Television mourned an unexpected death last night. On the Family Guy episode titled “Life of Brian,” Brian Griffin, the beloved martini-drinking dog on Fox’s hit animated comedy, passed away. As he was setting up a street hockey net, he was hit by a reckless driver. Brian gives a heartfelt thank you to his family before drifting away at the vet’s office. The Griffins mourned the loss…before coming home with a new dog named Vinny (voiced by The Sopranos’ Tony Sirico).
When asked by E! why they decided to kill off Brian, executive producer Steve Callaghan said, “This was an idea that got pitched in the writers room and it sort of caught fire, and we thought it could be a fun way to shake things up.” Why Brian? “It seemed more in the realm of a reality that a dog would get hit by a car.” Maybe the Family Guy writing staff was inspired by the news from their fellow Fox animated show, The Simpsons, who recently announced that they plan to kill off a major character next season.
Luckily, it’s just a cartoon. Which means you never know if he might resurface. As a matter of fact, Brian has been confirmed to appear later this season and also in season 13, although it is not known if Brian will return to life or in flashbacks or as a spectral persona. Might his spirit make pottery in a Ghost parody at some point?