After Judd Apatow relaunched the adult comedy in 2005 with The 40 Year Old Virgin, he has dominated the genre by collaborating with his pals from his iconic 1999 TV series Freaks & Geeks, including James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel.

A Million Ways to Die in the WestSeth Macfarlane in 'A Million Ways to Die in the West'

This expanding team of actors and filmmakers are responsible for everything from Anchorman to Forgetting Sarah Marshall to Pineapple Express to Bridesmaids, not to mention the hit TV series Girls. In 2009, Todd Phillips briefly threatened Apatow's dominance with The Hangover, but neither the sequels nor Phillips' other feature Due Date caught on.

More: read our full review of 'A Million Ways to Die in the West'

Enter Seth MacFarlane, who created his own empire on television with the animated series The Cleveland Show, American Dad and Family Guy. He made the convincing leap to the big screen with Ted in 2012, hosted the Oscars in 2013 and now returns to cinemas with his Blazing Saddles-style Western lampoon in A Million Ways to Die in the West, in which he also makes his leading-man debut.

The script may rely a bit too heavily on the easiest vulgar jokes imaginable, and MacFarlane's anachronistically scrubbed-up face and one-note performance may limit him as an actor, but the film keeps audiences laughing all the way through. And with Ted 2 on the way next year, it looks like MacFarlane has only just begun his ascent to become king of the adult comedy market.

More: watch the trailer for 'A Million Ways to Die in the West'