‘Family Guy’ Tribute to Adam West Proves the Show Can Be More Tasteful Than People Realize

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Fox)

A few weeks ago, when the beloved Adam West’s passing was still relatively fresh, a producer on Family Guy insisted that the show will quietly retire his character in the most respectful way possible.

This was pleasing to see, and it seems that the show is going further in paying tribute to the late West, having now provided fans with a special video highlighting some of the actor’s greatest moments from the history of the show.

After eight minutes of jokes, a very quiet message on a black screen reads:

“We’ll miss you dearly. Quahog couldn’t have had a better mayor. We couldn’t have had a better friend.”

It feels increasingly weird to say this, but well done Family Guy. Congratulations on putting the dumb jokes aside, and for sharing a heartfelt message for the fans of one of the show’s most enduring pop-culture icons.

While the show is generally know for its incredibly crass humor, it’s good to know that, under the right circumstances, the creative team behind Family Guy can be thoughtful and respectful.

It would be interesting to see the team explore this further in a happier context. There are hints, every now and then, within Family Guy, that the show’s characters are capable of more depth and sympathy than might be initially apparent.

Some of the best moments from The Simpsons are the ones that, rather than going for a gag, give a tug on the viewers’ heartstrings. Family Guy, the ultimate Simpsons copycat, could benefit from leaning a little heavier on this kind of storytelling as well – it would certainly go some way to pushing back at the show’s reputation for off-color jokes and long, awkward pauses.

We don’t need a lot of pathos in our Family Guy. This tribute to Adam West, however, proves that the show could be that little bit more warm and sweet, and that’s worth exploring further.