American Dad Has Emerged as the Best Animated Show on Fox

Everything about American Dad's debut five years ago screamed "poor man's Family Guy rip-off": Its characters perfectly matched those of the Quahog universe, the show was run by Seth MacFarlane, and gags were just as random and belabored. But as Family Guy has sunk deeper into the sinkhole of meta commentary and given birth to boring demon spawn The Cleveland ShowAmerican Dad has been, slowly but surely, figuring out what works. It's become the only FOX animated show I look forward to every week, because even its worst episodes have a few solid gags—and when it's on, as it was on Sunday, it is on. Here's how American Dad defies its many cliches to churn out original, hilarious TV.



Cliche: Buffoon dad be buffoonin'
Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin do stupid stuff. And while that stupid stuff used to be rooted in some sort of desire to "do good," despite not knowing how to show it (at the very least, Homer was like that), now they do stupid things for the sake of being dumb. Because, you know, they're dumb. It's not very compelling. American Dad's Stan Smith, though, continues to be a character in every sense of the word. So Roger kissed his wife; rather than sit back and ask "Whaa happened," Fred Willard-style, he proved himself an extremely passionate (if not misguided) person and threw Roger under the bus. The repercussions—Roger desperately trying to get back in Stan's good graces—made for some good comedy with a little weight to it.

Cliche: Quirky kids be quirkin'
Hayley and Steve Smith share a lot of traits with Lisa and Bart Simpson: They're outcasts at school, and not above playing off each other's blind spots for pure entertainment value. Last night, Steve discovered that he's been having very lucid dreams, and after he insulted Hayley for no good reason, Hayley (with help from Klaus) decided to get back at him. They tricked him into believing he's dreaming when he's still awake, and let his weird fantasies play out in the hopes of embarrassing him. This would have been one scene on the always gag-focused Simpsons, but on American Dad it took up the entire B-story of the episode, and the build was worth the reward. Steve arrived at school pantsless and insulted his teacher as the class looked on in shock. But it cut Hayley too: She had to run multiple red lights to get him there (Steve had insisted she drive through them, and she had to keep up appearances with the fantasy, ya know) and she was forced to watch as Steve actually found success with the girl he has a crush on (she was taken aback by his boldness). Then Steve jumped out the window to fly, and we got a sudden laugh to end things.

Cliche: The weird one be weirdin' (one)
Roger the talking alien is a lot like Brian the talking dog on Family Guy. Brian likes martinis and has adult relationships; Roger has impeccable taste and likes to don elaborate costumes. (This week he was headed for wine country, so he dressed up like the guy from Sideways.) But Brian rarely finds himself part of the larger story, something Roger usually has no problem with. Roger's always game for whatever, and last night that attitude had him going to great lengths to protect his sacred friendship with Stan—even if it meant burying Francine alive. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

What do you guys think about American Dad? Will you watch, oh pretty please?

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american dad is funny but saying its the funniest show on fox is an overstatement. nothing even comes close to family guy and the simpsons on being the best show. futurama is also cool but falls just behind both family guy and the simpsons in my opinion
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American Dad has always been funnier than Family Guy or The Simpsons. Futurama is better than them all. Cant wait till Futurama comes back full time
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I LOVE to watch American Dad, and alway have! Right from the first show! I have noticed, right around the start of Season 3 - the show went from very funny to HILARIOUS! I'm not sure how or why, but the quality is getting better all the time!
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I agree with you. This show is better than Family Guy and The Simpsons (nowadays). Can't wait for Futurama, though!
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Nope Family Guy is still the best Out of the top 100 shows on Tv guides list it is 29 American Dad is not even on that list. Sorry But it's true.
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nope

family guy and the simpsons are way better this article is rubish
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are you kidding? that show is soooooo beyond stupid and unfunny.
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I hate to say this but, compared to what? The Simpsons is stale, Family Guy has devolved into a terrible, unfunny, and weird nonprogram, and The Cleveland Show is mediocrity of mediocrity. American Dad doesn't have a lot to compare itself to.
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I am glad people are discovering this fantastic show. Great writing and hilarious gags. It's like thirty minute movie. My pic for best episode this season: In..Country Club, followed by Rapture's Delight.
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Please, please bring back the opening newspaper gag as Stan throws open the door en route to another day at the CIA. The papers headline was unfailingly funny (and timely!)
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That's only because they kicked out Futurama. And for further reference, it isn't very hard to be better than Family Guy.
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Well, of course, its the best! The Simpsons hasnt been funny in about 12 years and Family Guy keeps getting stupider and the Cleveland Show is, well, disappointing at best. But Dad is consistenty funny week in and week out, much smarter than Family Guy and more interesting characters.
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Ah hello? Maybe people actually got tired ot The Simpsons i mean come on man that show seems never ending i mean imagine i was born seeing the Simpsons i mean how many season that show has... 20? 22? Its almost all a lifetime!!!! Maybe thats the reason people often get tired of watching the same show over and over many of my friends stop seeing them for that reason...



XO XO



:):):):):):)
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DAD is ever so cool!
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American Dad is the Futurama of today. It's very under-appreciated. People will later look back and realize that it was consistently better then Family Guy. Don't get me wrong, I was a fan of Family Guy before the first cancellation, but family guy is either really on or really off: except for a few gags here and there. While Stan Smith and crew are always entertaining
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I might give it a shot but I still love Family Guy.
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Family Guy was one of my favorite shows a few years back but I tried watching the last season or too and its not funny I don't know why but its just boring now, Same goes for the simpsons
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I'm going to have to disagree with a few things on here... The Cleveland Show Rocks.... Family Guy still very Solid and The Simpson is still the Greatest Show of all time. But I will agree with you that American Dad has really gotten better over the last few Seasons.
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The best Animated Show on Fox is and always will be The Simpsons. I kind of like the Cleveland Show. I miss King Of The Hill. Family Guy is awful and just copies jokes the Simpsons did 15 years ago. American Dad is my least favorite of the bunch.
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interesting.
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I still watch Family Guy, even though it seems to be

getting more gross, at times, but it's still funny a lot of the time. The Cleveland Show is "spotty" funny, but has a lot of funny characters in it. American Dad is last of the three, but, you're right - when it's on, it's VERY ON ~ you just have to wait for it to happen sometimes...
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disagree. american dad SUCKS! cant take one minute of it, are u seriously comparing this garbage to family guy? please. go to hell
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Finally! I've been saying this for the last few years. I rarely ever even watch Family Guy anymore, let alone the Simpson (way past it's prime), but I NEVER miss American Dad. Honestly, Family Guy can be good sometimes, but many gags run way longer than they should, and they seem to have a minimum number of 80's references they have to use each episode... both of which get old and annoying quick. LONG LIVE AMERICAN DAD!!
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Agreed. It has been better than Family Guy and the Simpson's for a while now.
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uh they've never done anything with haley so we wouldn't know if she had friends or not. she's barely on the show just like chris.

but yeah i agree american dad is currently better than family guys eps lately. simpsons has random eps some good some bad. futurama still owns all of them though XD
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Since its 2nd season, American Dad has been the leading animated show in my opinion, occasionally even beating South Park.
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Futurama's better, but not on Fox anymore.



Although it's not as good as it used to be, The Simpsons is still better than the other 3 animated shows.



I'll give American Dad credit for the most imaginative episodes; loved the post-apocalypse episode. But even that isn't as good as the Futurama episode where a whole civilization lives and dies on Bender while he's drifting through space.
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This season is having some amazing episodes, but I think last season was more consistent in quality, even if it didn't have as good episodes. And it is the currently best animated show, but I expect that to change when Futurama is back.
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I personally dislike american dad. I just find it absolutely boring, and unfunny. It's just a waist of my time. The only animated show on FOX I recall liking was Futurama, now that's an entertaining show!
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I got hooked on American Dad after the episode about the secret of Peanut Butter. I didn't think the show was going to be great when I first watched it, but even it's bad episodes can make me laugh, unlike the 90% of episodes of Family Guy.
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Hmm... I really like American Dad! more than Family Guy but they are all just incredibly funny and I wait for all of them (with The Simpsons and now Cleveland) every Sun!!
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Yep, absolutely agree with everything you said. American Dad is the best animated show on Fox right now. And this season has just been too hilarious for anyone not to realize that Family guy, The simpsons and The cleveland show are just not working and that AD is the one that brings the actual laughs. I've realized a big step up ever since season 4 started and has been singing its praises ever since. Family guy is just not doing it anymore. For quite some time now even.
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this show is retarded and it tries to funnier than family guy but its just not working.
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the simpsons is incredibly bad now , i feel so sorry for the show that was once so great , nowadays its actually painful watching it , and half of the time its so political and the guest stars are awfuuul , oow aaa !
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I know EVERYONE ON EARTH is gonna disagree but I'm just gonna say it: I like the newer seasons of Family Guy 1000 times better than the seasons before it got canceled. Take that society!!
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I've been singing Am-Dad's praises for two years now and nobody was listening. Nice to know I have a Greek chorus.
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stan and roger rock. My fav cartoon characters cartman, butters, homer, stan, roger and peter
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I've thought this for the last couple of years. Family Guy has done nothing but go downhill since it came back on the air (probably due to the FOX censors no longer giving a damn, so Family Guy draft scripts never get rewritten for the better). The Simpsons have become so extremely redundant that I can't even come to watch it anymore - it's just so dreadfully boring.



So at least I can bare to watch Family Guy, unlike The Simpsons, but episodes are so pointless anymore, and you just watch to see if there's any minor good gags (random gags is all the show is anymore). The Modern Warfare 2 ending to the last episode was gold. That's about all it's good for though, that occasional decent gag.



American Dad, on the other hand, has been really well written, and has got better as it has gone on. I'm praying it doesn't get canceled and ruined the way Family Guy did. Roger, Stan and Steve tend to make for many great episodes, and are great characters. The comparisons between American Dad and Family Guy (as so many people did when it first aired) I can see, but what I get from it is American Dad's characters are all far better, more rounded and more interesting than the Family Guy counterparts.



I hope American Dad keeps this up, as I'm pretty much the same. It's really the only cartoon (other than South Park) that I look forward to watching now.
More+
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Meh, doesn't have much in the area of competition as the other shows have all have gone downhill for quite a while
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Definitely the best sunday night cartoon, and has been for a while now.
Your comparison between the kids really got me thinking. There's some common ground, but I think Steve and Hailey are much better portrayals of contemporary youths. They are trying to make Bart and Lisa more modern by letting them have mapples and mipods and use the internet a lot, which really bums me out!
American Dad ftw!
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Roger the Alien is the funniest, most compelling and interesting animated character on television. I don't know the name of the episode, but last season Roger played a Jimmy Stewart-like detective in the show. Absolutely hilarious and chock-ful of funny goodness!
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I haven't watched American Dad in a while, but I've enjoyed several episodes that I've watched. I'd give it credit for being better than Family Guy, but let's be honest, that doesn't take much.
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Couldn't agree more. It's so underrated right now.
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I'm still laughing at gags from the last episode. What's great about AD is .. you can watch the same episode over and over and you'll still laugh at the jokes each time. *Gasp* "I dropped my meatball in the pool" ~ Roger. *sigh* good stuff.
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It seems like sometimes the rape jokes spill over into American Dad from Family Guy, but otherwise it's definitely a better show
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agreed...best animated comedy on sundays
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