Producers and cast members from American Dad gathered for a panel at New York Comic Con this weekend, teasing some major developments and a whole lot of new episodes in the coming year.
American Dad left off in the middle of a season back in May, and has been hanging in limbo ever since. The production staff stayed relatively quiety on where things stood and what was next -- until Saturday evening in New York. Producers Jordan Blum and Parker Deay, along with cast members Wendy Schaal (Francine), Rachel MacFarlane (Hayley), Dee Bradley Baker (Klaus) and Curtis Armstrong (Snot). They discussed everything that is coming up -- which is a lot -- as well as the philosophy and process behind their beloved show.
To non-fans, American Dad often seems to play second fiddle to Family Guy. Both shows bear Seth MacFarlane's name, though American Dad was co-created by Matt Weitzman and Mike Barker as well. In its 13 years on the air, the show has diverged a lot from Family Guy, taking on a life and a style of its own, sharing little besides the animation style. Saturday's crowd showed that the American Dad fandom is thriving, with at least as many attendees as the Family Guy panel and enthusiastic responses to all the big news.
After several months off the radar, producers happily announced that American Dad will be back in 2019 with not one but two new seasons. The series will finish out the half-season that aired in the spring, and then jump straight into another season, making a total of 31 new episodes.
Deay announced that the series will return on Jan. 28, running straight through October. He explained that they will "finish out season 12, then roll right into season 13, which is 22 episodes." His numbering matched the labels on IMDb, though other online resources such as Wikipedia seem to have a different season count for the series. Either way, 2019 will be a marathon year for American Dad.
"That is a ton of American Dad to illegally download," Blum joked.
In that run, the series will surpass the 250 episode mark, and the writers admitted that they are already thinking about the possibility of reaching 300. Blum went on to joke that the series' longevity "is pretty impressive considering our audience usually watches the show by getting high and falling asleep to it."
In order to tease the upcoming story lines, Blum performed a parody version of Inside the Actors' Studio with each cast member on stage, asking them to get in character and describe what is coming up. The audience was delighted with the improvisational bit, and the actors got everything they could out of it. Baker seemed to speak as naturally in Klaus' voice as his own, while both MacFarlane and Armstrong joked about how similar their characters were to their real voices. MacFarlane even treat fans to one powerful melodic line from from her song in the season 10 episode "LGBSteve."
In character, Armstrong explained that the biggest story coming up for Snot features his family finally coming into some money.
"Steve and his family have always really looked after me," he said. "Even though I grew up kind of poor, they've always included me in everything. But then something happened recently that was really terrible: my mom came into a little money."
As Armstrong described, his new-found wealth and independence causes a rift between the friends since it changes their dynamic. As he put it, Snot expects Steve to be happy for him when he "can afford clothes with sleeves."
Yes, Steve’s middle name is “Anita” and Hayley’s middle name is “Dreamsmasher” -- but you knew that. pic.twitter.com/9nDcePm0ub— American Dad (@AmericanDadTBS) October 5, 2018
One of the big momentous events coming up his Hayley's graduation from Groff Community College. MacFarlane noted that her character had been "a perpetual student for 14 years," but soon that will finally change.
"She has kind of a Van Wilder experience with that," she said. "She enlists Roger's help in this, but of course Roger takes it in the complete opposite direction and winds up sabotaging the whole thing. He comes up with his own student persona, and I think her name is Lacy Crinkehole?"
"That is correct," Blum said to a sea of giggles from the crowd.
Meanwhile, Francine's big moment comes in an episode called "The One Woman Swole," according to Schaal. She said that her character is going to take a real interest in fitness sometime soon, as "a really clever way of exposing that Francine never finishes anything."
Of course, Francine can't help but take her new bodybuilding hobby too far, and Schaal said that she may even end up in the hosptal in pursuit of her physique.
"We've heard your requests, you're getting a buff Francine," Blum declared.
Finally, no one had more character news to share than Baker. Klaus, the man trapped in a fish's body, will soon fake his own death, become a nun and even force the rest of the family into a fish body in a twisted parody of Pixar's Inside Out.
Most exciting of all -- at least for Klaus -- is an upcoming love story. He will apparently attract the attention of Hayley's friend Danuta.
"Mmm, Danuta," Baker pined in character as Klaus. "Tell me I don't blow it with Danuta."
"I don't want this to be a spoiler or anything," MacFarlane said, "but yes you totally blow it with Danuta."
The revelations did not end with the interviews, either. There was so much news about American Dad that more and more kept coming out in the Q&A session. When a fan asked about past celebrity cameos and possible return guests, the producers volunteered information on an upcoming one: Snoop Dogg.
Blum and Deay teased an upcoming episode titled "Jeff and the Dank Ass Weed Factory," in which legal marijuana moves into Langley Falls. The episode will essentially serve as a parody of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Snoop Dogg playing an analogue of Willy Wonka named Tommy Tokes. The rapper will even be joined by "Snoopaloompas."
Finally, while Seth MacFarlane was not there, the producers assured fans that his characters will play a big part in the upcoming episodes as well. They announced that in the epic 250th episode, Roger Smith will become extremely sick.
"He develops a tumor and he can't do any of his old personas," Deay explained. "So, he asks Stan to take over his personas for him. Stan accepts the offer, and you will recognize some of his more familiar personas."
At this point, MacFarlane cut in to dramatically whisper "Ricky Spanish."0comments
"By the way, the tumor will grow some arms and legs, get a mind of its own, become sentient and join the show as Roger's son."
Apparently, Roger's new vestigial offpsring will be played by Baker, who launched into a voice something like E.T. Blum promised that the new character will be "the break out star of 2019."