More than three years after the passing of Adam West, Quahog, Rhode Island is getting a new mayor. Family Guy has added Oscar-nominee Sam Elliott (A Star is Born, The Ranch) to the cast as the town's new leader. Elliott is set to make his debut in the upcoming season 19, with the first photos of his new character released online as a preview of what's to come.
Sam Elliott's character will be Adam West's cousin. His name, and this is absolutely true, is Wild Wild West. Yes, his first and middle names are both Wild. Unlike Adam West, Sam Elliott will be voicing a new character and not playing a version of himself. Elliott will make his debut in an episode airing in November. Executive producer Richard Appel had this to say about it.
"We wanted to take the time to respect Adam. In having a conversation about 'How do you replace him?' the universal belief was: he's irreplaceable. And then the next question is, 'Do you find a new mayor?' In the world of Family Guy, he had an important role, and a role that was necessary for a lot of stories... Who could be as original and unexpected and comedically fun and fresh as Adam? Sam has a voice that, obviously he's a movie star but he also has a voice made for radio, and Sam Elliot quickly became our first choice."
As for how Sam Elliott's character is introduced to the world, he will be new to town after moving out East. Wild West makes his way to Quahog as Peter becomes unhappy with the candidates who are in the running for mayor. He decides that the town needs a fun celebrity figure and convinces Wild to run for office. The photos reveal that Elliott will be looking very much like himself, with his signature big mustache and all.
Even though Sam Elliott was the show's first choice, it wasn't that easy. Originally, the actor turned them down. But the original idea was to have Elliott play himself. That's when the idea of having him play someone related to Adam West came about. Executive producer Alec Sulkin had this to say about it.
"He just felt like he didn't want to play himself. Which made us go back thinking, 'Well, all right, is there someone else?' And we thought, 'Wait a minute, that note is a smart note. Because that was more what Adam West was doing. And the new mayor shouldn't be another real-world celebrity playing himself within our fictional world. So we kicked around a bunch of ideas and then said, 'What if we refashion this as Wild West for Sam Elliott and create this new character?' And he responded very well to that idea."
Adam West starred in more than 100 episodes of the long-running animated series. West recorded several episodes prior to his passing in 2017, which aired the following year. Family Guy season 19 debuts September 27 on Fox with the landmark 350th episode. This news comes to us via Entertainment Weekly.