In last night’s episode, Roger pretends to be Jeff’s imaginary friend in order to freely roam around the house stark naked, after Stan tells Roger he needs to wear disguises while Jeff is around. But, Jeff discovers that Roger is an alien, which forces Stan to choose between killing Roger or Jeff in order to keep the secret under wraps. Also, Steve learns that his peers have grown their adult butts, while his remains as flat as a pancake, causing a great deal of ridicule for him at his high school.
This is another laugh-out-loud episode from my beloved American Dad series; a series that continues to make me laugh in the most unexpected ways. The funniest moment in the episode comes from Steve’s B-plot story line, when Toshi, Snot and Barry dance around the gym shaking their butts. Barry grabs his belly, turns it into a front-butt and dances around with it. I just about lost it when he started dancing with his belly butt. I don’t know why it’s funny; it just is. MacFarlane delightfully took the typical issue of a young female’s slow development and gave it a male equivalent and the idea provided for many laughs throughout the episode. Steve gets advice from his mother to stuff ham shanks down his pants and the plan works well, until fatso Barry wants to eat a chunk. A high school girl points and laughs at Steve and announces that he “stuffs,” the typical joust you would hear about a young girl stuffing her bra.
Steve’s ongoing teen angst provides for hilarious moments in the show and Scott Grimes (the vocal talent behind Steve) continues to make me laugh with Steve’s loud and shrieky outbursts. Another shining moment for Steve in this episode was when he was calling the emergency operator to save the donut shop from a fire and instead of telling the operator to come rescue the people within, Steve goes off on a narcissistic tangent discussing his newly discovered identity.
Jeff is a delightful moron and the evolution of his character to what it is now adds even more humor to the show. The flashback of Jeff at he and Hailey’s wedding having an imaginary friend as his best man warrants more than just a chuckle and his interaction with Roger as his imaginary friend is also amusing. But, just as Jeff has become a more prominent character in the series, MacFarlane has sent him packing in this episode by having him, instead of Roger, leave on Roger’s spaceship.
Although Jeff has been sent to a distant planet, I would bet money he is not gone for good from American Dad. The great thing about animated series is that anything can happen to a character one week and next week you can bring that same character back to the show without anyone really caring. MacFarlane actually created a similar situation earlier this season, in the Season 8 premiere when Roger skinned Jeff alive. In real life, Jeff obviously wouldn’t survive. But hey, this is animation!
And, here we are, more than halfway through this review of a Roger-centric episode and I’ve hardly discussed Roger. I guess, at times, the supposed B-plot overcasts the main focus of the episode, which is especially hard to do when Roger is at the forefront. Roger is what makes American Dad as enjoyable as it is. He’s got a never-ending closet of costumes and disguises and, for the most part, we don’t see two characters twice, unless it’s with a purpose within the episode. In this episode, we were given a delightful montage of many of the great Roger moments from previous episodes, most I recognized, but some I didn’t (in what episode does Roger give birth to a baby Roger??). Roger’s outrageous antics provide for endless fun and because he’s an animated alien, MacFarlane has unlimited possibilities of adventures for Roger.
American Dad continues to outshine its big brother, Family Guy. I watch both series each week and, more often than not, find American Dad funnier, more unexpected and more creative. For example, a high school principal killing drug dealers and stealing their cocaine-filled plane, while Steve and his family look on was an unexpected high point of this episode. Family Guy might have fallen into a rut of usualness, but American Dad is just as funny now as it was in Season 1 and it achieves that by remaining fresh and creative.