Roger (American Dad!)

Roger Smith
American Dad! character
First appearance "Pilot"
Created by Seth MacFarlane
Mike Barker
Matt Weitzman
Voiced by Seth MacFarlane
Full name Roger Smith
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, callous, selfish, self-centered, self-interested, devious, crafty 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 the network.[6]


Roger is depraved, devious, and cruel. 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] Roger was tricked into coming to Earth in 1947, 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. Stan feels 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; however, Roger is able to skillfully use disguises to exist in the outside world. 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, etc. Roger's vocal delivery is based on that of late comedian Paul Lynde.[8]

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.[9] Stan Smith, an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, adopted Roger after Roger saved his life, as seen in the episode "You Debt Your Life". Stan feels that it would endanger him and the rest of his family if it were to be exposed 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] As the series progressed, Roger disguises himself in various human personae and lives an active life outside the house. In later seasons, Roger is shown leading numerous lives and deceiving many people with his alter egos. He sometimes says that he is a graduate of Howard University.

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. His desired ends are often ridiculously trivial or marked by schadenfreude. The episode "Frannie 911" establishes that an aspect of the well-being of Roger's species is the ability to display crude behavior and purge negativity from their bodies.[10]

In the episode "You Debt Your Life", Roger described himself as a "fey pansexual alcoholic non-human". He spends his time watching soap operas, drinking and getting drunk by alcohol, eating junk food, and using recreational drugs.[11][12][13][14][15][16] Roger disappeared for a few episodes.

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 coming 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.[17]


  1. 1 2 3 "Roger Video | Movie Clips & Character Interview". 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. 1 2 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. 1 2 AWN. "American Dad Touchdown | AWN |". AWN. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  5. "A Chat with Seth MacFarlane". 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
  6. Gayest Cartoon Tournament 2014 -, Page 2014
  7. 1 2 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! - Seth on Paul Lynde and Patrick Stewart". YouTube. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  9. "American Dad Scripts". American Dad Scripts. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  10. Writ.: Brian Boyle; Dir.: Joe Daniello (2008-01-06). "Frannie 911". American Dad!. Season 4. Episode 9. FOX.
  11. Writ.: Chris McKenna and Matt McKenna; Dir.: Brent Woods (2009-03-22). "Bar Mitzvah Hustle". American Dad!. Season 4. Episode 14. FOX.
  12. Writ.: Keith Heisler; Dir.: Pam Cooke and Jansen Yee (2009-01-25). "Chimdale". American Dad!. Season 4. Episode 8. FOX.
  13. Writ.: Brian Boyle; Dir.: Josue Cervantes (2010-04-18). "Merlot Down Dirty Shame". American Dad!. Season 5. Episode 15. FOX.
  14. Writ.: Michael Shipley; Dir.: Caleb Meurer (2007-10-14). "Dope & Faith". American Dad!. Season 3. Episode 3. FOX.
  15. Writ.: Steve Hely; Dir.: Pam Cooke & Jansen Yee (2009-04-26). "Every Which Way But Lose". American Dad!. Season 4. Episode 17. FOX.
  16. Writ.: Laura McCreary; Dir.: John Aoshima & Jansen Lee (2010-01-31). "A Jones for a Smith". American Dad!. Season 5. Episode 11. FOX.
  17. ' + data.results.personName + ' (2013-07-20). "Comic-Con 2013: 'American Dad' Season 10 guest stars include Zooey Deschanel, Alison Brie and Mariah Carey - Zap2it". Retrieved 2013-08-17.
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