious job that requires some amazing talent-- they are the lifeblood of a series that keeps the plot moving and the characters' development, erm, developing. They take the original idea that is established during the show's creation and push the entire series forward, all while working to keep fans engaged in the series.
The writers at American Dad take this to the extreme, as they are known to write episodes upwards of two year in advance. Writing a solid episode in general is a difficult thing to do.
However, writing an episode two years in advance while keeping it relevant, the jokes funny, the character arcs straight, is a daunting task to say the least, especially when your show has been running for as long as American Dad has.
1 Stan Is Dead
The Smith family has become one of television audience's most beloved, especially when it comes to the patriarch Stan Smith. However, Stan and Bruce Willis from the Sixth Sense have one major thing in common that some fans might not be aware of: Stan is also dead, and has been dead for a few seasons now.
In the episode "Raptures Delight", Stan can be seen walking to join his family in heaven at the end of the episode. Even though some fans might dismiss this as completely false, the episode is never discounted by the shows writers or creators, meaning that Stan does actually die.
That's probably one of the best outcomes you can expect when you participate in the apocalypse, and even though Stan goes down fighting, it's not enough to save himself from death's embrace as he passes away after saving Francine and Jesus.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about American Dad? Let us know in the comment section!
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