Seth MacFarlane said that the papers belonging to the astronomer and popularizer of science Carl Sagan were extremely influential to him, and that they should be accessible to everyone.
Seth MacFarlane once included a gag on his animated TV comedy "Family Guy" about an "edited for rednecks" version of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos," featuring an animated Sagan dubbed over to say that the earth is "hundreds and hundreds" of years old.
Jokes aside, his admiration for Sagan runs deep.
The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that, thanks to MacFarlane's generosity, it has acquired the personal papers of the late scientist and astronomer, who spoke to mass audiences about the mysteries of the universe and the origins of life. While MacFarlane never owned Sagan's papers, he covered the undisclosed costs of donating them to the library.
"All I did was write a check, but it's something that was, to me, worth every penny," MacFarlane told The Associated Press by phone from Los Angeles. "He's a man whose life's work should be accessible to everybody."
MacFarlane — creator of "Family Guy," ''American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show" — met Sagan's widow and collaborator, Ann Druyan, at an event a few years ago that brought together Hollywood screenwriters and directors with scientists. They agreed to collaborate on a follow-up to "Cosmos," Sagan's acclaimed 1980 miniseries, with MacFarlane serving as producer. Astrophysicst Neil deGrasse Tyson will host the series, which is scheduled to begin production this fall.
MacFarlane said he watched "Cosmos" as a child and devoured all of Sagan's books.