If you haven’t watched this weekend’s episode of Family Guy and you’re offended by spoilers, just turn around right now and head in the other direction. Otherwise, read on.
From struggling afterthought with a cult following to massive hit to target of protests and bannings, Fox’s cartoon series Family Guy has been through a lot of ups and downs during its run, but at its core, Family Guy‘s one shining star–aside from Seth MacFarlane himself–is MacFarlane’s barely-disguised canine double, Brian Griffin. Brian was the first character from the show I saw on a tee shirt, and the first character from the show that people seemed to really take to as he’s the one who offered up the show’s first real catch phrase, “Whose leg do you have to hump around here to get a dry martini?” Since then, it’s been mostly smooth sailing for the show and the character. Crazy things would happen and, the next week, everything would be back to normal. Not so much. Family Guy has decided to kill off Brian in a shocking turn-of-events.
“As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters,” said Family Guy executive producer Steve Callaghan in a Q-and-A with E! He added, “It seemed more in the realm of reality that a dog would get hit by a car, than if one of the kids died. As much as we love Brian, and as much as everyone loves their pets, we felt it would be more traumatic to lose one of the kids, rather than the family pet.”
So, in a bid to shock viewers, the show kills off a lead character rather than, say, Meg or Mort or someone else the show doesn’t do a lot with. Or they could have killed off some of the characters from The Cleveland Show before moving them all back to Quahog to rejoin the Family Guy cast after the cancellation of the spin-off show. Granted, the Griffins have already replaced their dog with a new one (voiced by the great Tony Sirico), and I haven’t actively watched the show in eight or nine seasons, but when the creator and lead voice actor exits his favorite role, it’s either because he’s spreading himself too thin on other projects or the show is going downhill. In this case, maybe both?
Tags: family guy, television, fox, seth macfarlane, brian griffin, family guy kills a major character, family guy kills off a character, brian griffin killed off on family guy, animation, cartoons, steve callaghan