Roger (American Dad!)

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Roger Smith
American Dad! character
Roger Smith.png
First appearance "Pilot"
Created by Seth MacFarlane

Voiced by Seth MacFarlane
Information
Full name Roger Smith
Aliases
Species Alien
Gender Male
Occupation Various (depending on alias)

Roger Smith (born Wogir) is a fictional character in the adult animated sitcom American Dad!, voiced by Seth MacFarlane. The character was created and designed by Seth MacFarlane. Roger is a centuries-old grey space alien living with the Smith family, around whom the show revolves. Having lived on Earth since 1947, Roger came to live with the Smiths after rescuing main character Stan Smith at Area 51 four years prior to the beginning of the series.[1][2]

Roger began the series as a sensitive pushover who is often taken advantage of, cheated, and ridiculed. Over time, the character has become increasingly cruel, selfish, devious, and depraved,[1][3] although the Smith family are curiously oblivious to his nature. In early episodes of the show, Roger is disallowed from leaving the Smith house in order to conceal his being an alien.[4] This restriction is soon abandoned and Roger begins adopting disguises and fictitious personas in order to have a life outside the house.

Roger's personas have become a major plot device, with his myriad alter egos frequently being the subject or facilitator of an episode's main story or subplot. This also helps to amplify his pansexuality and androgynous nature, which varies dependent on the plot situation and persona he has adopted. Aside from catalyzing the plot or subplot with his various personas, and despite his increasingly evident self-interest, he often serves to counsel the show's main characters, by humorously affirming or bluntly disregarding their opinions.

When voicing the character, MacFarlane speaks in a swish accent intended to resemble Paul Lynde (who played Uncle Arthur in Bewitched).[5] In 2014, Roger was voted "Gayest Cartoon Character of All Time" in a first-ever March Madness style competition held by Logo TV.[6]

Character

Roger is selfish, cranky, depraved, cynical, devious and cruel but, ironically, deeply sensitive. Having his feelings hurt usually spurs the creation of his egos and schemes. Roger typically displays a lighthearted, carefree temperament while at the same time engaging in his freakish grossness, outrageous malice, and rascally shenanigans.[1][3][7] Crude and brazen, Roger has no qualms with randomly saying and doing whatever is on his mind no matter how outrageously cruel, depraved or devious. Most heavily emphasized, Roger is devious and crafty, regularly misleading and finagling others to achieve his desired ends.

History

According to the episode "Frannie 911", Roger has been on earth for over 60 years, having arrived in 1947 as a result of being tricked,[8] led to believe he was "The Decider" in whose hands the fate of mankind rested. In the episode "Naked to the Limit, One More Time" however, it is evidenced that Roger remains on Earth by will, the episode revealing that he can simply call for his aliens' spaceship to return him to his birth planet if he so desires.

Details on Roger's actual family and pre-Earth life have yet to be shown on the series. Although in the episode "Lost in Space", a brief clip revealed that prior to Roger's life on Earth, he was involved in a homosexual romantic relationship with another member of his alien race, Zing; however, Roger cheated on Zing, blatantly making out with a human male in front of him. It's also been revealed that Roger has lived on Earth for many years prior to his life spent with the Smith family.

Roger came into contact with the Smith family when he saved Stan's life back when Roger was a fugitive of Area 51 (four years prior to the show's beginnings). Feeling he owed Roger a life debt because of this, Stan rescued him from government capture and allowed him to live in his home. Stan has allowed this in defiance of his employer, the CIA. Roger now covertly lives in the Smith home. The Smiths use their attic as a hideout/bedroom for Roger.

Roger's disguises

After Stan took Roger in for saving his life, he felt that it would endanger him and the rest of his family if it were to be discovered that Roger is an alien and living with them. Consequently, Stan disallowed him from leaving the house when the series first began, even in disguise. Confined to the house in the first couple of seasons, Roger was miserable and malcontent.[4] However, Roger is able to skillfully use disguises to exist in the outside world, which has become a major plot device in later episodes. Adding to this, he's created countless alter egos to go along with them.[7]

Roger has, however, abused this practice, leading numerous lives and outrageously deceiving numerous people. In fact, some of Roger's characters are in prison, while others are widely despised, and others somehow have full-fledged human families and are even married; he sometimes says that he is a graduate of Howard University. Roger also uses several of these personas to act in a criminal manner, as several of his personas have been seen to engage in robbery, sexual assault, police corruption, identity theft, drug trafficking, child abuse and with one persona even admitting to being wanted "for a series of prostitute murders".

Despite his numerous disguises consisting in only a different set of garment and hair with no effort to disguise his skin or face whatsoever (with some exceptions, like additional body weight, facial hair or wrinkles), Roger has been capable of deceiving virtually every single person he interacts with and never be discovered as an alien; not even by Stan's colleagues from CIA, who according to him, have "an entire floor" looking for Roger. The Smith family is the only exception; however, for each member of the family there is one individual alter ego they can not recognize as Roger. On top of that, Roger has been sent to the hospital several times over the course of the series, and medical personnel, for some reason, have never found out that he's not even human.[9]

Potential film adaptation

At Comic-Con 2013 on July 20, Mike Barker revealed that an American Dad! film centering on Roger and set on his birth planet may take place in the future. Barker didn't announce any specifics as it relates to the nature and type of film he and the rest of the show's creators had in mind for the series; however, he strongly suggested that a film is where the show's staff and creators would like to take things. Barker further hinted that an American Dad! film may already be in the works and partially written.[10]

According to a Seth McFarlane interview on the late show the American Dad movie will be released on December 24, 2017 with a Christmas theme. The movie will finally reveal Roger Smith's home planet and what day he arrived on earth.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Roger Video | Movie Clips & Character Interview". Ovguide.com. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  2. ^ McEwen, Lauren (2012-10-08). "'American Dad': One of the most sophisticated mainstream shows on African American culture - The Root DC Live". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  3. ^ a b Todd VanDerWerff September 28, 2012 (2012-09-28). "Comedy Showrunners Week: American Dad's co-creators on the show's weird evolution | TV | Interview". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  4. ^ a b AWN. "American Dad Touchdown | AWN |". AWN. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  5. ^ "A Chat with Seth MacFarlane". Bullz-eye.com. 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  6. ^ Nichols, James (2014-04-08). "Roger Of 'American Dad' Crowned LOGO's 'Gayest Cartoon Of All Time'". www.huffingtonpost.com. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  7. ^ a b McFarland, Kevin (February 18, 2013). ""Naked To The Limit, One More Time" | American Dad | TV Club | TV". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ "American Dad Scripts". American Dad Scripts. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  9. ^ "American Dad!" Roger Passes the Bar (TV Episode 2014), retrieved 2017-06-21 
  10. ^ ' + data.results.personName + ' (2013-07-20). "Comic-Con 2013: 'American Dad' Season 10 guest stars include Zooey Deschanel, Alison Brie and Mariah Carey - Zap2it". Blog.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
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