Seth MacFarlane wears many professional hats. He's a writer, animator, voice artist, actor, director, producer, composer and even a musician. He's also the guy who gifted us with hit shows like "Family Guy" and "American Dad!" In honor of his 44th birthday on Oct. 26, 2017, Wonderwall.com is diving deep to uncover some lesser known but super-cool facts about Hollywood's most dynamic star. Keep reading to learn more…
No. 1: He's named after the town drunk
Seth MacFarlane's middle name is Woodbury, which he shares with all the men on his mom's side of the family. According to family legend, when Seth's great-grandmother was pregnant with his grandfather, she was so amused by the town drunk, who happened to be a guy named Woodbury, she decided to name her child after him.
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No. 2: He shares something special with Hillary Clinton
While Seth MacFarlane was an ardent Bernie Sanders supporter during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, he actually had something closer in common with candidate Hillary Clinton. It turns out the two share the same birth month and day (Oct. 26). Hillary, however, was born 26 years before Seth in 1947.
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No. 3: He dated Daenerys Targaryen
In 2012 she wasn't quite yet the Khaleesi from "Game of Thrones" we know and love now, but still, Seth MacFarlane totally dated Emilia Clarke. The couple broke it off in 2013 due to issues over the long-distance nature of their romance. Seth is notoriously private about his dating life and doesn't seem to stick with any one woman for long, which made his several-months-long relationship with Emilia seem like the biggest, most important relationship of his life (to us).
No. 4: He's a box-office record-breaker
Seth MacFarlane didn't just write the screenplay for the 2012 semi-animated comedy "Ted" — he also directed and produced it, composed its musical score and voiced the main character (a teddy bear). Getting his hands on every aspect of the film paid off as "Ted" became the top-grossing R-rated movie of all time, raking in $469 million, beating out the previous record-holder, "The Hangover," by $2.5 million.
No. 5: He's been drawing since childhood
Seth MacFarlane has been passionate about animation since the tender age of 2, when he started tracing characters like Fred Flintstone and Woody Woodpecker. By the time Seth was 9, he'd turned his hobby into a career by publishing a weekly comic strip called "Walter Crouton" for his local Kent, Connecticut, newspaper. They paid him $5 per week, later increasing his salary to $10. Fun fact: One of Seth's early comics featured a character asking, "Can I have fries with that?" while receiving communion, which angered a priest and caused something of a small scandal in town. It seems like Seth understood the power of being subversive at a young age.
No. 6: He made up an early version of "Family Guy" in college
While studying film, video and animation at the Rhode Island School of Design (where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree), Seth MacFarlane came up with an idea for a project about a middle-aged man named Larry who had an intellectually superior dog named Steve. For his senior thesis, he turned in an animated video called "The Life of Larry" that impressed his professor so much, he turned it into animation studio Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, which hired Seth on the spot. Larry and Steve would later become the inspiration for Peter and Brian Griffin on "Family Guy."
No. 7: He voices a lot of different characters
Seth MacFarlane can do some crazy-cool things with his vocal chords. Did you know he's the voice of Peter, Stewie and Brian Griffin on "Family Guy" as well as the voice of Stan, alien Roger and news anchor neighbor Greg on "American Dad!"? He also spent 13 years voicing various characters (like Santa Claus and Lion-O) on "Robot Chicken" and for three years was Tim the Bear on "The Cleveland Show." Fun fact: Seth's sister Rachael MacFarlane is also an accomplished voice artist and provides the voices for several of Seth's animated characters such as Hayley Smith on "American Dad!" and Miss Tammy on "Family Guy."
No. 8: He's also, like, the best singer ever (no joke)
We were blown away by the fact that Seth MacFarlane is a seriously awesome, Grammy-nominated baritone singer. His sound is often described as a cross between legendary crooner Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack buddy Dean Martin. Not only can Seth belt out a tune with perfect pitch, but he's released a few albums too! In 2011, he released his debut orchestra album, "Music is Better Than Words," followed by a Christmas-themed album, "Holiday for Swing," in 2014. In September 2015, Seth dropped his third album, "No One Ever Tells You," and in 2016, he sang an incredible rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with actress Lea Michele (seen here).
No. 9: He's performed with Babs
Seth MacFarlane has performed at some of the biggest music venues in the world, including the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, but nothing can top the fact that he got to sing alongside one of the greatest voices in music, Barbra Streisand. He even appeared on Babs' 2016 duet album, "Encore," singing "Pure Imagination."
No. 10: He's a piano-playing whiz
Seriously, is there anything Seth MacFarlane can't do? He actually owns a nine-foot concert grand piano (FYI: that's huge) that he plays every night once he gets home from work. He proved he can nail it live when he appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" in 2015 and did a piano and singing duet with the host.
No. 11: He honored his mom with a cat sanctuary
On July 16, 2010, Seth MacFarlane's mom, Ann Perry MacFarlane, died in her Los Angeles home from cancer. Two months later, Seth dedicated the Season 9 premiere of "Family Guy" to his mom with the episode "And Then There Were Fewer." The following year, he announced he was teaming up with Heaven on Earth animal rescue to build Perry's Place — a feline sanctuary in Van Nuys, California, to honor his mom, who was a dedicated cat lover and animal rescuer.
No. 12: His first starring role led to A-list dating rumors
While Seth MacFarlane has played supporting roles on-screen for years, it wasn't until 2014 that he took on his first starring role — in the film "A Million Ways to Die in the West" (which he wrote, produced and directed). While the comedy, which co-starred Charlize Theron, received mixed reviews from critics, it also led to some juicy gossip about his and Charlize's supposed romance off-screen. Since the film's release, they've been spotted numerous times having dinner together which (of course) has everyone convinced they're dating. Both Charlize and Seth have denied the rumors and swear they're just friends who happen to share the same agent and (obviously) the same restaurant picks.
No. 13: There's a personal story behind his Harvey Weinstein Oscar joke
In 2013 while announcing the Academy Award nominees with actress Emma Stone, Seth MacFarlane learned he'd been nominated for best original song for "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from his 2012 comedy, "Ted." Interestingly, during that same announcement, Seth made a now-infamous joke about the nominees for best supporting actress and how they no longer had to "pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein." Following widespread allegations of Harvey's sexual misconduct that were made public in October 2017, Seth spoke out about the joke he'd made years before. He claims the comment stemmed from his experience with a friend and colleague, actress Jessica Barth (who appeared in "Ted"), telling him her own story of being sexually harassed by the Hollywood producer. Seth said that her story disgusted him and his remarks came from a place of "loathing and anger."
No. 14: His BFF is cooler than yours
The woman who performanced Seth MacFarlane's Academy Award-nominated song "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" for the "Ted" soundtrack is none other than acclaimed singer Norah Jones. The Grammy winner and Seth have been the closest of friends for years and when Norah learned the song was nominated for an Oscar (and that she would be performing it during the telecast), she said, "Getting to perform it at such a prestigious event, which my friend is hosting, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
No. 15: He's going to be late
Seth MacFarlane has a very good reason for being late. The busy creator and star once worked himself into the ground by not taking breaks (he once worked seven days a week for 15 months straight), which caused him to be hospitalized for exhaustion. Now, Seth takes a different approach to life, saying he'll be late to (or even skip) table reads and important meetings with executives if he's too stressed. Of his more relaxed approach, Seth has said, "[I'm] not rushing and giving myself a heart attack trying to get everywhere exactly on time."
No. 16: We almost lost him on 9/11
Seth MacFarlane is honestly one of the luckiest guys alive and not just because of his amazing career success. On Sept. 11, 2001, Seth was booked on American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, but due to a scheduling mixup, he arrived late and was unable to board. As we all know now, Flight 11 is the first plane terrorists crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York CIty on that fateful morning, killing all passengers onboard.
No. 17: He used to do stand-up
Seth MacFarlane has appeared numerous times on Comedy Central's roasts as an official roastmaster and seems to be quite comfortable standing on stage, in front of an audience, making everyone laugh till it hurts. That's probably because when Seth was still in college at the Rhode Island School of Design, he spent many evenings performing stand-up comedy. Clearly all that practice made perfect because he's hilarious.
No. 18: He's idolizes Frank Sinatra
Seth MacFarlane is a septuple threat (he can sing, play piano, write, act, direct, perform comedy and draw) but in his heart, he just wants to emulate Ol' Blue Eyes. Seth has gone on record talking about his love for Frank Sinatra and vintage music, particularly with a backing orchestra. In fact, when Seth was working on his first album, "Music is Better Than Words," he used the same microphone Frank once used to help give him a more classic sound.
No. 19: He enjoys getting his drank on
Seth MacFarlane has claimed he didn't have his first beer until he was 23 years old. Now in his 40s, Seth is known to regularly enjoy a glass of whiskey, specifically Jack Daniels. Some surmise his drink of choice has to do with his affinity for the golden age of cinema and performers like Frank Sinatra, who loved Jack Daniels so much, he was reportedly buried with a bottle of the stuff!
No. 20: He's a huge "Star Trek" nerd
Seth MacFarlane has made no secret of the fact that he loves "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (which starred Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard). In fact, Patrick once told Conan O'Brien that one night while he was dining with his former "Star Trek" co-stars, Seth walked in and completely geeked out seeing them all together (and then invited himself to sit with them and just stared in wonder). Seth, who is rumored to know the names of every "Star Trek: Next Generation" episode, later invited Patrick to be a character on "American Dad!" — a role he's had for the last 12 years.
No. 21: His new series is an homage to space odysseys
Seth MacFarlane's love for space adventures finally reached its peak when, in 2017, he released his newest comedy series, "The Orville," on FOX, which is a clear spoof of his favorite childhood sci-fi series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation." On the show, which Seth writes, directs, produces and stars in, he plays Captain Ed Mercer, a recently divorced space explorer who's forced to man his first ship with his ex-wife as his first officer.
No. 22: He's gettin' paid
Talent isn't cheap and Seth MacFarlane has proven that with his paychecks. Thanks to his endless ambition and many projects, Seth became the highest earning TV writer in the world back in 2008 thanks to a $100 million payday for "Family Guy" and "American Dad!" In 2012, The New Yorker called him "the highest-paid writer-producer in television history." He's currently estimated to be worth $200 million (and growing).