Carrie Fisher, Family Guy

How Carrie Fisher saved Peter Griffin's job on Family Guy

Contributed by
Nov 3, 2017, 4:05 PM EDT

The late, great, multi-hyphenate Carrie Fisher did it all, from acting, to writing, to vocal work. And she did it all royally well.

But perhaps “royal” isn’t the word you’d use to describe her 12-year stint on Family Guy, giving voice to Angela (and Angela as Mon Mothma!), Peter Griffin’s memorable boss at the Pawtucket Brewery.

Through the wonders of animation, Fisher still has a part to play on Seth MacFarlane’s love-it-or-hate-it dysfunctional-family sitcom, as she gave voice to Angela in three posthumous episodes; the first of which aired last fall, the second will find her firing Peter a few times this Sunday at 9 p.m. on Fox; and the last of which will debut in a month. As befitting of royalty, Angela will also get the tribute treatment in an episode next year.

To preview Sunday's episode, Entertainment Weekly sat down with Family Guy executive producer Steve Callaghan, who noted that when they first tried to land Fisher, they were looking for yet another boss for Peter, who had had a hard time keeping a job up to that point. And when they did land her, there certainly wasn’t the expectation of a 12-year stint, and perhaps even less expectation that Peter could keep a job.

“By that point, we’d shown a track record of being willing to move Peter from job to job, and we did that for a couple reasons. One, because it provided opportunities for different stories. So we did do it knowing that we liked this new setting of the brewery, that we liked the choice of Carrie as his boss, but we also realized, maybe after some number of years, she would want to move on and not do it. So we thought, ‘It’s like a carpe diem thing. This is great. Let’s do this while we have the opportunity,’ knowing that if we needed to change jobs for Peter, there’s certainly a precedent for it. But we all found over time, as the dynamic between Angela and Peter evolved, that it really worked, and we liked it, and they were interesting together.”

So it seems that Fisher gave Peter career longevity! Although in Season 16's anthology Episode 5 on Sunday, he does get fired three different times (in the "signature styles of three famous Hollywood film directors," according to Family Guy's wiki) which you can see a preview of below, including an appearance by Fisher's Angela.

The extensive interview goes on to say plenty more about Fisher’s Family Guy legacy, and about her final episodes. Interestingly, MacFarlane originally wanted Fisher for the show not just because of her Star Wars cache (though the show pays great homage to that Galaxy), but also because he’s a huge fan of Joe Dante’s horror-comedy The Burbs, yet again showing her majesty’s royal range.  

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