It’s quite a deep question that has been puzzling me for a while and I think there is a valid argument for both. I thought today was a good day flash my words to the world and see if anyone has an opinion.
Macfarlane, who created the show, voices the likes of Peter, Brian, Stewie and Quagmire – four key members of the main cast. He is said to have taken on the voices of the characters because he had envisioned them for so long that the realization of the characters would have been more complete with him behind the vocal chords.
Here’a clip of the man in action.
In the world of television and film, if an actor dies, they invariably take the character with them. Need I remind anyone of the still raw death of Paul Walker, who played detective turned street racer, turned cop again, turned back to being a renegade crook, Brian O’Connor. His character was retired from the Fast and Furious film series at the end of Fast 7. *Just as an aside within this article, is anybody else still troubled by Walkers death? I haven’t quite got my head around his death yet and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to listen to ‘See You Again’ without giving an indistinct sigh of despondency.
I’ve digressed so back to the topic. It’s far easier to replicate a voice than it is to replicate an entire body. Therefore if someone is able to mimic the voices accurately, then they should be able to continue the show. This guy for example does the voices and quite well too. He even looks a little bit like Seth MacFarlane.
Audio technology may even be able to assist with the mimicry of the voices. But will it ever be accurate enough? Further to that, would the programme remain the same. Since the first aired in January 1999, show has been able to cut through to a massive populous. Between 2005 and 2012, Family Guy averaged 9.5 million views. The most recent recent season has averaged 8.5 million views. The question then looms as to how much of that success do we attribute to Seth Macfarlane now. If Seth were to be removed, would Family Guy loose more than the voices?
The scandal over Harry Shearers apparent departure from the Simpsons had thrown the programme into uncertain waters. Fears are looming in a similar way to what I am proposing in this article. Harry, who voices some of the leading characters, is said to want to peruse other ventures and the freedom to do so. However, his role in the Simpsons machine is arguable less pivotal compared to Seth’s role in Family Guy. I would argue that, if he leaves, they Simpsons creates are in a quandary about the characters. Seth’s role is more fundamental to the show as a whole.
The writing process of Family Guy has a team of people creating it. The ideas, scripts and gags then get pitched to the senior story team which includes Seth. So, although MacFarlane may not be putting pen to paper in quite the same way as he once was, he still has the overarching say over the content of the programme. Removal him as a component in the filtration system of Family Guy could then lead to a diluted product. Even more still, would it be a mark of respect to rest the show with seth, or would it be honoring his memory and work to carry it on – if they are able to do so?
Seth has also contributed to the world comedy with his other pursuits which include, The Cleaveland Show, American Dad! and Ted (2012). Ted 2 came out in cinemas on the 26th June and for american audiences, June 26th. Id you haven’t seen the trailer, take a look below.
Whether you agree or disagree with the statement above and whether you like or dislike Family Guy (I presume if you have come this far in the article you do have a moderate to high interest in Family Guy) and whether the show carries on or stops, we can arrive unanimously at the conclusion that the death of Set Macfarlane would rob comedy of it’s most influential contributes.