Seth Macfarlane’s animated series Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and American Dad have become as culturally significant as The Simpsons. With edgy humor and non sequitur galore, MacFarlane segued to the big screen with the fantasy comedy Ted starring Mark Wahlberg about a man-child and his teddy bear who has come alive. Full of gross-out humor and equal amounts of heartfelt comedy, Ted was a smash hit and spawned a sequel. Since then, MacFarlane has made A Million Ways To Die In The West and the more serious science fiction series The Orville. Now, MacFarlane is returning to Ted with a Peacock prequel series that blends the sitcom format of his animated shows with that same blend of crass and feel-good comedy that has become his trademark.
Ted, the series, goes back to the high school years for John Bennett (Max Burkholder taking over for Mark Wahlberg) as he and his stuffed partner in crime try to survive bullies, hormones, and more. We also get to spend time with John’s parents Matty (Scott Grimes taking over for Ralph Garman) and Suzie (Alanna Uback taking over for Alex Borstein), and the new character, Blaire (Giorgia Whigham). There are references to weed, Flash Gordon, and all of the elements that made John and Ted such beloved characters on the big screen, along with a further look into how they became the way we first met them.
I got the chance to chat with several cast members of the series as well as the producer/writers of Ted. Writers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh talked about the goal of paying homage to great sitcoms like All in the Family to inspire Ted, as well as how they let Seth MacFarlane go on tangents, which sometimes ended up being funnier than what was in the initial script. Scott Grimes talked about how he drew on voicing characters in animated series and his role in The Orville to play Matty. Alanna Ubach talked about how she found her voice as one of the best sitcom moms ever. Max Burkholder and Giorgia Whigham discussed acting opposite stuffed costars and what the 90s references were like. Check out the full interviews in the embed above.
Ted is now streaming on Peacock.