Hi guys! I'm Alex. You probably recognize my voice as Lois in FAMILY GUY. I've been in everything from the movie TED to HBO's new series Getting On where I play Nurse Dawn Forchette. I'm here to take your questions so AMA.

PROOF https://twitter.com/AlexBorstein/status/416637573159604225

Comments: 1009 • Responses: 87  • Date: 

barnitosupreme691144 karma

sorry Alex. but my favorite character of yours is MUTHAFUCKIN MS. SWAN!!!!!

AlexBorstein1211 karma

MUTHAFUKIN THANK YOU!!! You look like a man :)

notafraid1989851 karma

Lois, Lois, Lois, Lois, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma!

AlexBorstein1183 karma


towlieban385 karma


AlexBorstein595 karma

Swan was always so much fun to do. The live audiences were so much fun to perform in front of. Also loved The Gap Troll sketches and You Are The Love Of My Life songs.

My favorite FG moment if "Who wants chowder?"

CheeseburgerIceCream90 karma

I loved Ms Swan.

AlexBorstein240 karma

She's not dead! No need for past tense :)

Some_Annoying_Prick121 karma


AlexBorstein107 karma


Frajer305 karma

Hey Alex I've always wondered given that you Seth and Mila are all Jewish how you feel about all the Jew jokes on Family Guy?

AlexBorstein760 karma

I am a fan of whatever makes me laugh my ass off. If it happens to be a Jew joke, then it's a Jew joke.

RockWithYourGlockOut299 karma

How did you come up with your voice for Lois? Was it based on anyone, like Fran Drescher, or did you just try different things until one voice fit? Thanks for the AMA!

AlexBorstein640 karma

She is based on my cousin in Long Island, but don't tell her.

AlexBorstein261 karma

Okay folks. I'm done. This was fun, let's do it again :)

kdu3142223 karma

How many voices, besides Lois, do you do in Family guy? and What's your favorite character?

AlexBorstein530 karma

I usually do about 5 voices per show. Sometimes Tricia Takanawa, Babs Pewterschmidt, random women, random kids, babies, hookers, grandmas…whatever comes up. My favorite character of all is Jasper.

khall6344219 karma

What's it like to work with Seth MacFarlane?

AlexBorstein431 karma

Insane. He's a freakin' genius and one of the funniest people I know.

Appreciates_Tech98 karma

Serious question: do you believe Seth's moviemaking efforts and other ventures have reduced the amount of time invested by him in Family Guy? Don't get me wrong, I still love the show, but I am very curious to know if he leaves more Family Guy responsibilities to other staff now that he's expanding his creative resume. And if this is so, how do you think it is changing (or not changing) the show and your responsibilities on it?

AlexBorstein169 karma

Of course, with Seth doing movies he has to split his time.

DJBpayne76 karma

Is he pretty normal or does he always goof around?

AlexBorstein181 karma

He's not a "goof around" kind of guy. Pretty serious most of the time, but always ready to laugh.

Justacuriouslilrhino187 karma

Is there gonna be a Ghost reference between you and Brian?

AlexBorstein237 karma

Ha! Love it!!!

charlesmajora159 karma

Hello! Thanks for this!

What is one interesting thing about the Family Guy studio people should know?

AlexBorstein405 karma

The writer's room has a black toilet in the executive restroom that is attached. I have a fear of black toilets. During my entire tenure there as a writerI never peed in that scary black hole.

jamesandlily_forever154 karma

Hi, Alex! You make me laugh and smile all the time. Your voice as Lois in Family Guy is absolutely perfect. :)

My question is, what was it like working with Hillary Duff in the Lizzie McGuire Movie?

AlexBorstein287 karma

Hillary Duff was just a kid when we shot The Lizzie McGuire Movie and now we both have babies…how did that happen? She was very sweet during the filming and getting to shoot in Rome, Italy was HEAVEN!!! TRIVIA: On my new HBO show GETTING ON, one of the elderly women in our hospital (Birdie) is played by Anne Guilbert, whose real life daughter, Hallie Todd, played Lizzie's Mom in the show and movie

Doogy65153 karma

Do you and Seth ever talk together as Stewie/Peter and Lois, just casually off the set?

AlexBorstein307 karma


polaris23148 karma

Just wanted to let you know that for the longest time I thought a man voiced Lois on Family Guy. Love your work so far in "Getting On"!

AlexBorstein362 karma

Good news that after you saw my face you still didn't think I was a man.

Rigamarolly110 karma

How did you (and Seth for that matter) get roles on Gilmore Girls?

AlexBorstein158 karma

Dan Palladino was our show-runner on Family Guy for a few years. He is married to Amy Sherman-Palladino. Dan asked me to read Amy's pilot one day, Gilmore Girls. I read it and loved it and Dan asked me to audition for the role of Sookie. I did, I got the part. We shot the pilot in Toronto, but when the show got picked up to series, my MADtv contract wouldn't allow me to do GG, so I had to let it go. Amy wrote a new part for me DRELLA the bitchy harpist. Later, Amy wrote a part for Seth M.

dalekey92 karma

I'm a Nielsen family. Do you want me to watch Shameless live or Family Guy live Sundays at 9.

AlexBorstein105 karma

Oh shit…that's a toughie…probably FG :)

Rob_Saget75 karma

Hey Alex!

  • What is your reaction to the guy who got RIP Brian tattoo'd on his body before the Christmas special aired?
  • Since MADTV was your first big break, how much stress did you feel trying to make a funny impression?
  • Haven't checked out Getting On yet but what to you made the show stand out when you auditioned?
  • I host a podcast that has celebrity guests such Brendon Small and soon-to-be Seth Green on. I was wondering if you would be interested in being a guest as well?

Thank you and look forward to your answers!

AlexBorstein109 karma

*The tattoo is just priceless. The poster child for why tattoos might not be forever. *I was doing sketch comedy at ACME Comedt Theatre when I auditioned and had already done some impressions when I auditioned. *Saw the UK version of GETTING ON and loved it! Knew I wanted to be a part of it somehow. *Contact PrimePR for podcast booking

blackjamx568 karma

is it awkward when you have to fake sex sounds?

AlexBorstein168 karma

It's kind of funny. Many times in the recording booth I can be seen kissing my hand and humping the air :)

ThatDiesel66 karma

Hey Alex! I have two questions if you don't mind:

1 - I've always wanted to look into the life of being a voice actor, what would be the best first steps to take?

2 - What's it like working with the cast of Family Guy for so long? Especially with seeing all the interesting people they get for cameos.

Thanks again!

AlexBorstein175 karma

  1. I answer this on my website on the FAQ section because SOOOO many people ask this question. www.alexborstein.com Quick answer: there is no "one way" to get into VO. Many pads lead to OZ.
  2. I love my FG cast mates. It's been amazing to see everyone's career explode. And also fun to watch Mila grow up. She wasn't even driving when we first met.

thejesseshow59 karma

Hey Alex, What did you think of the episode of Family Guy when Brian died, then in the next couple of episodes he came back, would you rather have him dead or alive?

AlexBorstein174 karma

I thought it was a great episode when he kicked the bucket. Kind of couldn't believe how people went nuts about it online. I got so many disgusting hate-tweets from angry guys with no lives. It was kind of nuts. But I am very happy to have Brian back in the family. He's a great kisser.

DJBpayne58 karma

What's your favorite Family Guy episode? And when is the Family Guy movie coming out??

AlexBorstein136 karma

Don't have a favorite episode really, but I have favorite moments: Who wants chowder? (the Ipecac puke sequence) Diarrhea (anytime Lois says it) Singing in the basement bar. Boxing

As for the Family Guy movie…no idea when that will come to pass. Sorry.

Kendow47 karma

I absolutely love Getting On. Yesterday, I introduced my sister and her BF who both work in a mental care facility. They absolutely loved it and plan to spread the word at their hospital. One thing they were amazed was how accurate the show is at getting the correct terminology down in the writing.

How did you, Neicy Nash, and Laurie Metcalf prepare yourselves for the role as nurses/doctors? Did you have to do much studying to understand the terminology or was it all just rigorous memorization?

AlexBorstein59 karma

Hi! So happy to hear that you like the show. I'm kind of in love with it myself. Before we started shooting we had two weeks of research and rehearsal to familiarize ourselves with the whole world of geriatric care. I also went to a stroke ward of hospital and followed a nurse around for a while to see what it's actually like.

OfficialJab41 karma

I saw you in Toronto a couple months ago at the Family Guy Live and your singing was great - also when you called the lady up front a bitch for yelling her son's name at you.

Kara told me on Twitter that maybe that show could maybe be released on DVD at some point, do you know if that's possible?

AlexBorstein32 karma

I have no idea. Perhaps they will include it as a DVD extra on one of the Family Guy volumes?

TafferBoyElvis34 karma

Do you still have the Ms. Swan clothing?

AlexBorstein59 karma

Yes I do!!!

DocRude34 karma

Where did you come up with the character (or who did come up with) Ms. Swan?

And you're awesome btw

AlexBorstein71 karma

Happy to be awesome. Thank you. Ms. Swan is based on my grandmother. I think most memorable characters are based on someone we know. That's where the fine details and odd quirks come from.

yellowjelloknap9333 karma

Hey Alex! I'm a big fan of yours and I'm so glad to see you doing this AMA. I used to watch MadTV ALL THE TIME when you were on it, no matter what character it was. I just wanted to know if there was anything that you miss about the show and do you still keep in touch with your former cast mates? Do you still do live sketch comedy at all? Thank you for making me and my family laugh all these years!

AlexBorstein67 karma

I don't do sketch anymore and sometimes I miss it. But I think what I really miss is that time in my life, it was kind of like college. No kids, no real responsibilities, just comedy, food and late nights. Yes, Will Sasso and I are still very close friends and many of the rest of us stay in contact. Maybe a reunion at some point?

TheDuskDragon31 karma

What is your favorite TV show that you haven't worked on?

AlexBorstein80 karma

Breaking Bad

slipperysalami30 karma


AlexBorstein92 karma

Has to do with gravity and proximity to the sun.

Ewwiikk26 karma

Hi Alex! When you were working on the episode "Ders Comes in Handy" for Workaholics, what was the weirdest/most hilarious thing to happen on set? Also, are you going to be back on the show any time soon?

AlexBorstein51 karma

Ha! I almost forgot about that little stunt. My sex scene. I was really pregnant with my daughter in that scene and it cracks me up to think that my fetus was in a sex scene, too. The whole thing was hilarious and weird!!

Montez's wife has to give birth right? I'll be back for that.

GuyTheTerrible25 karma

Can you please insult me with your best Lois insult and record it?

AlexBorstein85 karma

Ok. Just did it.

FirstBeev24 karma

Hi Alex! No question. I just wanted to say I grew up watching you on MadTV and immediately recognized you when Family Guy came out. I love your voice, and the MadTV era you were in had the best group of actors.

Thanks for all of the entertainment!

AlexBorstein25 karma

Thanks :)

LFClaird24 karma

Im guessing Seth likes Star Wars because of all the references and the specials on family guy, do you also like it? Also, whats Mila Cunis like in person?

AlexBorstein61 karma

Yes! I have always been a HUGE Star Wars fan since I was like 5 years old. Most of us in the writers room at Family Guy were big nerds growing up and could recite almost any scene from Star Wars (1st three.) Mila Kunis is really fun and pretty easy-going considering she's the sexiest woman alivE!!

Viscous_Crescendo22 karma

Gotta say, I love watching you in Getting On. It's probably my favorite new show this season! Keep up the good work and I hope to see a season 2!

AlexBorstein14 karma

Yay! Thank you :)

mozartgirl21 karma

What's the most cringeworthy line or scene you've ever had to perform in Family Guy?

AlexBorstein41 karma

Hmmm, that's tough. There isn't much out there that can make me cringe. Sometimes if we have too many of one type of joke in an episode I'll give the producers my two cents. Not because I think they are too offensive, but because I think if you hit the same are too many times it lessens the effectiveness of all of the jokes. Sometimes less is more.

manbearmule20 karma

Hi Alex,

What is your favorite board game?

AlexBorstein29 karma


aPirateNamedBeef20 karma

Do you have an interesting behind the scenes story that we may not know about?

AlexBorstein64 karma

See answer regarding black toilet above. Hmmm, what else…when Seth andI first met in a recording studio in 1997 (or was in '96?) we had the same awful haircut.

Pvt_MJCaboose20 karma

Do you prefer acting or doing VO work?

AlexBorstein30 karma

I love both, but I find myself missing one when doing the other. VO work is kind of lonely sometimes so it's always fun to get out on a set to work with other actors in person every once in a while.

zel1n2619 karma

Do you watch South Park? If not, what do you think of other animated shows that compete with Family Guy?

AlexBorstein37 karma

I don't actually. Not becauseI don't think it's funny, but just having very little time to do anything. Most things I watch are on iTunes or Netflix and I really don't watch much comedy, always dark and gloomy stuff.

fasterthanphaq19 karma

How much creative input do you have with Family Guy, and how does the show keep turning out ideas that fresh (despite the Simpsons doing it first lol)? What was it like behind the scene with Mad TV? And please, "tell me every-ting"

AlexBorstein42 karma

Okay, I tell you…everything. MADTV was my first big break, so it was an exciting and amazing time for me. Kind of felt like a college dorm experience. Everyone was up late, working really hard trying to get their characters on the air. And the live tape nights were a blast.

Now that I am not writing on Family Guy, I don't have much to do with the story and or character development on the show. But occasionally I'll throw my two cents in and/or improvise a little in the recording booth.

luttnugs18 karma

I loved your scene with Ders and the over the pants handy in Workaholics. I'm curious, though. Was it awkward to do that scene and how many takes was it?

AlexBorstein11 karma

It was nuts doing that scene! I was actually pregnant with my daughter so that made it even creepier. But Ders was fun and we had a blast doing it. Tune in to see if Colleen gives birth this season :)

megustaajo17 karma

What do you think of the progression of the series? Peter has gone from a clumsy, loving parent to a sadistic idiot (this season looks better..). The hating on Meg got old really quick, too.

How do you think the characters have evolved?

AlexBorstein35 karma

Just kind of answered this above: "I think the characters we play have to change over the years because the writers writing them are always changing, the actors playing them are always changing and the times themselves keep moving along. Lois ebbs and flows."

It's also good to member that comedy and al art is subjective. To some people the hating on Meg got old quick, to others there wasn't enough hating on Meg. Everyone has a different opinion. Impossible to please everyone.

CanIgeta_Hot_Tub17 karma

Do you feel that the character of Lois has changed over time? If so, how?

AlexBorstein24 karma

Oh yeah. I think the characters we play have to change over the years because the writers writing them are always changing, the actors playing them are always changing and the times themselves keep moving along. Lois ebbs and flows.

SugarBells16 karma


AlexBorstein21 karma

They have not yet!!!! I'm freaking out. Hate to wait, but looks like I have to. Thanks for watching and spree the word.

Scotman8315 karma

What's your favourite sexual position?

AlexBorstein66 karma

My position: Make time for fuckery.

DocLuf15 karma

How were you able to keep it together for Ms. Swan skits on Mad TV?

AlexBorstein23 karma

It was always a challenge with the live audiences, but I got pretty good at it. Once I start playing her I kind of enter a little trance and hang in there until the end.

Clever_User_Name_15 karma

Did he lookalike a man?

AlexBorstein52 karma

Okay. I tell you...

4CatDoc13 karma

What topic(s) are a "line in the sand" that are internally self-imposed, personally or as a writing group, ie: guidelines not handed down by network/censors that FG sticks to?

O-kay, I tell you one ting, thanks for all the laughs over the years!

AlexBorstein20 karma

Just answered this above: "Sometimes if we have too many of one type of joke in an episode I'll give the producers my two cents. Not because I think they are too offensive, but because I think if you hit the same are too many times it lessens the effectiveness of all of the jokes. Sometimes less is more."

DoodleBug936113 karma

I actually have two questions. What is your favourite colour m&m? And, what is Lois' favourite colour m&m?

AlexBorstein29 karma

Red. Orange. We are both big fans of the peanut butter m&m

earino13 karma

Hi Alex!

I was front row center at Family Guy Live in Manhattan like 8 years ago. After you guys did the "deep south" episode and took your bows, I swear our eyes connected and you winked at me. I just wanted you to know that I remember that moment like it was yesterday. You were almost certainly just getting something out of your eye, but it was still super duper awesome.

As for my question, Lois is one of the mot dynamic and interesting female characters on TV (much less cartoons), do you feel like you've had a hand in evolving her character from early episodes where she was more one dimensional to where she is now?

Continue being awesome!

AlexBorstein25 karma

I winked? Hmmm…

When we first started at FG I was in the writers room a lot and definitely had a hand in helping to shape Lois. But there was a room of 15-20 writers who also had their hands all over her (dirty girl.)

FiveGumEnergy13 karma

What your favorite part of being the voice of Lois? Alternatively, what's your least favorite?

AlexBorstein29 karma

I love finding new sounds for Lois. Sometimes it's a new way to chuckle, or a new sex noise with Peter. Also fun to do the unexpected at a table read, if everyone assumes you will deliver a line a certain way, sometimes it's fun to try the opposite. Least favorite thing…nagging.

Our-Year11 karma

Can you explain why you ended up not playing Sookie on Gilmore Girls?

AlexBorstein17 karma

When I auditioned for Gilmore girls I was in a holding pattern with MADtv, unsure if it was going to be renewed. I shot the GG pilot and then found out MADTV was renewed and they wouldn't share me :( I was heartbroken at the time, but now know it wasn't in the cards.

TilburgWX10 karma

verry delighted to be the first to comment! so where did you find the time to do this and other social network streams?

AlexBorstein55 karma

As I type my 5 year old is asking me to pour him milk and my 1 year old is screaming because I took a penny and crayon bit out of her mouth. So…there really is no time, but I'm doing it anyway. If my kid chokes I hope it will have been worth it!

zammboss8 karma

Thank you so much for your time for this AMA. Few questions.

How do you feel about Brian leaving the show

What was your favorite episode to record

And can you be the voice of my voicemail?? A dream come true!!

AlexBorstein25 karma

I can't believe that Brian's death saw more people upset than the death of Nelson Mandela!!
There are so many favorites, but my favorite line go all time is "Who wants chowder?" Probably not gonna be able to do the VM, sorry.

female_redditor_pmme7 karma

Hi Alex! Just wanted to say I love you as Lois.

So... I might address the elephant in the room...

Family guy isn't exactly what it used to be, isn't it?

How do you think the quality of the newer episodes shape up to those of Family guys hay day?

If you answer, thanks so much! You're the only famous person I've ever reached out to. If not, you're still awesome.

AlexBorstein55 karma

Hi! Phew, so happy that I'm not the elephant in the room. Um, not sure how to answer your question because I don't really agree. All shows change as they age, as do the people who created the shows and the people watching the shows. Perhaps YOU ain't what or who you used to be, no? They should teach a philosophy course on this.

BoChiggedyBoDiddley6 karma

I loved you on the Lizzie McGuire movie!

AlexBorstein6 karma

Thank you.

TilburgWX6 karma

what is your biggest fear?

AlexBorstein15 karma

My biggest fear…the ocean. It's a great big, powerful sea toilet.

TilburgWX6 karma

now that you have children is this going to affect your succes?

AlexBorstein16 karma

Yes, they will suck me dry until my soul and bank accounts are empty.

AlderaanRefugee4 karma

Regarding Family Guy:

  • Do you feel that Family Guy is declining in quality like some fans believe? Maybe you think it's getting better?

  • Have you realised that you only ever say "Peder", never actually "Peter"?

AlexBorstein10 karma

I think all shows change as they age as do the people who make the shows. As do the people who watch the shows. All targets are moving.

I think I say "Pedah"

ContourOneFoot4 karma

Favorite 90s Television show?

AlexBorstein6 karma

VIP…was that 90's?

harrison2k3 karma

Do you or anyone else play any pranks whilst on sey?

AlexBorstein4 karma


14thCenturyHood3 karma

Hi there! What is yourleast favourite episode of FG and why?

AlexBorstein8 karma

Hasn't happened yet.

HippoPotato3 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA Alex! Who is your favorite character to play? Be it animated or a sketch character or anything.

AlexBorstein7 karma

My favorite character to play is Dawn Forchette on GETTING ON on HBO. She's such a freakin' mess of a person and so much fun to portray. Never know what she is capable of.

StephenMcTowelie13 karma

What's your most faaaaaaaavorite Lois line?

AlexBorstein12 karma

"Who wants chowder?"

PinkPoppet3 karma

What advice would you give to newbies at performing comedy? Any tips you'd consider sharing?

AlexBorstein7 karma

1.Be funny.
2.Write write write. 3.Be really funny. 4. write some more

jameson53 karma


AlexBorstein7 karma

Wow, that's a very hard question. There was a Ms. Swan series of sketches that we did at MADtv that included all these amazing guest stars like Susan Sarandon, Tony Shaloub, Dennis Hopper and Garry Marshall. That was pretty surreal and fun. But also the "Love of My Life" singing sketches with Will Sasso, those were a blast.

boxjohn3 karma

Are any of the characters you play/write "you," in the way that some would say Seth is Brian Griffin?

AlexBorstein5 karma

I think there's always a little bit of me in all the characters I do from Swan, to Lois, to Dawn on GETTING ON. They are never true depictions of me, you just see little glimpses of me here and there.

Pee_Earl_Grey_Hot3 karma

Will you sign my boobs? I'm a dude.

AlexBorstein4 karma

Sorry, only girl boobs.

my_work_acccnt3 karma

Hello Alex, Big fan of the show and your work, all the way back to MadTV.

Who is your favorite secondary character to voice on Family Guy?

AlexBorstein10 karma

Tricia Takanawa is always fun. But I really like the odd parts that come up here and there. Always fun to create someone new on the fly.

TilburgWX3 karma

Have you ever been in The Netherlands?

AlexBorstein7 karma

Yep. Was there in 1994.

Gay4Moleman2 karma

What was your experience like on mad TV, was Artie Lange as big of a mess as his book suggests?

AlexBorstein5 karma

My experience there was like a college dorm. It was a blast, exciting scary, late nights and hard work. Artie had just left when I started so I didn't really work with him at all. Heard some great stories, though.

Qable2 karma

What do you think of the show and what should be changed about it? Ty

AlexBorstein4 karma

Um, which one?

deathbypapercuts2 karma

Thanks for this AMA. I have to say, I almost peed my panties watching your Marlie Matlin/Poker Face skit!! I loved it and I'm going straight to hell!

My question is, do people recognise you/your voice in public but get confused cause they think they know you but can't quite put their finger on it? Any funny stories to share on that theme?

AlexBorstein2 karma

Thank you. I loved that bit, too. So did Marlee.

No. People usually recognize my face first.

willardwonka2 karma

What would you say is the best way to train for voice acting? Do you think that anyone with commitment can improve?

AlexBorstein4 karma

See my FAQ section at www.alexborsein.com

To be a good VO actor you need to be a great actor, so study acting first and it will enhance your VO skills. It's all about creating characters.

Zoranius1 karma

Do you read books? If so, what kind of books do you like to read? Thanks. :)

AlexBorstein2 karma

Yes. English.

dachshundsocks1 karma

Thank you for your work and the laughter you bring to my home on a daily basis. Nurse Dawn is just hilarious. Where did the idea come from to make Getting On happen on HBO?

AlexBorstein2 karma

Will Scheffer and Mark V Olsen the show runners decided to adapt it. And thank go they did.

dalekey1 karma

Do you have a favorite Family Guy song?

AlexBorstein2 karma

Seth and I did a song on the album called "But I'm Yours" that was always fun to sing together.

symes1 karma

I find your voice strangely sexy - do you ever get guys hitting you because of the way you speak?

AlexBorstein2 karma

Thank you. I once met a guy and dated him after meeting on the phone, so yes, I guess.

Slickwats41 karma

What is your favorite character to play?

AlexBorstein1 karma

Right now my favorite character is Dawn Forchette on GETTING ON. She's such a delicious mess!

Mrs_Damon1 karma

Hey Alex! My mom makes it her daily mission to always remind that "he......... look-ah like a man." So thank you for that.

My question would be, if you could pick any two characters that you've portrayed in the past to sit down and have dinner together, which two would you pick?

AlexBorstein3 karma

Ms. Swan and Dawn Forchette (HBO's GETTING ON)

And your mother is right, He does look like a man!