Roger (American Dad!)
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|American Dad! character|
|Created by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Voiced by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Full name||Roger (at least to the Smith family as the character has numerous alter egos with other friends and relatives)|
|Gender||Male (alien with non-human genitalia)|
|Children||1 (Via Betsy White)|
|Nationality||Unknown (of alien origin)|
Roger is the zany, crude, and brazen alien from the adult animated sitcom American Dad! voiced by Seth MacFarlane. The character was created by Moustapha Dioum, Xander Bodette, Josh Sorrell and Erin Franz.
Roger is a space alien, reminiscent of the Roswell greys with his hydro-cephalic head but with a body that resembles E.T. Roger came to live with the Smith family after saving Stan Smith's life in Area 51 four years prior to the beginning of the show. Roger started out on the series as a quirky and sensitive pushover, who was often cheated, ridiculed, and taken advantage of. Much to his frustration, he was originally disallowed from leaving the Smith home in order to hide the fact that he's an alien.
Roger gradually developed into the cruel, callous, self-interested, devious, crafty, and depraved character he's been known as for the greater half of the series. Through masquerading, Roger has figured out a way to keep from being restricted to the Smith home. However, more than just acquiring a social life, he's used his freedom to live multiple lives as a myriad of different made-up characters, deceiving many people. Unlimited in his sexual preferences, Roger has shown sexual attraction to everything from animals to female human beings, both obese and attractive, and particularly male human beings. He speaks in a swish accent intended to resemble Paul Lynde.
Crude and brazen, Roger has no qualms with randomly saying and doing whatever's on his mind no matter how outrageous, cruel, depraved, devious, etc. As most heavily emphasized, Roger is devious and crafty, regularly misleading and finagling others in an effort to achieve his desired ends. His desired ends are often ridiculously trivial, such as winning a free T-shirt. As examples:
- Roger once manipulated Hayley and Francine into competing against each other over who was more attractive. Acting in exact accordance with Roger's schemes, the two eventually wrestled. In this manner, Roger was able to videotape their wrestling match and submit it to an online contest for a cheap prize. On another occasion, Roger successfully deceived Stan into masturbating a thoroughbred racehorse while operating a racing-related caper together.
As part of his devious and crafty side, Roger is also a con artist, constantly giving off warm and cordial impressions on others so as to victimize them for his own personal gain when they least expect it. As a prime example and perhaps one of Roger's quintessential cons:
- He once convinced Francine to accompany him to a dance contest. After multiple lies and facades, Roger revealed his true motives for taking Francine along: he needed her as an accomplice after he dug up a dead woman, cut her red hair from her scalp, and dumped her body into a lake. This was all done because Roger couldn't find any wigmakers who made natural enough looking red-haired wigs.
Despite having been on Earth for over sixty years, Roger lacks all sense of social norms and social acceptability. He's often seen behaving in ways that are depraved and cruel. His depravity and cruelty are often delivered lightheartedly and carefree. As examples:
- In the episode, "The Full Cognitive Redaction of Avery Bullock by the Coward Stan Smith," Steve referred to Roger for help in dealing with a school bully. Roger stepped in by hiring Stelio Kontos (Stan's former bully), that is, to assist Steve's bully in his mistreatment of Steve. While Stelio was in the middle of battering and brutalizing Steve, Roger broke out into song and dance, juking and jiving to Stelio's trademarked theme song, played whenever Stelio has bullied others around on the program; in the episode "Why Can't We Be Friends?" Roger repeatedly ambushed and stole money from Jeff Fischer. Also in this episode, Roger casually stated to himself while counting up his stolen earnings, "I'm going to rape him tonight," and unsuccessfully attempted to do so; in the episode "Hurricane!" Roger became panic-stricken when his female admirer fell from the ceiling to a graphic death right in front of him. In a horrified reaction to this, Roger shrieked over the sweatshirt, which his admirer had borrowed, tearing in the process of an instrument ripping through her body and killing her; in another instance, Roger adopted foster children with intent to use them as slave labor; in another instance, Roger became a dictator of a Caribbean island and demanded extravagant and vain services from the populace, such as painting the island yellow. He later sexually abused all of his male staff.
In the episode "You Debt Your Life", Roger described himself as a "fey pansexual alcoholic non-human" in a similar vein to comedian Andy Dick. Very self-indulgent, Roger spends much of his time overindulged in the following activities (particularly in the early seasons when he was restricted to remaining in the Smith home in concealment, prior to his regular masquerading antics): watching soap operas (Dynasty, Sex and the City, and a fictitious season of The Simple Life that showed Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie as prisoners); eating junk food; and using recreational drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana,heroin,cocaine,crack cocaine,steroids, LSD, oxycodone, ecstasy, cooked-down Afrin, U4EA (pronounced "euphoria", a.k.a. the "fake drug from 90210"), nitrous oxide, dextromethorphan, Drano, and methamphetamine. His excessive consumption of alcohol would, in human terms, qualify him as an alcoholic. He shows a preference for red wine. It is suggested in the episode "The Best Christmas Story Never Told" that he is depressed over being stranded on Earth and having no place in human society (in the early seasons, prior to his regular masquerading), which could be a factor in his excessive alcohol and drug use. In place of organic waste, Roger excretes a form of waste that transforms into golden feces with encrusted jewels. The golden feces has caused division in the lives of random people brought by evil and selfish desires for personal profit and gain. It was also revealed in the episode "Choosy Wives Choose Smith" that Roger's able to float on water even when held down by Stan's weight.
Unlimited in his sexual preference, Roger has shown sexual interests in various animals species, human females, and especially human males. For example, Roger has shown infatuation with Steve's obese girlfriend, Debbie, as well as other female conquests. It is also hinted that Roger has human-male homosexual desires as he's made presumptuous passes at many a men. Among these men, he's hit on and even attempted to forcibly rape Haley's boyfriend, Jeff. In the episode "Stan's Best Friend," he came on to Jeff several times. This was all reinforced by Jeff's comment, "I think the guy who lives in your attic has a crush on me" (immediately following this is a cutaway gag of Roger flirting with Jeff). Roger has also presumptuously come on to Steve. For example, in the episode "Dr. Klaustus," before leaving for Iraq, Roger randomly and passionately kisses Steve before saying to him, "Wait for me." In the episodes "Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth" and "Stan's Best Friend," Roger informs Stan that one Christmas, he made out with him when he was drunk.
Roger started out on the series as a vulnerable pushover. In the show's early going, he was often treated contemptuously by everyone in the Smith family. A notable example of abusive treatment Roger helplessly sustained at the hands of the Smiths is in the season 1 episode "Deacon Stan, Jesus Man": Roger was hooked up to an apparatus in order to release his bodily fluids all for the purposes of Stan to win the position of church deacon. Despite the fact that Roger had become seriously ill and inflated to the point of near bursting, the Smith family was hardly fazed.Klaus, the family's man-in-a-fish-body pet, was also known for heavily picking on and antagonizing Roger at the time; ironic this is as outside of the show's early going, Roger has always been known to randomly mistreat and abuse Klaus.
After some time spent as the target of abuse, Roger gradually adopted the characteristics he's presently known for. This gradual process involved retaliatory and vindictive acts characterized by pettiness, touchiness and outrageous overreactions. As examples:
- In the episodes "Great Space Roaster" and "Virtual In-Stanity," Roger displayed rancorously deep-seeded grudges as he made numerous attempts to kill the Smith family: in the former, for simply insulting him at his comedy roast; in the latter, he murdered five college students with numerous others killed in the process over being stiffed five dollars for limo services. He also wrote death threats to Merlin Olsen for seven years after Father Murphy was cancelled
This would eventually branch out into several other foul personality traits. Perhaps the earliest hint of what Roger's character would gravitate into was during the season 2, 2005 episode "Stannie Get Your Gun": In this episode, Steve spitefully ate the last cookie after he realized Roger wanted it, yet another example of the family's then tendency to pick on Roger. In return, Roger deceptively convinced Steve that he was adopted. Though not having developed his rogue character by this point, Roger merely presented this act as an elaborate prank in the very end as opposed to revenge. Steve congratulated Roger on a prank well done and gave him a high-five, the two laughing over it together in the end. In the season 3, 2007 episode "Dope & Faith," in an act of petty revenge over Steve's gloating, Roger threatened Steve's life by having him employed in a meth lab and convincing him he was at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter novels.
Although it was shown that Roger had to remain restricted to the Smith house in the show's early going so as not to be discovered, it's also been stated that Roger's lived on Earth for many years prior to his life spent with the Smith family. When this is shown in flashbacks, Roger is always seen on the outside world in various disguises, though not portraying the role of "Roger."
In the pilot episode, Roger's body creates a mucus like fluid which is regularly expelled from several otherwise invisible orifices. This trait has been largely ignored throughout the rest of the series except for the episode they used it as an adhesive in a football game. He also produces a mayonnaise-like substance during his reproductive cycle. This substance is apparently delicious, as evidenced in the episode "Deacon Stan, Jesus Man" when he uses it as a substitute for mayonnaise in Francine's potato salad.
Disguises and alter egos
Roger was initially forbidden from both leaving the Smith home and interacting with the Smith family's visitors. This later changed, however, as a disguised Roger would regularly be seen outside the Smith home after the first season, particularly by late in season 2. He has an extensive collection of wigs and hundreds of costumes of both genders stored on a carousel in the Smith attic, along with a vast array of fictitious personas and a book to keep record of which persona various friends and relatives know him as.
Roger takes his roleplaying very seriously and allows himself to be completely immersed in his characters, even to the point of violence, abuse, and deadliness towards those he considers close to him, such as stabbing Steve in the chest while acting as an employee for one of his other personas. In the episode "The One That Got Away," his many personas temporarily caused him to develop dissociative identity disorder (a.k.a. multiple personality disorder) as "Sidney Huffman," a puritanical antithesis to Roger's usual personality.
Roger leads numerous separate lives from his life with the Smith family and has no trouble juggling his multitude of alternate lives, characters, and identities. For example, Roger's identity of "Jeannie Gold, wedding planner" has two full-grown sons, Alex and Ronnie, who refer to him as "mom." Also, under this identity, he has advertisements in Argentina as both a wedding planner and a prostitute (ep. "Shallow Vows"). Most of his personas are shown to have their own Facebook accounts, and at least three of them have social security numbers, showing how far he goes with each individual identity.
In "Stanny Tendergrass," it is revealed that each member of the family has one disguise they can't see Roger through: for Stan, it is "Mr. Vanderhill," a widower who married a rich woman two weeks before her death to claim her inheritance; for Francine, it's "Korean kid," who shoots pool with a giant chopstick; for Hayley, it's her sandal repair man; for Steve, it was "Alicia Wilkner," a girl he met at a Spin-the-Bottle party with whom he went on several dates. The only characters outside the Smith home that have been shown to see through Roger's disguises are Steve's friend Toshi, hillbilly moonshiner Bob Todd, and an unnamed scientist in Area 51.
Roger has played numerous alter egos in rapid succession. In fact, on more than one occasion upon a disguised Roger's referring the family members to other individuals, both Stan and Roger himself have accurately predicted that the following individual would be Roger under an alter ego. For example, in the episode "Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth," Roger hoped that a horse whisperer wouldn't turn out to be himself under yet another alter ego. When they arrived, Roger was shown relieved that he was just the secretary. He's then instantly shown seated at an office desk (apparently having the ability to move at lightning speed), correcting himself by stating that he was "an associate." As another example, in the episode "A Piñata Named Desire," Stan correctly predicted that an acting coach recommended to him by Roger was Roger himself under an alter ego.
List of Roger's alter egos
Note: The following list does not include all of Roger's many alter egos.
Dr. Jordan Edilstein (Season 3, episode 24: "Camp Refoogee")
- He was a near-sighted college professor with an IQ of 140. Dr. Jordan Edilstein was head of the Political Science Department at Harvard University (later the Economics Department). He once had a successful selling book. In addition, he once spent an experimental weekend with Allen Ginsberg. He's also a Hebrew. Dr. Jordan Edilstein was married to Amanda Lane (played by Francine) for 17 years.
Professor Baxter (Season 3, episode 29: "Iced, Iced Babies")
- Professor Baxter was a college professor at Goff Community College, teaching literature and life. Professor Baxter was highly respected by his students, especially Ethan. Ethan later turned psychotic and tried to kill the professor and Hayley. Professor Baxter is quoted as having stated, "I pretend to teach them, but it's really they who pretend to teach me," as well as ". . .well then, I'm taking away 50 points from Griffindor!"
Krispy Kreme McDonald's (Season 3, episode 34: "American Dream Factory")
- Krispy Kreme McDonald's was a rocker. When Steve looked for a new drummer for his band, Krispy Kreme Mcdonald's auditioned. Later, Krispy Kreme McDonald's kicked Steve out of the band and became the lead singer. He covered public domain songs with Steve's former band. Krispy Kreme McDonald's was a natural on the drums.
Kevin Bacon (Season 3, episode 38: "Four Little Words")
- Roger pretended to be Kevin Bacon when Hayley and Steve gave him a replica of Bacon's nose. As Bacon, Roger abused his star power to get as much free stuff as possible. However, Roger was forced to give up this disguise after he was involved in a hit-and-run. Police mistook him for the real Kevin Bacon, who was subsequently arrested.
Horse Renoir (Season 3, episode 42: "Joint Custody")
Predator (Season 3, episode 42: "Joint Custody!")
- Roger considered dressing as this when going after Jeff; however, Stan left while he was still deciding, so he was forced to seek an alternative.
Chilly (Season 4, episode 48: "42-Year-Old Virgin")
Cousin Phil (Season 4, episode 53: "Oedipal Panties")
- Roger disguised himself in this identity when Stan's mother, Betty, came to visit.
Parker Peters (Season 4, episode 56: "Office Spaceman")
Laura Vanderbooben (Season 4, episodes 57: "Stanny Slickers 2: The Legend of Ollie's Gold")
- Laura Vanderbooben was voluptuous woman Roger portrayed so as to be sexually harassed and paid off by the company at which he was employed. Laura Vanderbooben is quoted as having stated, "Looking for something glazed and BAD for you?"
Luke Fondleberg - (Season 4, episode 57: "Stanny Slickers 2: The Legend of Ollie's Gold")
Scotch Bingington (Season 4, episode 58: "Spring Break-Up")
- Roger created the character of Scotch Bingington in order to become the king of spring break.
Sholanda Dykes (Season 5, episode 60: "The One That Got Away")
Sidney Huffman (Season 5, episode 60: "The One That Got Away")
- Roger originally created this identity to steal a pair of gloves from a store; however, this identity became independent and developed an entire life. Sidney Huffman was a devout Christian who never drank or smoked. He worked as a Bible manufacturer. Sidney Huffman was involved in a loving, commited relationship with Judy Panawitz. Roger ended up killing him, his reason being that Sidney Huffman was "a good egg, and that cramps my style."
Mr. Mustachos (Season 5, episode 66: "Chimdale")
- An identity Roger portrayed to take Francine to an expensive spa weekend. The spa weekend was a prize he had won in a radio contest; however, it was only for two, so Haley was snuck in via a suitcase. When the spa-detective became suspicious, Roger and Francine had to pretend to be a couple. Mr. Mustachos is quoted as having stated, "Don't Portuguese out on me!"
Warren Beanstalk (Season 5, episode 77: "Daddy Queerest")
- A hustler, he once sat in an ally buying booze for minors because he made a nifty profit. Warren Beanstalk also hit a little girl and stole her dog, Pepper. He later gave up his enterprise when Steve's own experience of "beer goggles" showed what atrocities can happen when children drink. Warren Beanstalk is quoted as having stated, "Oh, you'll feel better after a few beers. You're driving."
Jenny Fromdabloc (Season 7, Episode 112: "Jenny Fromdabloc")
- Snot had a crush on Haley and did for many years, but she is married to Jeff and thus unavailable which disappointed Snot. Sympathetic to Snot's frustrations, Steve asked Roger if he'd create a alter ego teenage girl to cheer up Snot. Roger agreed and revealed himself as "Jenny Fromdabloc." Snot later told all of his friends how spectacular the date went with Jenny Fromdabloc. Steve is satisfied at first, however, became increasingly uneasy as Roger took things further and further. Finally, when Snot revealed he'd slept with Jenny Fromdabloc Steve freaked out.
- After caterpillars had chewed holes in most of Roger's disguises, he rediscovered an old outfit buried in a trash bag in the back of his closet. He put it on and greatly approved of its show; however, he was unable to recall the persona to which it belonged. When he walked through town under the disguise, he drew glares and hostile behaviors from everyone. This culminated in an assault at the hands of Brian Lewis. Roger is later reminded that his persona of Ricky Spanish is the most hated man in town.
The character of Roger is enhanced with an elaborate backstory. He was born in AD 410. He has shown an affinity for the cold, and has remarked that snow reminds him of his home world and that he learned to ice-skate there. Roger's planet and species are never specifically named, and were not seen until the season nine episode "Lost in Space." He has, on one occasion, demonstrated the ability to move at superhuman speed.
On his home planet, Roger worked as a greeter at a Walmart-style department store. Roger was tricked into coming to Earth as a crash test dummy under the assumption that he was "The Decider" and that the fate of mankind was in his hands. A later episode reveals that prior to this, Roger was the boyfriend of the Emperor, and broke the Emperoer's heart by cheating on him with another man. In the course of learning his true purpose for coming to Earth, he discovered that he was very resistant to fire. Having survived the crash, he has been on Earth since 1947. Similar to Forrest Gump, Roger has been a part of several important moments in recent American history. Roger had a hand in inventing disco music, was a member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 US Olympic men's hockey team, was Jerry Lewis's tailor in 1966 and gave him the idea for the MDA Telethon (for which Lewis took full credit), fought for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, was the CEO of General Motors during the 1980s, and was responsible for the death of The Notorious B.I.G. in 1997 after angering an armed driver who cut the rapper off in traffic (Roger survived the shooting and stole Notorious B.I.G.'s gold chain, which Stan assumed was a gift Roger made for him). He is also responsible for getting Joseph Hazelwood (captain of the Exxon Valdez) drunk, leading to the infamous oil spill in 1989, was a pro-segregation protester in Alabama during the 1960s (he was seen knocking the books out of Vivian Malone's hand as she was being escorted by military officers inside the University of Alabama), and created the initial design for Jar Jar Binks for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as seen in flashbacks in "You Debt Your Life". He also discovered the recreational uses of the drug MDMA (ecstasy) in the mid-1990s.
There are numerous references to him having attending Howard University in 1983 (the non-canon episode "Tearjerker" showed Roger in an Afro giving a black power salute as part of his graduation picture). Apparently he graduated with a master's degree in City Planning (as he explained in "Stanny Boy and Frantastic") and the episode "Hurricane!" shows he still had their sweatshirt until it was destroyed in that episode.
He has also had several one-shot jobs, such as car salesman and college professor as well as showing a number of talents for things like house cleaning, cooking, bartending (possibly the job he's stuck with the longest), wedding planning, and, in general, the ability to organize large scale projects (like a massive spring break blowout) very well.
Roger is skilled in the art of disguise, being able to pass for either a man or a woman and to adopt an accent as required. He is also multilingual, speaking (at least) fluent Vietnamese and Chinese such as in "In Country...Club", "Stan's Food Restaurant" and in other episodes.
He lived with several families before the Smiths, with varying degrees of amicability, the Smiths being the only family knowing that he is an alien. Additionally, Roger seems adept at either identity theft and/or creating new identities for himself (many of which have Social Security numbers) so he can move freely in the world. The CIA is aware of his existence and has been attempting to capture him, succeeding once (when Stan Smith met him), and once when Roger accidentally caught himself while working at the CIA. In order to make Roger palatable to the family, Stan gave him to his son Steve as a birthday present, and Roger is now accepted as part of the Smith family.
- Season 4, episode 2
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