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|“||There is something you should know about me by now...I don't learn lessons.||„|
|~ Stan Smith|
Stanley/ Staniel/ Stanley "Stan" Smith is the main protagonist of American Dad! and is voiced by Seth MacFarlane. Out of all the voices he's done in both Family Guy and American Dad!, MacFarlane says that Stan's voice is the most exhausting. It has been noted on DVD special features that Stan's voice is based on the announcers of 1950s American anti-communist propaganda films. He also seems to be partially based on the title character from the cult 80s show Sledge Hammer, who also had a weird habit of talking to his gun, as Stan does.
Stan Smith has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency since the 80s, as a field agent and weapons expert, and later on in the series, the Deputy-Deputy Director, placing him on the third tier of importance in the C.I.A. under Deputy-Director Bullock. As at the start of Season 2, his official job title is apparently "Deputy Deputy Director", although the official announcement of his promotion wasn't actually seen in any episode. In this role his work has included the interrogation of possible terrorists. Stan is always on alert for terrorist activity, at work, and in his home life.
Stan is in mostly top physical shape, though he has a bit of a gut.
At some point in Stan's childhood, someone gave him bad advice about sex, leading to Stan's belief that masturbation would lead to hair growing on his palms and his eyes melting, a belief which Stan almost passed on to his son. This belief led to a life-long love of hobbies, including gun cleaning and wood burning. Stan also collects commemorative plates from the Franklin Mint.
In "Stan's Food Restaurant" it's revealed that he lived in or near Philadelphia at the time his father left him and that he was molested by Father Roy, his priest. Although on further reflection he thinks he may have seduced Father Roy. In "The Best Christmas Story Never", Stan is taken back in time to his boyhood home by Michelle, the Spirit of Christmas Past, after which he travels to the New York of 1970.
Stan attended John DeLorean High School in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A very unpopular student, Stan was scrawny and had horrible acne, which caused him to be nicknamed "The Penis". He got pranked by the popular students while at the prom by being crushed by falling pigs which was a parody of Carrie, where she got showered by pig's blood—even a student mentioned that one of the other pranksters was too stupid to read the story through.
It is revealed in the episode "Chimdale" that in an effort to get rid of his acne, he took part in testing of an experimental acne treatment. The treatment caused all his hair to fall out, and he has worn a toupee ever since. Up until this episode, he didn't think anyone knew. The family told him that it was obvious (other than Steve who had no idea). His co-workers still have no idea though. In reality, this wasone of the show's joke episodes, since in previous episodes he grows hair and has it cut of torn off by Roger.
In the 1990s, Stan, then a college student, met his future wife Francine. She was hitch-hiking and Stan gave her a ride. As he was driving, he accidentally ran over a raccoon, which he shot to put it out of its misery, and Francine thought was that it was the most compassionate act she ever saw. They got married later that same year. Stan's father (Jack) wasn't able to attend the wedding so he had a fake father ("Grandpa" Smith) come to the wedding and pose as his real father for 20 years.
He constantly carries (and often uses at inappropriate times) two Glock 17s. He also owns an AR-15, Mac10, a "pen gun", MK 5, and what he calls a "sword gun" (a mix of a Glock 17 and a kitchen knife), all of which are stored in his wife's spice pantry, who does not seem to notice them. He stores weapons in random places around the house. During a mock robbery, Stan screams, "Hayley! Get the gun from the China cabinet!"
He is also allergic to shellfish.
In the episode "Black Mystery Month", it is revealed Stan is a part of the Illuminuti, an organization trying to keep a peanut butter conspiracy secret.
It is believed that Stan has been in the military. This was shown only in the episode "In Country...Club", when at the end of the episode, when Steve is unable to sing the US National Anthem, due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and he runs away, Stan is talking to him while wearing a US Army cold weather Coat and a beret. This is never mentioned in any other episodes, though, and it is most likely he was a reservist, having been a career CIA man.
Though Stan is often a villain due to his bigoted and paranoid actions, he has several times shown a redeeming and/or heroic side:
- Pilot: Stopped Steve's self-loathing-induced tyranny when the latter went mad with power, by admitting just how unpopular he'd himself been in high school, which Stan allegedly had never admitted to anyone before.
- Francine's Flashback: Risked his life without hesitation to save an amnesiac Francine from a fire.
- Stannie Get Your Gun: While quadriplegic, Stan moved himself directly into the path of an oncoming bullet to save Hayley.
- Finances With Wolves: Directly risked sacrificing himself to save Francine's life, only surviving due to being protected by a giant hip-hop clock worn around his neck.
- Tears of a Clooney: Although in a way more villainous than heroic, Stan deliberately broke George Clooney's heart to satisfy Francine and put her obsession with destroying Clooney behind them.
- Dungeons and Wagons: Stan went as far as joining the risky and dangerous world of street-racing to satisfy Francine's misery.
- The Best Christmas Story Never: Overcame his inability to strike against Ronald Reagan by carrying out the 1981 assassination attempt when he learned that otherwise his kids would never be born.
- Joint Custody: Went to rescue Jeff from being wrongly arrested after learning that Jeff's father planned to frame his own son for his cannabis-growing operation.
- Roots: He saved Steve's life when he was falling off a building.