Friday, November 29, 2013

R.I.P. Brian Griffin. (1999-2013)

Here at TIAH Blog, along with FAMILY GUY fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of Brian Griffin, modern animation’s greatest talking dog! 

Brian was killed by a speeding hit-and-run driver, in "Life of Brian", the FAMILY GUY episode broadcast on Sunday evening, November 24, 2013. 

Considering he first appeared in the FAMILY GUY Pilot episode,  broadcast directly after the Super Bowl of January, 1999, that would make him just shy of 15 years old – or 105 in “dog years”.  Not bad for a hard-drinking, verbose canine! 

Amazingly, Brian remained dead at episode’s end – and was actually replaced by “Vinny: The Italian-American Talking Dog”, who certainly looks to be FAMILY GUY’s version of “Poochie”, or better yet, “The Great Gazoo”, in that he may be that fatal step that ultimately kills a long-running animated series! 

If "Sharks" existed in the Stone Age, this would have jumped one!
That consideration alone should be enough to prompt FAMILY GUY creator Seth MacFarlane to find a “cheater” way out of his stunt.  

After all, consider the permanence of THIS ICONIC DEATH.

…Not to mention THIS ONE...

 …And, in view of these successful resurrection endeavors, I suspect we’ll be seeing Brian back before long.   Anyone wanna take BETS? 

Since Brian died as a “November, 2013 Sweeps Stunt”, here are my choices for the time of his return: 

February, 2014 Sweeps.

May, 2014 Sweeps.

2014 Season Finale. 

Fall, 2014 Season Premiere. 

November, 2014 Sweeps (for the One-Year Anniversary).

2015 Season Finale.  (Seems a long way off, but still possible!) 

Never.  He’s really dead, and FAMILY GUY will totally suck without him! 

Let’s see how it plays out.  

Never say "DIE", Brian!


joecab said...

Well there to be an appropriate amount of time. Hmm, I say the possibility of his return gets teased in next season's premiere and it becomes a year-long B-plot thread that leads to him actually coming back in next season's finale.

Joe Torcivia said...

Logical, JoeC.

That’s a vote for the 2015 Season Finale!

I like it, but that still seems a long time to milk a stunt in this short-attention-span-age. On the other hand, after all that waiting, Brian's return would sure be a blockbuster!

...And, I'd look forward to all the incidental jokes they would make about it for the remaining life of the series. So, why not?

How say the rest of you?

Chris Barat said...


"Life of the series"! Arf, Arf, Arf!

I have no doubt that this dog will have more days to come. The only question is how they'll contrive to bring him back.


top_cat_james said...

Joe, I caught this article on a couple days ago by a writer from "Rolling Stone" who reported the following-

" ...signs suggest that Brian will come back sooner or later. Vinny, a cool-headed pooch voiced by "Sopranos" actor Tony Sirico, has taken Brian's place as the dog of the Griffin household, but Deadline points out that Sirico is only booked to appear in six episodes. Gawker also notes that Brian's name appears in the title of two future episodes on the "Family Guy" Wiki -- "Brian's a Bad Father" and "Brian the Closer" -- and that Callaghan recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about an upcoming episode featuring Brian."

If the statement is accurate, It seems February sweeps would be a good approximation for Brian's return.

Here is the link for the full article for your perusal-

Joe Torcivia said...

Completely agreed, Chris.

I just hope it happens sooner, rather than later, because the “Brian and Stewie” episodes have pretty much always been my favorites. All the more so, as Peter has become more annoying than funny.

Brian and Stewie have that sort of “Pinky and The Brain Chemistry” that’s so rare among two animated characters, especially since Seth MacFarlane does both voices! That’s an aspect NOT easily replaced!

That, said, I AM looking forward to the endless parade of “Remember when you DIED” jokes… that you KNOW are coming! And, it’s not as if Seth is above “taking us down a path” and then “pulling out the rug from under us”… as in “Stewie Kills Lois” / “Lois Kills Stewie”!

Stewie Kills Lois

Joe Torcivia said...

TCJ (Whose comment arrived *as* I was making my previous reply to Chris):

I think you nailed it! Figure six “Vinny” episodes, a few repeats in January (and Super Bowl Preemption, if it’s on FOX this year), and “Bri’s Back” for February Sweeps.

Brian may even be back before we find out “What’s up with The Governor” on THE WALKING DEAD!

It just goes to show, given the way you doped this out, there are no secrets to be held in the Information Age! In a way that’s sad, because some of the fun is taken out of things. But, remember that Seth is quite capable of doing the unexpected, so we’ll see…

Ryan Wynns said...


I have to give Seth credit for throwing a major curve ball at us. It's always been taken for granted that the cast is the cast, set in stone. (Cleveland leaving wasn't a major upheaval -- a character leaving for a spinoff isn't going where no man has gone before. The audience more or less knows the drill.)

That said, I'm not sure if I *like* this move. I don't dislike it, either; it's just ... interesting.

Imagine if The Simpsons killed off, oh, say, Lisa? Maude Sanders was the farthest they've ever gone in really shaking up their formula.

-- Ryan

Joe Torcivia said...


Minor or secondary characters have died on both FAMILY GUY and THE SIMPSONS, but never a member of either series’ “core family”. That, along with the detective work of Top Cat James (above), bodes well for Brian’s return but, you never can tell – especially with Seth MacFarlane.

Let’s see who returns to FAMILY GUY first… Brian or

Gregory Weagle said...

I felt that there were only two choices when it came to killing a family character off: Chris or Brian. Peter and Lois are untouchable for obvious reasons; Stewie is still too over with the kids at this point to be touched (which is why his "death" was a dream; I forget which episode that was in.). As for Meg; I see her similar to Fimberly from Fish Hooks, just there to amuse the writers.

There were a number of people who didn't like Brian after he started the gimmick of cutting promo bashing Republicans and since Fox and Fox News seem to go hand in hand with the Republicans; so he had to go. That's my theory at least.

Personally; I don't think it matters if Brian comes back or not since all Seth has to do is channel himself into Vinny now.

By the way; Brian's death would have been even better if we discovered that Ernie the Giant Chicken ran him over; because then that would set up Peter VS. Ernie for one last epic fight and Peter would actually have justification to pound Ernie into silly putty once and for all.

Joe Torcivia said...


Glad to see you here. Welcome!

Actually, when I heard the “Family Guy Character Death Rumors”, I first thought it would be Chris. In my view, Chris would be THE single core character death that would have the least overall impact on the show as a whole. Also, I can’t imagine he’s very merchandisable.

But, OMG! FOX killed Brian?! In this day and age of pervasive partisan politics infiltrating every facet of American existence, that really doesn’t sound as unlikely as some might think. Animated characters have suffered maybe not *death* but cancellation before in the name of social or political agendas, like the ‘80s Mighty Mouse and perceived-as-too-violent adventure cartoons like The Herculoids, so why not.

I was occasionally amazed at some of the things Brian was allowed to get away with – and wrote it off to the disarming aspects of being a talking cartoon dog, but perhaps it caught up with even him!

Brian, especially when paired with Stewie, was my favorite character on the show. And, even though we all know he will somehow return, I’ll miss him while he’s gone.

And, that’s a GREAT notion about Ernie the Giant Chicken being the hit-and-run driver! I can’t recall… Did we actually see who was behind the wheel? If not, you may have hit on something!