Pop Quiz: Seth MacFarlane


Aidin Vaziri | You know Seth MacFarlane, 41, as the dude behind a variety of animated television series (“Family Guy,” “American Dad!”) and the director-producer of that movie staring Mark Wahlberg and a foulmouthed teddy bear (“Ted”). But it turns out he is also a crooner who has studied at the temple of the Rat Pack. MacFarlane earned a Grammy for his 2011 standards album, “Music Is Better Than Words.” His latest, “Holiday for Swing!,” sees him taking on seasonal songs like “Let It Snow” and “Marshmallow World.” MacFarlane rings in the New Year with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies.

Q: Do you always spend New Year’s Eve hanging out with a full orchestra?

A: No. Generally, New Year’s Eve is a little exhausting. It’s like going to five bars in a night and then somebody says, “Let’s hit one more” even though we’re already drunk and tired. There’s this pressure. That’s kind of why it wasn’t even an option not to do this. To sing with an orchestra, and one that has the chops those guys have, I’m thrilled.

Q: Will you sing your Christmas songs even though Christmas will technically be over?

A: That’s a good question. We’ll do a couple of them. Certainly, New Year’s songs are not off limits.

Q: When did you discover you could sing? Because most people are just finding out right this second.

A: I have been singing my whole life in one form or another, whether it was musical theater in high school or with “Family Guy,” where we did a lot of musical numbers early on.

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