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Roger (American Dad!)

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American Dad! character

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Roger the Alien
Gender: Apparently male, but at least sometimes hermaphroditic
Species: Space Alien
Age: 1600
Family: Un-named parents (deceased)
The Smith Family (foster family)
Children: One (name un-known)
Numerous Foster Children (taken away)
Favorite TV Shows: Grey's Anatomy, Dynasty, The Simple Life, Cagney and Lacey, Beverly Hills, 90210, Girls Gone Wild", Melrose Place and MADtv
Favorite Beverage: Chardonnay wine
Favorite Baseball Team: San Diego Padres
Best Friends: Stan & Steve Smith
Voice Actor: Seth MacFarlane

Roger (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is one of the main characters in the animated comedy series American Dad!. He is a space alien (whose appearance resembles that of the greys) living with the Smith family, Roger is sarcastic, surly and speaks in swish. Speculation exists regarding Roger's sexuality, but the discussion might be moot, as he is an alien after all. Roger came to live with the Smith family after saving Stan Smith's life in Area 51. He has lived with the Smiths for four years.

Roger's flamboyant talking pattern is a parody of Paul Lynde. He can speak Spanish (though not very well). On his home planet, he was a greeter at a Wal-Mart-analogue store called Philaxido. His favorite baseball team is the San Diego Padres. His favorite movie is Miller's Crossing.

BiographyEdit

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Little is known about Roger's past; his planet is never seen or described in-depth, though according to him, it sounds fairly similar to Earth, though in a deleted scene, it is also mentioned to be four hundred degrees colder. In "Of Ice and Men" he mentions that snow reminds him of his home planet, and figure skating apparently exists there; he also comments that he enjoys the cold in "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever", and expresses bewilderment when his human friends begin to freeze to death. He has also commented that the planet has stores like Wal-Mart (he was once a greeter at one of these places) and colleges (though non-Asians have a very hard time getting in). He also states that his home planet is full of chickens, warning Hayley against 'giving them the vote'.

Likewise why he came to Earth is never explained: he does state that the reason he came was to collect a sample of cholera, although since arriving he seems to mostly be mooching, and seems in no hurry to go back home (in the pilot he was supposed to try to contact his home world, but got distracted by a marathon of I Love the '80s). He claims in "The Best Christmas Story Never" that he landed during the Roswell UFO incident, and that he "invented" disco and became a millionaire in the 1970s after he discovered a cassette tape from the future, therefore creating a time paradox. He apparently also fought with the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War for some unknown reason, according to "42-Year-Old Virgin." It is said in the episode of Franny 911 that Roger has been on the Planet Earth for 60 years.

Four years prior to the series, he was incarcerated by the CIA in Area 51, when Stan Smith, then an intelligence officer, was on duty at the base. Tired of living in a laboratory, he escaped his holding cell, thus triggering off a lockdown investigation. Stan tracked him down in a kitchen and was about to kill him before Roger pleaded for mercy, but the security team riddled the room with multiple thrown grenades, from which Roger pulled Stan to safety. They leaped down a laundry chute into a laundry truck just as a the grenades blew up where they previously had been standing. Grateful to Roger for saving his life, Stan offered to repay him in anyway at all, leading to his being added to the family. As a means of convincing the family to let him stay, Stan presented him as a birthday present to Steve for his tenth birthday. Hayley and Francine were horrified of him at first sight, as was Klaus, but Steve was delighted in having his own alien. By the start of the show, however, the others seem to have come to terms with him and consider him a part of the family.

VicesEdit

Roger spends his time watching television, eating (mainly junk foods such as Pecan Sandies, Dunkaroos, and Chocodiles, and occasionally leftover pizza), smoking, and drinking alcohol. His drink of choice is almost always wine, usually white wine and he occasionally shows an appreciation for wine tasting as a connoisseur. His alcohol consumption would probably qualify him as a chronic alcoholic - he is often intoxicated, references are regularly made to his alcohol consumption and in the episode Rough Trade he is seen drinking deeply from a bottle of white wine even before getting out of bed in the morning. His motivation for his vices appears to be simple boredom, although it is suggested in the episode The Best Christmas Story Never that he is deeply unhappy about being stranded on Earth for decades and, moreover, achieving almost nothing in this time. As it is unknown why he originally came or why he does not try to return, this theory is somewhat speculative.

He can be mischievous and annoyingly childish; once, after finding Dick Cheney's BlackBerry, he prank-called several world leaders including a call to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair during which Roger called him a "Chicken butt!".

Roger is a film and television buff. He knows a great deal about celebrities and can quote famous speeches, line for line, from a number of notable movies. His appreciation for and extensive knowledge in this medium probably stems from the fact that watching TV is one of the few things he can occupy himself with while essentially forbidden from leaving the Smith household. He appears to draw a lot of his life experience from characters in films, often emulating their behaviors. For example, in the episode Iced, Iced Babies, he posed as a professor of English literature at Hayley's college and deceived his students into believing he understood the medium he was teaching by copying the performance of Robin Williams as John Keating from Dead Poets Society. In the same episode, Hayley accused Roger of being an 'uneducated alcoholic' - while this may merely be an insult, it may be true in the sense that Roger never appears to show any knowledge outside of what he could have absorbed from watching television.

Roger is also very petty and spiteful. When something bad happens to him, even something rather minor, he tends to take it very personally, constantly repeating his offender's response, e.g. "You snooze, you lose." When Steve took a cookie Roger was going to eat, he went so far to convince Steve that he was adopted by the Smith family from a less fortunate family.

He can also be very greedy and cruel, having once adopted a group of foster children to make them work in a vineyard he installed in the Smith's yard as slaves. He even had them dress up for Thanksgiving as Indians and Pilgrims and shocked them whenever moving out of display. However, this scheme ended when Hayley tipped off Child Services in the end, obeying a promise to God that she made.

Being a shut-in and constantly being reminded not to leave the house have caused Roger to form a tight bond with both TV and film, it is referenced many times that Roger watches nothing but trashy TV, and has favorites including Dynasty,and $50,000 Pyramid

DisguisesEdit

He is not allowed to leave the house and the family has to conceal his existence, although he has left on several occasions in various disguises. He did go out once as himself to a sci-fi convention without any suspicion. He has dressed as a Saudi woman twice (once in America, once in Saudi Arabia). He has also dressed as a costumed food vendor, a Persian playboy and an elderly white woman, a Rastafarian in "Francine's Flashback", "Stannie Get Your Gun" and "With Friends Like Steve's", two kinds of well-coifed white cracker hipster, a television anchorman similar to Ron Burgundy, and as an equally well-coifed "employable" used-car salesman in Francine's pantsuit. While in early episodes he had a hard time coming up with disguises, in more recent episodes he leaves the house often in various costumes, without anyone ever noticing his identity, even at times when it is fairly obvious.

"Camp Refoogee" expands upon Roger's disguises - to save himself from boredom, he invents characters to play, including detectives, Asian delivery men and college professors.

In "Joint Custody", it is revealed that Roger enjoys wearing disguises, though he seems to deny it without realizing it. He also has a "fashion montage" in this episode, which he can't go five minutes without, experimenting with several outfits to wear when he decides to become a bounty hunter; he dresses up as Boba Fett, Greedo, and a Predator before settling with a Dog The Bounty Hunter-like costume, which he wears for the remainder of the episode.

It is also revealed in the episode "Oedipal Panties" that Roger keeps all of his disguises in a carousel in the attic; it also appears to allow him the convenience of mixing and matching sections of his outfits for more combinations. He seems to have made notes of which kinds of disguises he should wear for which situation.

In "Four Little Words", Roger wore an artificial nose moulded from Kevin Bacon's nose, after public ridicule about his "freakish lack of a nose" drove him into depression. While wearing the prosthetic, he was mistaken for the real Kevin Bacon, and used this to his advantage by demanding freebies and special treatment wherever he went. He gave up on the disguise (and the nose) after being involved in a hit and run accident, for which Kevin Bacon was wrongly convicted.

PoliticsEdit

Unlike most of the main American Dad! characters, Roger's political leanings are unknown. There is some evidence he could be considered conservative; for example, once when Hayley was ranting about the weak job market because of George W. Bush, Roger shouted for her to "let it go!"---though whether this is a sign of disagreement with her liberal views or merely annoyance at Hayley's ranting is unknown. Along with Klaus he is probably the most apolitical of the main characters.

Biological odditiesEdit

General Edit

  • His pancreas is mobile, has fangs and is able to live and move outside his body for several hours at least. His genitals are located in his armpit and his heart is in his rear. Steve once said he has more than one stomach. He does not have any bones in his arms so he has a natural talent for being a drummer.
  • Every seven hours, a green waste is ejected from the sides of his body (though this was only mentioned twice).
  • In times of overwhelming stress, he goes into a kind of death-like suspended animation, becoming totally unresponsive to pain, described as a "stress-induced hibernation cycle" by Roger soliloquising after awaking from this state.
  • He sleeps in a noose to relieve back discomfort, once again leading humans around him to assume he has committed suicide.
  • Roger's species is immune to all human ailments including radiation poisoning and measles, except for cold sores, cough, and maybe hemorrhoids.
  • His people urinate on one another as part of their mating ritual.
  • He can learn everything about people by probing them.
  • He apparently has yellow (yellow green) blood (his blood is only seen in a dream Klaus was having).
  • He has a frog-like retractable tongue.
  • He claims he can slow-roast a chicken in his mouth.
  • He is fireproof or at least flame retardant; he had not realized, for a time, his species has this ability.
  • He is completely immune to the effects of cold weather because his home planet is said to be quite cold, perhaps at or under freezing temperatures.
  • He is (apparently) completely immune to the effects of morphin gas.
  • It is dangerous for him to be continuously nice, due to the fact that he has large amounts of pent-up rage. If he doesn't "let his bitchiness out" periodically, it will turn into bile and poison him, eventually killing him if the rage was pent-up longer. He returns to normal if he's a jerk to someone or something long and hard enough.
  • He can eat a banana in one bite.
  • He can completely redecorate an entire two-story house in under two minutes and can change his disguises instantly (when off-camera).

Influences Edit

  • After consuming certain spicy foods, such as a microwaved burrito from a convenience store, he excretes solid gold feces studded with gems, although he is currently unaware of the market value of his droppings. His droppings seem to ruin the lives of people who come across them, driving a man to murder his friend and then commit suicide after he found out his wife was having an affair, and later driving an old woman to murder her husband.
  • Under the influence of marijuana, Roger's entire body gradually becomes lighter than air and must be weighed down so that he doesn't float away. He instantly regains his normal weight when sober.
  • Under the influence of cocaine, Roger briefly becomes highly focused on his surroundings, giving him remarkable agility and hand-eye coordination. He used this ability in a gun battle with several heavily armed drug dealers.
  • Roger has incredibly high tolerance to alcohol. While he does show symptoms of human intoxication, he is unable to "drink himself to death".

Gender and sexualityEdit

Some of Roger's mannerisms and habits seem to imply he may be gay; however, this question is complicated by the fact that while assumed male, Roger's very gender is somewhat open to question. His species goes through a female reproductive cycle once every six years, suggesting he may be a hermaphrodite. Implantation of the egg (or transfer of the fetus) occurs by having direct mouth-to-mouth contact; the gender of the recipient seemingly isn't a problem, as Steve temporarily carried Roger's child after giving him CPR when he nearly choked on french fries. During this cycle Roger produces breast milk, which has a consistency and taste like mayonnaise. Making potato salad with this breast milk gives it "an extra zip." However during the episode "When a Stan Loves a Woman" Roger, hiding in Stan's closet, pops out angrily asking "can't a guy sit in the closet getting drunk with Francine's shoes without being barraged by filth?", implying he is male.

He once "consorted" with a Saudi prince in order to save the Smith family from being stoned to death, suggesting that he is capable of receiving a penis during intercourse. On the other hand, Francine once confused Roger's nether regions with Stan's under the covers, suggesting there is a resemblance to human male genitalia. Roger was also very attracted to Debbie, Steve's girlfriend (ex-girlfriend a few episodes later). Roger remarks, upon seeing Steve and his friends having a "grope fest": "You won't truly appreciate the awkwardness of this moment until you're fondly reminiscing as a 35-year-old homosexual", possibly relating to himself, although he is far more than 60 years old by his own admission, having been a product of the Roswell incident of 1947, although it is possibly he is simply foreshadowing Steve's future. Roger has also had what Hayley described as a "boy crush" with Stan Smith's father. In the episode, when it was revealed Stan's father was a jewel thief, he could not see past his infatuation and, despite the truth, he left Francine, and later Stan, locked in the basement prison cell. He also appeared to have engaged in some type of sexual intercourse, or "probing", with Stan in "Roger 'n' Me.

Being non human, sexuality may be an irrelevant to Roger although, like Stewie Griffin of Family Guy, while he is almost certainly hinted to be gay, he does exhibit bisexual behavior in several instances. These sexual tendencies may stem from the fact that he resembles a Gray alien, an alleged alien race which desires to create human-alien hybrids (even though he acts nothing like a Grey, according to the stories). In the episode "Red October Sky", Roger and Klaus take a vacation to Europe and decide to follow a pair of beautiful Swiss girls; while driving, Roger openly wonders if he even likes girls.

Relations with humansEdit

In the episode "All About Steve", Roger went with Hayley to a sci-fi convention where he met someone whom Roger has probed before, causing his family to leave him as they thought he was turning crazy; this encounter had the undertone of a one-night stand. His best friend is undoubtly Steve, as he is the best human companion to do stuff together with. Roger accidentally passed his egg to him during Roger's reproductive cycle. He also tried to kill Steve in the episode "Star Trek", enslaving foster children together in " Tears of a Clooney", going to New York City together to make a fortune in "Irregarding Steve", and saving him when Roger is being abused by another human in " A.T. The Abusive Terrestrial". Other than that, Roger also becomes Stan's Buddy in the episode, "Roger 'n' Me". Other than all these, Roger has also interacted with other non-recurring characters in some episodes. In the episode Deacon Stan, Jesus Man Roger passes his "egg" on to Steve when he performed CPR On him. This was part of his reproductive cycle, later in the episode when Steve kissed the neighbor girl, Betsy, he passed the egg on to her. She moved after she got "pregnant" and it is pressumed she gave birth to Roger's child.

RomanceEdit

Roger, whose sexualtiy is constantly questioned throughout the series has had varios crushes and relationships with both men and women. In Con Heir he has an obvious crush on Stan's Father Jack. Then in The American Dad After School Special Roger develops imense feelings for Steve's now ex-girlfriend Debbie. Even to the point where when Steve and Debbie are making-out in Steve's room, Roger is in the closet taking photos schemeing to make Debbie his. His plans of course fail. He once became engaged and almost married a devout Jewish woman named Shari Rothberg in An Apocalypse to Remember. Though he didn't actually love Shari he simply needed to become engaged so he could register for a new blender so he could make his blended drinks before the next episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Family Guy similaritiesEdit

Roger's personality is something of a counterpart to Brian Griffin on "Family Guy'.' Although both are nonhumans living with a human family, and both drink and smoke a lot, Brian is, for the most part, intelligent, stable, charming and likable, Roger is rather callous, rude, immature, and self-centered. He is more analogous to Stewie in that both are "supernatural" in some way (alien and talking baby with genius-level intelligence respectively), and both have mischievous personalities with ambiguous sexual tendencies. He is also in many ways similar to Peter Griffin with whom he shares a great love of alcohol and extensive knowledge of television and film. He makes an appearance at the end of the Family Guy episode "Meet the Quagmires" as a consequence of Peter's time travel, asking, "Who ate all the Pecan Sandies?" (a reference to Roger's debut appearance on American Dad). He can also be seen in the cantina scene of the following episode, "Blue Harvest", an out-of-continuity Star Wars-themed episode.

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