Seth MacFarlane appeared on the May 11 edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. While chatting with the host during the at-home episode, MacFarlane opened up about how his life had changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, per E! Online.
MacFarlane is one of the busiest television writers in the entertainment industry with three series — The Orville, Family Guy, and American Dad — currently on the air. He has no intention of slowing down, as his Fallon appearance served, in part, to promote his new web series, The At-Home Variety Show. The new show will air weekdays on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.
Being stuck at home hasn’t slowed down MacFarlane at all, with MacFarlane telling Fallon that modern technology has allowed him and his team to continue working on his animated series without missing a beat.
“I can record ‘Family Guy’ and ‘American Dad’ from home. The technical part of our culture, the way people have stepped up to kind of close these gaps for us, is kind of amazing.”
The Orville is a different story. The live-action show was shut down while in the middle of filming an episode for its third season, and MacFarlane joked that an extended hiatus could create some unintentional confusion for viewers.
“When this thing airs at long last, whenever that is, one episode is going to be such that you’re gonna have between one scene to the next, people are suddenly gonna gain 20 pounds and have, like, long white beards.”
MacFarlane also spoke about the challenge he faces as a writer in predicting what lasting changes will come due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As I look ahead to what’s next and as I start writing projects and when you’re writing characters, it’s hard to predict how people are gonna behave. Like, you know, ‘Jim shakes hands with Bob.’ Is that ever gonna happen again?”
The At-Home Variety Show is one way that MacFarlane is looking to create comedy in modern times. Filmed at home and featuring celebrities under the NBCUniversal umbrella, MacFarlane described it as an avant-garde take on the traditional variety show. The show airs for four weeks — beginning on May 11 — and will feature Terry Crews, Andy Cohen, Christopher Meloni, the Bella Twins, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, and Mark Wahlberg. MacFarlane aims for the new series to fundraise for organizations supporting frontline and essential workers during the pandemic, along with Feeding America, Americares, and the United Way.
After the interview, MacFarlane put his celebrity impression skills to the test in a game of “One Song, Many Artists.” Fallon challenged the Grammy-winner to give a rendition of “You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You” with one catch. MacFarlane had to impersonate some of his classic characters — along with celebrities such as Kermit the Frog and Liam Neeson — while singing the classic song.