Quahog has a new sheriff or should we say mayor in town. The long-lasting cartoon Family Guy announced actor Sam Elliott will be joining the show when it returns for its 19th season.
The position became vacant after actor Adam West passed away in 2017. West played a fictionalized version of himself Mayor Adam West in more than 100 episodes of the show. While he maintained a presence through pre-recorded episodes, Family Guy finally acknowledged West’s passing and renamed the show’s high school after him.
“We wanted to take the time to respect Adam,” executive producer Richard Appel told Entertainment Weekly. “In having a conversation about ‘How do you replace him?,’ the universal belief was: he’s irreplaceable. And then the next question is, ‘Do you find a new mayor?’ In the world of Family Guy, he had an important role, and a role that was necessary for a lot of stories.”
The producers decided their first choice was Elliott, who is known for his scene-stealing voice on the silver screen. Elliott recently journeyed into the realm of television, starring in The Ranch and making guest appearances on the stop-motion show Robot Chicken.
Sam Elliott will play a cousin to Mayor West on ‘Family Guy.’
Elliott turned down the role initially however. He had no interest in playing a heightened version of himself as West did in the past.
“He just felt like he didn’t want to play himself. Which made us go back thinking, ‘Well, all right, is there someone else?’ And we thought, ‘Wait a minute, that note is a smart note,'” Appel said. “Because that was more what Adam West was doing. And the new mayor shouldn’t be another real-world celebrity playing himself within our fictional world. So we kicked around a bunch of ideas and then said, ‘What if we refashion this as Wild West for Sam Elliott and create this new character?’ And he responded very well to that idea.”
Elliott will play a cousin to Mayor West, called Wild Wild West. Wild West will enter the story when main character Peter Griffin decides the town needs a celebrity figure as mayor.
“From his first line, we knew this was going to be a shot of adrenaline for the show,” Appel said. “And everyone felt it — the animators, the writers, the executives who were at the table read. Since then, every [time] that we’re breaking new stories, it’s: ‘How could we bring Sam Elliott into this one?’ That’s always a hugely great sign that you’ve done a good thing for the show.”
[H/T: Entertainment Weekly]