Family Guy’s best – and most unlikely – guest stars

Remember when we all said The Simpsons was the best show ever? It was. But has it been overtaken by Family Guy? Because it’s sold as a show for adults it can be filthier, funnier and more gasp-inducing (remember Prom Night Dumpster Baby!), but it’s more open and accessible than South Park (still going strong, […]

Seth MacFarlane-Family-Guy

Remember when we all said The Simpsons was the best show ever? It was. But has it been overtaken by Family Guy? Because it’s sold as a show for adults it can be filthier, funnier and more gasp-inducing (remember Prom Night Dumpster Baby!), but it’s more open and accessible than South Park (still going strong, though the Book of Mormon takes the attention these days) and simply funnier than any other show of its kind. I mean, what other show has actually come back from cancellation due to fan power? Here are some of the best guest star appearances on Family Guy ever:

1. Entire Star Trek: The Next Generation cast

How on earth did they get every cast member to reunite for the first time since the final TNG movie Nemesis? Patrick Stewart has a recurring role as the CIA head on Seth McFarlane’s other (also very good) show American Dad but still, this cast reunion was quite the coup. Even better, the storyline simply has Stewie taking the cast bowling, to a carnival and McDonald’s. Even braver, in America’s pious climate, the entire show is really about Brian’s atheism, Meg’s eventual rejection of religion (talking of a cosmic joke, put-upon, relentlessly abused, dowdy Meg, constantly rejected by boys for being hideous, is played by Mila Kunis, aka the hottest girl on earth) and it turns out the entire FG universe exists in Adam West’s lampshade, in a live action finale where he seems to share a room with Rob Lowe. Bizarre right to the end.

2. Wallace Shawn

Bertram - it’s such a distinctive voice, you know you’re all sitting at home going, where do I know that from? Well, it’s Wallace Shawn and you’re right to think Princess Bride. Yes! The guy who drinks poison with Westley then drops dead. That’s Stewie’s nemesis Bertram that is.

3. Drew Barrymore

When was the last time she did something good? The Wedding Singer. But, to her credit, the small screen has been kinder. A couple of years ago she was truly staggering as the incomparable Little Edie in Grey Gardens. Undoubtedly, though, her turn as Brian’s dim girlfriend Jillian on FG is her current career highlight. Believe me, I know, I made the mistake of watching 50 First Dates the other week.

4. Carrie Fisher

As recurring character, Angela, Peter’s boss, the ever-reliable Star Wars legend turns in a performance that’s both desperate and filled with pathos. Seth McFarlane’s Star Wars obsession is out there for all to see but Fisher is the only cast member who keeps coming back.

5. David Lynch

No, really. In season eight episode The Splendid Source he pops up as a bartender, fantastic grey quiff and all.

6. Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd

The former, after simply stopping being funny (was he ever? I’ve seen Foul Play too many times obviously), has seen a career resurgence on sitcom Community. The latter has ploughed his own furrow as the go-to guy for weird phenomena (he’s heavily into the paranormal and UFOs) but still makes the occasional appearance on telly, where he and Chase (who had already reprised his famed National Lampoon character in one of FG’s many Star Wars parodies, season six’s mammoth season opener Blue Harvest), played spies who moved in next to the Griffins.

7. Harvey Fierstein

Oh the voice, it’s unmistakable, right? Always brilliant – a Tony-winner for both writing and starring in Torch Song Trilogy, his Mrs Doubtfire and Independence Day cameos, making a heartfelt appearance in last season’s Nurse Jackie and on and on… But he doesn’t mind the grotesque one bit, as evidenced by his cameo as Brian’s ex, obese, chain-smoking Tracy, trying to pin paternity on him. Gotta love the casual bestiality in FG.

8. Mark Hamill

I Need A Jew – another Star Wars nod, true, since Mark Hamill is in this one but really, the standout moment comes when Peter, desperate for son Chris to become more intelligent, declares his desire to find a Jew to make his son smart. Love it. “I gotta get a Greenstein or a Rosenblatt of my very own… Though by many they’re abhored, Hebrew people I’ve adored, Even though they killed my Lord, I need a Jew.”

9. Bowie and Jagger

Gayest video ever - ok, Bowie and Jagger aren’t directly in it but it’s a must-see. When I was a kid my mum, a Stones fan, showed me this video, ostensibly to make me fall for Mick. I only had eyes for the other guy and, with Labyrinth following shortly after, it’s come to define my life (but that’s a whole other article). So, when I saw this clip, I realised that it was true, always has been! Just the right amount of gay, I had thought, but Peter disagrees…

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