• Casting for a live-action American Dad would be challenging due to the unique and stylized characters that need to be accurately portrayed.
  • Actors would need to look like their cartoon counterparts, have comedic skills, and chemistry with each other to sell the family dynamic.
  • Voice actors for characters like Roger and Klaus could be cast, while special effects would be required to bring them to life, but keeping the original voice actors would be the best choice.

On the chance that a live-action adaptation of American Dad ever enters development, it’s worth wondering who would be chosen to bring its characters to life. As a show currently on its 18th season, American Dad is full of characters that continue to be in the public consciousness. Less crude and irreverent than its sister show Family Guy, American Dad made a name for itself with its unique and stylized characters, which would make casting choices for them difficult to pull off accurately.

Not only would any actors cast in a live-action American Dad show have to look like their cartoon counterparts, but they would also need the necessary comedic skills and presence to fit the tone of the series. The actors would also need to have chemistry with each other to sell that they are a real family, albeit a cartoonishly over-the-top one. Some characters, like the alien Roger or the fish Klaus, would have to be brought to life via special effects, either CGI or practical, but their voice actors could be cast nonetheless.

RELATED: American Dad’s Stan Does 1 Important Thing Better Than Family Guy’s Peter Griffin

11 Stan Smith – Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm in Confess Fletch trailer

After the end of the much-acclaimed drama Mad Men, it feels like Jon Hamm hasn’t had the career he deserved. Hamm has a screen confidence that plays well in both comedies and drama. While not always cast in the best comedy films, Hamm can be hilarious and his roles in 30 Rock and the under-the-radar Confess, Fletch prove how he would make a perfect Stan Smith.

Not only does he have the all-American looks and chin of Stan, but he’s also adept playing a man who thinks he’s smarter than he is. Stan has confidence and charisma, but is also deeply insecure and can behave like a child. These are all traits that Jon Hamm has played off wonderfully in the past, and Stan would be another great character to add to Hamm’s resume.

10 Francine Smith – Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts in Twin Peaks

Best known for her dramatic roles in movies like Mulholland Drive, Naomi Watts has a secret funny side to her that would be a perfect fit for Francine. Watts joined Twin Peaks in season three as a Francine-esque homemaker who had to deal with the fallout of her husband’s bad mistakes. While the show itself could get very dark, Watts brought some of the funniest moments in the entire show, and her intense yet funny rage would fit right in on American Dad. Her roles in projects like St. Vincent, Bojack Horseman, and the much-maligned Movie 43 show that Watts isn’t scared to go big and silly.

RELATED: How Rick and Morty Accidentally Copies Another Comedy Cartoon Plot

9 Steve Smith – Gaten Matarazzo

Gaten Matarazzo Stranger Things

When it comes to young talent, Stranger Things is an embarrassment of riches. The show is filled with young actors who have proven their range outside the show, and Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin, would make a great Steve Smith. Not only is Matarazzo around the same age as Steve with brown curly hair, but he’s also incredibly gifted at finding humor through small character moments. Steve is an awkward character, who rarely gets what he wants, and Matarazzo played the put-upon kid to perfection in Stranger Things. Matarazzo can also demonstrate enthusiasm when needed, an important aspect of the Steve character.

8 Haley Smith – Rachel Sennott

Rachel Sennott in Shiva Baby

Rachel Sennott is one of the funniest and most talented up-and-coming actors in 2023. In her films with director Emma Seligman, Shiva Baby, and Bottoms, Sennott gets huge laughs out of insignificant lines, solely through her delivery. Sennott often plays young women who are angry at the world around them, making her a perfect fit for the eldest daughter of the Smith household. While Haley is similar to the characters Sennott has played, her antiestablishment and free-flowing personality would be something new and exciting for the actor.

7 Roger Smith – Seth MacFarlane

Roger Smith in the kitchen in American Dad

In a live-action project, the Smith family alien would have to be a visual effect, so any actor taking over the role would be limited to the voice and/or motion capture of Roger. With that in mind, there is no reason to replace series co-creator and voice actor Seth MacFarlane as Roger. The alien with multiple aliases is one of the quintessential aspects of American Dad, and keeping MacFarlane would help the project feel like the original show. With the Ted movies, MacFarland proved his cartoon voices and characters could translate to CGI characters. MacFarland could also provide the motion capture for Roger as he did for Ted.

6 Klaus – Dee Bradley Baker

Klaus American Dad

As with Roger, Klaus would not be played by an actor, so for a live-action adaption it would only make sense to keep the original voice of the character. While not as much of a household name as MacFarlane, Dee Bradley Baker is one of the most prolific voice actors working today, lending his voice to projects like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Phineas and Ferb. A more notable actor like Alan Tudyk could come in to do an imitation of Klaus, but it would never fully match the original voice, so keeping Baker is the best choice.

5 Snot – Cooper Hoffman

Gary Valentine doing the quiet sign in Licorice Pizza

Snot, while not always a major part of the show, is one of the funniest characters on American Dad. Steve’s best friend, Snot is an equally awkward kid who always finds himself in some wacky situation with his friend. Licorice Pizza star, and son of Philip Seymour Hoffman, is the right age for Snot, as well as being and hilarious and talented young actor. While Hoffman currently only has one credit to his name, his work as a presumptuous young man who behaves like an adult in Licorice Pizza was a real showstopper, and Snot would be another great role to showcase his abilities.

RELATED: American Dad’s “Top Of The Steve” Found Roger & Steve Trapped In A Spinoff

4 Deputy Director Bullock – Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston raising his fingers in Why Him

In the original show, Deputy Director Bullock is played by acclaimed actor Sir. Patrick Stewart and the character is even modeled after the actor. While Stewart is a fantastic Bullock and a great actor, he has become a little too old to confidently play the director of the CIA in live-action. However, Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle star, Bryan Cranston could slide into the role perfectly. Old enough to play a weathered supervisor, yet young enough to have the unbridled energy of Bullock, Cranston has the perfect mix of seriousness and goofy to pull off Bullock, with or without his shaved head.

3 Jeff – Skyler Gisondo

Sam biting a pencil and wearing headphones on an airplane in The Resort.

Over the past few years, Skyler Gisondo has been making a name for himself in side character roles in great comedies like Booksmart and The Righteous Gemstones. Rarely the lead, but always a stand-out, Gisondo has a screen presence that is hard to describe outside humorous. His unique sensibilities could be filtered wonderfully through the loving yet neuritic character of Jeff. As Haley’s boyfriend and honorary member of the Smith family, Gisondo his awkward and lovable energy that would lend itself well to the comedy ensemble.

2 Jack Smith – Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone in Expendables 4

Jack Smith is a semi-recurring antagonist on American Dad. Stan’s father is the more extreme version of him, representing the hypermasculine and toxic elements of Stan. Action superstar Sylvester Stallone is the best actor working today who symbolizes the values that the character of Jack comments on. Stallone has proven himself as a multi-faceted actor, but he is best known for his over-the-top action films, and his screen persona makes him the perfect for Jack.

1 Principal Lewis – Ice Cube

Ice Cube fishing in Are We Done Yet

Since starting his movie career with Friday, Ice Cube has become a regular face in the comedy world, turning in hilarious performances in the Barber Shop and Jump Street movies. The part of Principal Lewis, while not a major one, is perhaps the most out-there and ridiculous role in American Dad, and Ice Cube could excel at the task of bringing the character to life. Just the image of Ice Cube yelling at Steve about living out of his car is enough to crack a smile, and it would only be funnier in motion.

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