Now going on its seventeenth season, FOX’s long-running animated sitcom Family Guy has had its share of touching moments woven into its years wise-cracking referential humor. The series’ latest episode may have provided its most moving scene yet as it paid respects to pop culture icon and recurring cast member Carrie Fisher.
Family Guy previously dedicated its winter premiere in January 2017 to the late actress, just one month after her tragic passing. However, Seth MacFarlane’s series waited a while to address the fate of her character on the show, Peter’s boss Angela. On Sunday’s episode, entitled “Pawtucket Pete”, Angela finally kicked the bucket as well, prompting Peter to make a tearful speech at her rain-soaked funeral.
The results are irreverent almost to a fault, which is prototypical Family Guy; Peter starts out by offering up the wrong Webster’s Dictionary definition of “class,” followed by a eulogy that cribs from TV show theme songs like Mary Tyler Moore, Friends, and Cheers.
But by the end, there’s truly earnest sincerity that breaks through MacFarlane’s signature glibness, as Peter goes on to praise Fisher through his appraisal of Angela. “That was Angela: fearless, spontaneous, honest about herself just as much as she was about the world around her,” Peter says. “She had grace, courage, and an unmatched zest for life. She may be gone, but her voice will live on in DVD and Hulu Plus and tiny droid-projected messages. I may have lost a boss, but heaven has gained a princess.”
Of course, Family Guy can’t just end on such an earnest note, so we cut away to an Asian family listening to Peter’s speech, and his subsequent realization that he’s at the wrong funeral. Nice try, Peter — you almost got through an entire scene without doing something vaguely racist.
Whether or not you’ve got a stomach for Family Guy’s brand of try-hard comedy, the scene remains a comparatively sweet tribute to someone MacFarlane clearly respected as both a colleague and a pop culture titan. That someone gets eulogies like these two years after their death is a testament to how much Fisher is still missed. (That being said, Family Guy has a history of being late with its topical humor, like when it spoofed JAY-Z and Solange’s elevator incident three years after the fact.)
Watch the bizarre, darkly sweet scene from this week’s episode below.