With the DVD release of American Dad, Volume One set for late April, Paste talked to the real star of the show, Roger the Alien, who dishes the dirt about life on the set and in Hollywood.
Congratulations on receiving the DVD treatment. Are you excited at the possibility of invading every television viewer’s home? I figured you might be, especially since your family never even lets you leave the house.
Excited? Honestly Gail—based on your questions, I’ve deduced that your name must be Gail—I’m about to blow an orifice! Roger is about to drop, ya’ll! And the masses have chosen to celebrate me. I’m just tickled to give something back to TV after consuming so so much. I’m television’s Roger! I’m friggin’ famous!
Are you getting out of the house at all these days? Do people recognize you on the street?
Clearly, Captain Obvious, I’m an Actor, playing a Character on Television. In real life Roger gets around. If you had the decency to read the tabloids, you’d know I’m all over this town. “Roger chows down on fro-yo… Just like Us!” “Roger spills sour mash whiskey on his Uggs… Just like Us!” “Roger hits a valet with his Ferrari… Just like us!”
How does it feel being the only alien on the show? I know they’ve hassled you in the past about your weight and your looks. Hell, Stan almost shot you while under CIA pressure that one time, but do you ever feel discriminated against? Perhaps there’s some kind of union you could join for equal rights…
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m in one of those. The NCAACP. The… New Coalition of Alien Actors Coalition Program. I forget what it is. I send them a quarter and they give a kid in Africa a cup of coffee or something. Have I been discriminated against? Yes. Does it bother me? No. Clearly, I’m the breakout star, and the rest of the cast knows it. It’s a real Geisha house in here, jealous bitches! I’m like that black guy that won the Olympics. This role is my spandex jumpsuit and Sunday nights at 9:30 are my Torino!
Something I’ve noticed is that when you get a little down, you tend to turn to the sauce for comfort. Are the pressures of being a celebrity getting to you? Should we be worried?
Look, what can I say? When life gives me lemons, I make lemon cosmotinis. Then I drink them. Then, hopefully, life gives me a Percocet.
Along those same lines, I watched your rant on the American Dad website about the mistreatment of celebrities in society. You said some forward things about how you’re better than the everyday Joe or Jane. Do you really think you deserve better treatment than the rest of us just because you’re on a TV show?
Exsqueeze me? Where’d you get that journalism degree, the University of eBay? What are you, a Googleologist? That quote was taken out of context. The Joe and Jane to whom you refer are a couple of deadbeat art dealers I got mixed up with in Toronto during the SARS scare. Well, they flipped out when I came to pick up the paintings, which I PayPal’d for! Really violent stuff, they threw dishrags in my face, opened all their windows, turned on the vacuum cleaner… So I left without the art. And when I returned days later the place was boarded up. So, do I feel I’m better than them? Hells yeah. And, Joe and Jane, if you scumbags are reading this, I want my fake Ed Templeton paintings!
It really is a shame how you’re treated sometimes, but hey, we have an open forum here. You could get back at some of your castmates right now. Why don’t you tell us what they’re really like behind the scenes?
Well, Stan has really packed on the pounds since he got back from his “vacation” in South Africa. Get this, he actually wears a girdle under his suit! Those wardrobe girls have to squeeze Stan’s fat ass into a girdle! Ha! I think there’s some footage on the DVD… Anyways, Francine spends most of her downtime on set practicing material for her pathetic housewife gimmick of a stand-up career. Yeah, you can catch her at any amateur night with a three-drink minimum. Klaus is the most diva-licious of them all! He only drinks 72-degree Perrier water. I once saw him kick his empty bowl at a P.A! And Haley’s partying has gotten hilariously out of control—Oops, that’s my cell. TV’s Roger here… uh huh… uh huh… uh huh, riiight. Ok, ok, TTYL.— Apologies, that was my publicist. We were talking about my costars? Complete professionals, an absolute joy to work with.
If the smart folks at Fox greenlighted the movie Roger: The Untold Story, what would be the basic storyline? What would be the biggest surprise be for the audience, or for the Smiths?
Much like Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, I’m an unbridled genius with a dead brother. That’s right, tragedy is no stranger to Roger the Alien. Poor, dead, Esopoglop… Ooh! Do you think I’d get to play myself in the movie? What a juicy role… though they’ll probably call in a Ledger or a cross-dressed Theron to do the job. There are so few parts for non-humanoid actors. This is a humanoid-dominated business! I’m an alien and an actor. Not an alien actor! I’m a raconteur; I wanna tell stories!
What are your favorite shows about aliens? Which one does the most injustice to your people, if you don’t mind us lumping all aliens into one group?
You humans are fascinated by Alien culture, but mostly you get it wrong! It’s ridiculous. That cast of waif-ish drag queens on Desperate Housewives really poorly reflects on all of us. I can’t imagine what backwoods planet Hollywood pillaged to find those freaks. Don’t even get me started on Mork and Mindy starring Robin Williams, that obvious showboat! Drinking out of his finger, wearing suspenders… embarrassing. And Third Rock from the Sun, ugh! That dorky bunch couldn’t be more clueless. Cheap shots, all of them. Yes, exploitation helps young upstarts make a buck, but we’re not all clumsy oafs. I know it doesn’t jibe with your demo, Gail, but Star Trek Voyager got a lot of stuff really right… the episode with the Photonic Canon and the doctor singing opera, I got chills… Yeah, definitely check that one out.
Have you met anyone else at Fox? The Simpsons, the folks from Family Guy, perhaps even a cast member or two from The OC?
Yeah, yeah, Mischa Barton and I hang. We’re neighbors. I’m currently living in Margot Kidder’s old place, but I’m looking for digs in Malibu. I’ve got my eye on the home of a certain Britney Spears, but my accountant thinks any day she’ll drop the baby and her realtor will drop the asking price. In the meantime I’m enjoying the fabu young Hollywood domestic scene. Mischies pieces and I play monopoly with Jason Priestley every Wednesday. Throw a couple of steaks on the grill. You know, keep it chill.
Obviously, American Dad can’t go on forever, though we wish it many decades. Where do you see your career going after the show has run its course?
Just the other day I was jaywalking my Pomeranian in Beverly Hills, and Wanda Sykes approached me! Like, the Wanda Sykes! She wanted to go halfzies on a pitch for a Roger the Alien spin-off, but I told her that I won’t go all “Joey” on my fans. Besides, my new agent sees me as more of a leading man. Naturally, the next step is the big screen. I’m no fool; it’s all about branding. Perfume, sneakers, a recording contract, these things aren’t too far off for me. And I’m in no hurry to overexpose. Ballpark, I have at least 300 more years left in this life cycle.