Sam Elliott officially joins the cast of Family Guy on Sunday night, and fans can now see their first look at his new character in action. Elliott has been cast as the new mayor of Quahog, following the passing of Adam West. From the looks of it, the show will lean heavily into Elliott's cowboy persona.
Elliott is playing a character named "Wild West" — a distant cousin of Adam West, who was canonically the major of Quahog, Rhode Island on the show. In preparation for his introduction, Fox released two clips of the character this week: one where Peter tries to talk him into taking over as mayor, and one where he meets Meg for the first time. Both poke fun at Elliott for his stereotypical cowboy reputation and his distinctive mustache.
From the looks of it, Elliott's character is a not-so-subtle analog for the real-life Elliott, as Peter calls him "a legendary cowboy and spokesman for everything manly." He makes references to having done truck commercials and gives a shout out to Duluth as well. Peter finds him on a ranch where he apparently breeds external mustaches as pets.
In the second clip, Elliott's new character is in the Griffin home, so there is no doubt that he accepts the job as mayor relatively quickly. The show also seems to set up "Wild West" as a foil to the panicked tenor of topical comedy today, as Peter tells him he's "the perfect person to lead us through the last five years of the United States' existence."
Elliott's first episode of Family Guy premieres on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox. It comes over a year after the episode where the show acknowledged Adam West's passing, with an episode dedicated to the passing of his cartoon counterpart. West had recorded several episodes in advance of his death in 2017, so he continued to star in the show well into 2018. Finally, the Season 17 finale tackled the loss head-on.
Quahog has now been without a mayor for a full season, and Elliott's introduction is expected to give the show a jolt. Earlier this year, executive producer Richard Appel told Entertainment Weekly: "From his first line, we knew this was going to be a shot of adrenaline for the show. And everyone felt it — the animators, the writers, the executives who were at the table read. Since then, every [time] that we're breaking new stories, it's: 'How could we bring Sam Elliott into this one?' That's always a hugely great sign that you've done a good thing for the show."
Family Guy airs in a new time slot this season at 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox. Elliott's character will be introduced this weekend.