Hiya folks. Here to chat about everything Family Guy and all things Getting On.

@alexborstein

https://twitter.com/reddit_AMA/status/542381443205177344

Comments: 653 • Responses: 91  • Date: 

JabberJawMan527 karma

Do you ever wake up thinking how you were never nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing Miss Ungermeyer in The Lizzie McGuire Movie?

AlexBorstein553 karma

Every day, my friend, every day.

Bob002476 karma

Did he really "looka lika man"? and what was the inspiration for that character?

AlexBorstein642 karma

At times, yes, he did, in fact, look like a man. Ms. Swan is a direct rip-off of my grandmother. She was one of my most favorite people on the planet.

BowserBandit263 karma

Out of all the dirty, raunchy things Lois has said over the years, which line is your all-time favorite?

AlexBorstein959 karma

He's knockin' on the back door. Should I let him in?

heliumtits262 karma

What's it like playing Montez's wife on Workaholics? Was that scene where you gave Ders an over the pants handy an awkward scene to film?

AlexBorstein333 karma

Workaholics was a blast! Those guys are great. Rubbing one out for Ders wasn't awkward for me...Ders?

dispatcher_83252 karma

In the first few seasons of Family guy, compared to now - or when it came back on the air Lois' voice is very different. Any reason why? Also Seth McFarlane credits you with A LOT of the jokes and writing from earlier seasons in particular - any funny stories with you and him?

AlexBorstein436 karma

Both Seth and my voice has changed a lot. It seems to have gone up in pitch. No idea why. You'd think as we aged it would get deeper, but it's the opposite. Seth and I have been friends now since 1997, which is hard for me to wrap my head around. There are way too many stories and none of them appropriate for Reddit.

MisterSirRiley201 karma

Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA!

What is your personal favorite episode of Family Guy and why? Also, who is your favorite character?

AlexBorstein567 karma

I had fun doing the ep where Peter puts a bar in the basement and Lois starts singing nightly. I also loved the ipecac scene, can't recall which ep it was, though. "Who wants chowder?"

AlexBorstein192 karma

So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, shalom, viszlat! This was fun. Until next time, crime stoppers...

zhbrass142 karma

Hi Alex!

I just want to thank you for the laughs that Bunny Swan gave my family when I was growing up. My mother didn't have an easy job raising two teenage boys by herself, but cheered her up like me saying in my best Miss Swan voice "Ya okay" or "Oh tanks. You nice lady."

Anyway, will we ever see the return of Miss Swan?

AlexBorstein245 karma

Working on it ;)

Luthalis126 karma

Alex, I have been watching you on TV since MAD TV. It was one of my first, "I'm too young to watch this/get these jokes but laugh anyway." shows. This is the first time I'm getting in on the ground floor of an AMA, so I hope you see these!

  • Was there any sort of rivalry between MAD TV and SNL? Did a lot of the MAD TV folks try out for SNL, or vice versa? There were probably other skit shows on TV at that point, but in my 10-year-old mind, you were the only two.

  • I see a lot of Will Sasso in random places, and even see you two together along with a few other MAD TV folk (Nicole Sullivan comes to mind). Do you guys help eachother get gigs, or is the comedy scene just that close knit?

  • What did you think of Family Guy when it got cancelled the first time? Did it seem like a given, did you lament it as something that really could have been great (And then celebrate your correctness later)?

  • How do you feel about the sexualization of Lois in fan art, etc? Does it creep you out, or is she just a random character you don't identify with?

  • Are you immortal? I just saw your wikipedia pic and you look the same as when you were giving the ol' "Looka' Like'a man" on MAD in the 90's.

Thanks for so many awesome years of laughter!!

BTW I -looooove- your singing voice.

AlexBorstein181 karma

Wow. Lots of questions! 1) We always wanted to be as great as SNL and as popular, but I don't even think SNL knew we were on the air. So, no rivalry. I never auditioned for SNL, not sure about any other MAD folk. 2) Will and I hang out all the time. I adore him. He's one of the sweetest, funniest people in my life. We are dying to work together again. 3) Shows get cancelled all the time, figured it was just another day in showbiz. But it's second coming has been freakin' amazing! 4) I do think the Lois porn can be creepy, but I take no personal offense. Mostly I just can't believe how much free time people have to make that crap. 5) Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE!!! Thanks :)

operation_hennessey89 karma

Do you know what the deal is with the purple octopus in Stewie’s room? I’ve always been curious if there was a story behind it.

AlexBorstein296 karma

It's a secret shout out to elderly homosexuals. Not really. I have no idea if there is any kind of story behind it. Would be a good question for our animation team.

operation_hennessey73 karma

Of your Family Guy castmates, which projects of theirs have been your favourite? i.e. Seth – Music is Better than Words, Mila – Black Swan, etc.

AlexBorstein161 karma

I think TED is one of the funniest movies to date. LOVED it :)

DLeibowitz66 karma

If Disney channel was to make a new Lizzie McGuire movie, would you be open to playing Ms. Ungermeyer again? Thanks for doing the AMA, Alex!

AlexBorstein105 karma

In a heartbeat. Especially if it shoots in Rome again. Or maybe Spain this time?

courtiebabe42058 karma

[deleted]

AlexBorstein89 karma

I did the pilot as Sookie and had a blast. Amy Sherman Palladino is one of the most talented writer/director/creators I have ever worked with. She makes it all so easy for us actors because her words do all the work. I then did the roles of Drella and Miss Celine, which were a blast. Although having to take harp lessons wasn't easy.

andysbelle46 karma

Which do you prefer: voice acting or being on screen and why?

Thanks for doing this IAmA!

AlexBorstein87 karma

I really love them both. I do find that when I do one for an extended period of time I start longing for the other one. Voiceover is great because the characters are limitless. I'm not stuck playing people that my body dictates for me. But then getting to do shows like Getting On gives me the opportunity to become the character in 3D, to use my face and my whole person to convey what I want.

fear_the_archangel46 karma

[deleted]

AlexBorstein179 karma

This question is a Kobayashi Maru.

EverythingHasRabies45 karma

I heard you on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast recently and it was hilarious. What's your experience been with improv comedy shows? How much improvising do you get to do on Family Guy?

AlexBorstein55 karma

I started at a theater in LA called ACME Comedy Theatre where we did a lot of improv in the school. Then we wrote sketches and performed them. All writing comes from improvising, it's just not always done aloud and in front of an audience. I will very rarely alter a line in the FG script because the brilliant writers have worked their asses off to make the scripts great and who the hell do I think I am?

mgmessner198943 karma

Hey Alex I know Family Guy has had a lot of controversial episodes and I bet a lot of ideas get scraped. In your opinion what episodes did you think Fox wouldn't allow but got aired anyway?

PS saw you on @midnight and you were hilarious as usual.

AlexBorstein63 karma

Fox had originally banned the WHEN YOU WISH UPON A WEINSTEIN episode, but then it was released on DVD. Also PARTIAL TERMS OF ENDEARMENT. ps @midnight was a blast

Lamps_are_great38 karma

How were you cast as Louis and how were you cast as Dawn? Thanks for the Ama!

AlexBorstein58 karma

I was working on MADtv at the time and the woman who had developed MAD for FOX was then developing FG with Seth. She asked me at some party if I would be willing to help out with some voices for a pilot presentation of an animated series. I says YES!!!! Then I met Seth at a recording studio a few days later and the rest is history. For Dawn, I was working with the BBC folk who were developing GETTING ON and they thought of me for the part. And thank god they did! I had just had my baby up in Seattle when I got the email regarding the audition, so I put myself on camera and emailed the audition down to LA and viola! Here I am.

operation_hennessey36 karma

Which quote do you hear most often from fans?

AlexBorstein106 karma

He look like a man!

mtanderson35 karma

You're role in Catwoman was inspiring. We can all relate to the dilemma of face cream making your face hard, and it was great to see how you overcame that.

My question is how it felt to be in a revolutionary and award winning movie?

AlexBorstein58 karma

I still can't believe I wasn't nominated for that film. But I hold fast to the knowledge that I was a part of the revolution. I was there America!

principessa118032 karma

Are you friends with Melissa McCarthy? You guys were on Gilmore Girls! Also, do I look like a man?

AlexBorstein43 karma

You look like an Italian man. I knew Melissa from Gilmore Girls days and we've sent some emails here and there in the last few years, but we haven't seen each other in ages. Almost impossible with both of us working and having two kids.

Frajer31 karma

is there anything Peter could do that would make Lois divorce him?

AlexBorstein94 karma

Nope. She's stuck.

therizzla827 karma

what's your favorite time of the day?

AlexBorstein90 karma

Don't care for the day. I'm a night girl.

Bigassbird26 karma

So my husband thinks it's great that he's very much like Peter and with that in mind he wants me to be more "Lois"

Any tips?

AlexBorstein177 karma

I'm sorry. Get out while you can.

TampaCub24 karma

Thanks for doing this! I'm a huge fan of yours since the MadTV days. You're so very talented.

What's it like working on Showtime's Shameless and which character is the most fun to write?

AlexBorstein36 karma

I LOVED writing on Shameless. The only bummer about doing Getting On is that the schedules conflicted and I wasn't able to write this past season. But I did get to come back as "Lou" Frank's sleazy lawyer, so that was fun. I always liked writing anything for Joan Cusack because you never knew how she was going to deliver it. She is truly one-of-a-kind.

operation_hennessey22 karma

Is there a film/show that you’ve worked on that you think went under the radar?

AlexBorstein56 karma

The Lookout. Such a great movie written and directed by Scott Frank, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt

wheelsee21 karma

What grinds YOUR gears?

AlexBorstein54 karma

other humans in my way when i wanna do stuff

AlexBorstein46 karma

people

SchrodingersHamster20 karma

If you could have a crossover Family Guy episode with any other animated franchise, which would you choose and why?

AlexBorstein52 karma

The Jetsons. Cuz flying cars...duh.

skunchers19 karma

Because your name is kind of ambiguous, did you ever get mistaken for a man when sending in a resume or paperwork?

AlexBorstein62 karma

Yes. That was the reason I used Alex as a nickname, actually. It was always easier to get interviews, open mic spots and called back.

coopstar77718 karma

How long do you estimate Family Guy will be on the air?

AlexBorstein40 karma

I'm hoping for 2025...oh my god, that could actually happen, right?

Dende112718 karma

Thanks for talking with us! So, have you ever been so furious with Seth you physically harmed him?

AlexBorstein73 karma

No. We;ve only had one "fight" in our whole relationship and it was over an ostrich. I kid you not. But he made up for it by giving me a Lois painting that now hangs in my bathroom.

AlexBorstein25 karma

We have only had one "fight" in our relationship and it was over an ostrich. A live ostrich, I kid you not. But Seth made it up to me by giving me a Lois painting that now hangs in my bathroom.

operation_hennessey18 karma

Are there any up-and-coming talents that you think are worth checking out?

AlexBorstein27 karma

Lateefah Holder was just on Getting On with us and I thought she was amazing. It was her very first acting gig post college.

cppoole17 karma

Do you ever get annoyed/tired/etc. by your own voice? Especially when doing Lois!

I realiZe this might sound like an insult, but I promise it isn't! I'm just referring to your unique voice. :)

AlexBorstein41 karma

YES! I find my voice incredibly annoying, not just when I'm doing Lois. I feel like I talk all day long and this two hour Reddit break of just typing is actually such a relief.

ariell123317 karma

Hey Alex! I love your work so in turn I ask: on Family Guy, which character of yours is your favorite to voice and why?

AlexBorstein36 karma

I love Lois, of course, but it's so much fun to show up and see some new random character that I get to make up a voice for. Just did a 1920's librarian the other day that was fun.

TheWalnutIsMoldy17 karma

Are you anything like Lois in real life?

AlexBorstein89 karma

We both have vaginas, boobs and children.

Fox24813 karma

What's your favorite movie?

AlexBorstein31 karma

Being There, The Jerk, Ordinary People, Defending You Life, Tootsie, A New Leaf, Wall•E

DogCatHumanRat12 karma

If you can think of anything Lois hasn't done yet that would make for a hilarious episode, what would it be?

AlexBorstein42 karma

I will be returning as a writer this next season on FG, so I don't wanna blow my story ideas now. You'll jus have to wait and see.

MovieMarker12 karma

How much influence do you have in the material that makes it into the episodes of Family Guy? Or is it simply just providing the voice of Lois?

AlexBorstein49 karma

For many years I was also a writer on FG, so for those episodes I had lots of opportunity to pitch in for Lois and al the characters. And I am actually thinking that I might return as a writer next season :)

15chainz11 karma

Alex, what's your favorite Family Guy cutaway joke?

AlexBorstein29 karma

Not a cutaway, but my favorite line: Who wants chowder?

two_off10 karma

What did you know about Family Guy and what were your thoughts about what it might be before you auditioned?

AlexBorstein18 karma

As soon as I read the script I knew it was very different. It wasn't like anything else I'd ever read. I had no idea it would become the cultural phenom it has, but I knew it was bent in all the right ways.

Col_Monstrosity10 karma

What's on your Netflix queue?

AlexBorstein23 karma

Waiting for new Scandal season. Just finishing up The Fall and loving it!

Underwater_Grilling10 karma

People might not remember Mad TV too well but they sure as hell remember Ms. Swan. Thank you for that.

Did Michael McDonald Roll in spoiled food to get into character for Stuart? Stuart looks like he would stink.

AlexBorstein14 karma

Michael?

operation_hennessey10 karma

Can you tell us something about yourself that we may find surprising?

AlexBorstein47 karma

Not a huge fan of g-string underwear for men.

giot121610 karma

What is your favorite memory from working with Hilary Duff?

AlexBorstein29 karma

She was just a little kid then, so funny that we both have toddlers now! Life moves fast, people. She was always a sweet girl.

Ma2529 karma

Hi alex! Today is my birthday so i decided to be lazy and use the computer. I've been watching family guy since before i can remember, and I'd really like to thank you for all the laughs. My question for you, is what is it like to work on a television show for such a long time, and to see something as simple as a show for adults bloom into something that millions of people watch?

AlexBorstein17 karma

It is almost unheard of to get the opportunity to work this long on one project. I feel so lucky, so appreciative and aware of the fact that it could end at any moment. Life is good and I'm happy to help make some people laugh every week.

tonker9 karma

Do you have any real life persons that you base the character of Lois Griffin on?

AlexBorstein27 karma

my cousin in Long Island. please don't tell her

AlexBorstein23 karma

The voice is based on a cousin of mine in Long Island.

warpg88 karma

How do you feel about the fact that women have it so much harder in comedy than men? What do you think of Bill Burr's opinion on the matter? (Linked) http://youtu.be/2Pn1RVZu-24

AlexBorstein64 karma

Women have it harder in life, so why should comedy be any different? We have old white men in suits and robes across the country deciding what we get to do with our bodies. We have little or no consequences for people who abuse us and aging is a bitch on boobies.

blewmonday8 karma

What was your favorite skit on MadTv?

AlexBorstein27 karma

The first and last Swan sketches were divine. Also loved The Gap Troll.

PulsatingRamen8 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA Lois!

What happens when preparing to do voices with other cast members before an episode? Usually an individual or solo? Weed, adderall, or cocaine? Does anyone get molested?

Also, Ms. Swan appearance after Meg gets reconstructive surgery.

AlexBorstein11 karma

We all record our parts solo now. Our schedules are all nuts, so it's no longer possible to do scenes together.

gophillies177 karma

Have there been any family guy jokes that you were uncomfortable with or you thought may have gone too far?

AlexBorstein27 karma

Nope. Most of the horrific stuff never makes it on the air. We have so many table reads and reviews that anything that sucks is cut.

ClaudioRules7 karma

When is the last time you did a Harold? Did you like doing them?

btw this is an improv related question not asking about your sexual history

AlexBorstein12 karma

Never done one.

BrunoGrand6 karma

Would you like to be Lois for one week?

AlexBorstein19 karma

Never!

sousvide6 karma

Hi Alex! thanks for doing an IAmA, you rock! If your were a real-life Pewterschmidt heir, would you still marry someone like Peter Griffin?

AlexBorstein25 karma

Hmm, probably not, but what do I know. We all make mistakes, right? Some just happen to weigh 365lbs

MrBeaverhausen6 karma

Did you enjoy dressing up in burlesque for the "Lady MadTv" video? I still watch it from time to time and it always cracks me up.

AlexBorstein11 karma

YES! That was so much fun. That wig was to die for. The wardrobe and make-up and hair people on that show were total unsung heroes. AMAZING!

icedcoffeeblack5 karma

Love love LOVE your work and miss you on Mad TV. (Edit: I miss Mad TV in general, not just you on it.)

Would you ever consider doing sketch comedy on television again?

AlexBorstein23 karma

It would have to be a really different format, just to do something new. It's always hard to try to relive something that had it's time already. Might feel like going back to college and living in the dorms.

tkousc25 karma

Saw you on At Midnight last night. You had some good ones. How was that experience?

AlexBorstein10 karma

@midnight was so much damn fun. Those guys are funny as hell and everyone is so chill. Which is rare.

Crap_MSPainter5 karma

Welcome to Reddit

I am a huge fan of your work and I hope you continue to put a smile on everyones face :)

What is it like to work for Seth MacFarlane?

AlexBorstein20 karma

It freakin' blows! -- The reality is that he is one of the smartest most talented people I've ever met, and working with him is always fun and rewarding. We both really like to laugh and that's what we spend most of our time doing.

AlexBorstein18 karma

A blessing and a curse. Blessing becuz he's a genius. A curse becuz he's a genius :)

xagesz4 karma

Is there any episode of Family Guy you don't like?

AlexBorstein10 karma

No. Each episode has so many gags, so many cutaways, so many great moments that there's always something I love in every show.

znte1403 karma

Hi! Has playing a character with such strong personality for x years impacted your own??

AlexBorstein13 karma

No, probably the opposite. I think I've seeped into Lois a bit :)

MYDOGSTELLA3 karma

Why do you stay with Peter? I mean you're such a babe and could do much better in my opinion?

AlexBorstein13 karma

Good question! I guess the heart wants what the heart wants.

tculpepper3 karma

What's your favorite character you've ever played? A character you always wanted to play?

AlexBorstein12 karma

Dawn Forchette on GETTING ON

perona132 karma

Which of your characters (live or animated) has been your favorite to perform?

AlexBorstein3 karma

Dawn Forchette on "Getting On" is the front runner right now.

Frisky_Dingos2 karma

How are the workaholics guys in real life?

AlexBorstein3 karma

The guys are awesome. So great. Really relaxed and fun. They could easily be dicks, but they're super cool.

shinslap2 karma

Did you ever want to pursue a singing career? PS: you and Will were always my family's favourite on MadTV

AlexBorstein5 karma

I love singing, but I'm not a pro and prefer to leave that to those who are.

TheKeav2 karma

What is your favourite Christmas song sung by Seth MacFarlane?

AlexBorstein3 karma

I'll be home for xmas

iminsideabox2 karma

Any favorite memories from the MadTV days? I always watched MadTV over SNL back then!

AlexBorstein8 karma

The guests who came on to be in Swan sketches were amazing. Susan Sarandon, Dennie Hopper, Tony Shaloub... I also met Blondie there and that was dreamy.

wine-inacan2 karma

Did you come up with the concept of Ms. Swan? Did you have a favorite sketch with her in it?

AlexBorstein4 karma

Swan is based on my grandmother. I loved the first and last sketches the most.

Terven2 karma

Hey Alex!! As a big fan of family guy I have to ask if it is as fun to make the show as I imagine it being? I'm never going to be creative enough to see that side of writing and acting but I have always thought it would be a blast to be a part of it, especially family guy! Thanks for doing this!

AlexBorstein3 karma

It is a very fun job. I'm a lucky gal. The table reads, where we hear the scripts read aloud are so freakin' funny, it's nuts.

abolge912 karma

I loved your snark on Gilmore Girls! Do you wish you could have continued the character?

AlexBorstein3 karma

Drella was fun. I would jump back into it in a second, but it hasn't kept me up at night.

Fox2482 karma

What's your favorite color?

AlexBorstein4 karma

RED

AGallagher4102 karma

What's your favorite ride in Disney?

AlexBorstein4 karma

Right now I'm kinda obsessed with Tower of Terror. But my nostalgic fav is Haunted Mansion. Also LOVE Indiana Jones, just counting down the days until my birthday when we'll be there next.

mjaneway2 karma

What has been your favorite casted role? What has been your worst expierence as a voice actor?

AlexBorstein2 karma

Dawn Forchette on Getting On. / Losing my voice was the worst experience, by far.

adub8872 karma

Is there a side to Lois that the audience doesn't know?

AlexBorstein7 karma

the upside

dyanceyfunnie1 karma

What would I have to give you to record a my voicemail message as Lois? I have literally tens of dollars.

AlexBorstein5 karma

I do this for charity. Usually for The National Hemophilia Foundation in the Spring, so check their website www.hemophilia.org

Mutt12231 karma

What is your favorite flavor ice cream?

AlexBorstein3 karma

Right now: That's My Jam (Ben & Jerry's Core)

SimStream1 karma

Favorite thing to eat?

AlexBorstein8 karma

food.

MovieMarker1 karma

Your voice, well the voice of Lois has changed a fair bit throughout the show since Series One... why?

AlexBorstein9 karma

No idea. Just kind of happens. CHeck out Simspons voices, too.

sam4731 karma

Have you ever been offered a role or an audition for a role that you turned down and now deeply regret?

AlexBorstein5 karma

Nope.

KingKabuki1 karma

How did you get involved with a show like Getting On? It's currently one of my favorite series and your character Dawn is so genuine and real. What's it like working with the cast and in that environment?

AlexBorstein2 karma

It is currently one of my favorites, too! I love Dawn and I love the show beyond belief. I was developing a different show for BBC and they were also developing Getting On with Mark and Will. When my development stalled, they were casting Getting On and thought of me for the role of Dawn after seeing approx 60 other actors. I can't say enough about how challenging the material is and how great the cast is at meeting that challenge. Praying for a season 3!! Let HBO know if you like the show :)

TheManWhoKnocks1 karma

Thanks for doing this! You are by far the most consistently funny people on television. My question, though: what's the funniest joke you know?

AlexBorstein4 karma

I don't know any "jokes." But just watched Louis CK's stand up special "Oh My God" and he has a riff about why the hell a woman would agree to go on a date with a man that is supremely fantastic. Check it out.

Hope_Burns_Bright1 karma

Hi, Alex. Im catching up on Getting On and Im really loving it.

Are you reading any interesting books lately?

AlexBorstein1 karma

I'm reading a book called "Fateless" by Imre Kertesz. Amazing.

fifth_dimension1 karma

How did you feel when Family Guy was cancelled? How did you feel when it went back on TV?

AlexBorstein2 karma

sad./happy.