The OFFICIALunOFFICIAL English Bulldog Mascot

This is #bullDogNATION Radio

In Animals and Pets, BulldogNation, Cartoons, Comedy, Humor, Popular Culture, Television, Tv Show Theme Songs on March 28, 2010 at 6:55 PM

This past Saturday, I had a unique, fun and exciting opportunity to sit down with a very special guest.  Here is the complete transcript of  ThatOne interview.

This is #bullDogNATION radio. I’m ThatOne.

T1:  The satirical animated series “Family Guy” is well into its ninth season on Fox. My guest is one of the undisputed breakout stars of the series, Brian Griffin. Brian Welcome to #bullDogNATION radio.

Brian: It’s good to be here, ThatOne.

T1:  “Family Guy” is the story of a dog owning family residing in Quahog, Rhode Island. The family patriarch is lovable oaf, Peter Griffin (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), his loving wife, Lois (voiced by Alex Borstein) a former Miss Teen Rhode Island who comes from wealth and marries down into middle class; and their three kids:  sixteen year old Meg (Mila Kunis), who literally gets no respect, acceptance, attention or approval, thirteen year old Chris (Seth Green), rotund and pimply faced with a personality much like his father and who believes there’s an evil monkey hiding in his closet, and one year old Stewie, beyond precocious, a diabolically gifted toddler whose heterosexuality is hanging by a thread.

The subject matter is usually pretty adult, satirizing the right and the left, religion, politics, current events, the news, and pushing viewers to confront broader issues, such as racism, war, mob mentality, consumerism and religious fanaticism. Along with the satire, you get a lot of crude jokes about bodily functions or as Brian, the urbane family dog would put it:

Brian: (clears throat) Scatology.

(Soundbite of laughter)

In 2009, the show earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series, making Family Guy only the second show in television animated history to be honored with such a distinction.

The show, now in its 9th season is a runaway hit largely due to the shenanigans of my guest.  Sitting with me in the studio today is Brian Griffin.  Brian, great to have you with us.

Brian: That was a really long intro, That. But thanks. It’s great to be here in sunny San Diego. I love the #bullDogNATION, I love your blog.  I love the show, so thanks for having me.

T1: Brian, you’ve had to overcome a lot of painful personal obstacles. You were born in a puppy mill in Austin, Texas. You’re an orphan with siblings who are scattered about the country who you will probably never know. And for a long time you had to live by your wits on the street as a homeless dog.

Brian: Yeah, Peter was the one who found me. I was actually panhandling, washing car windows on the side of a highway exit. He picked me up there right off the street and brought me home, so yeah, things were really hard for me in the beginning and for a long time, too.

T1: Is that where you developed your anthropomorphic qualities, your facility with language and the ability to walk bipedally?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Brian: Well you do what you have to do to survive, you know.  You get a lot of goodwill from People.  And you know this, That. When you’re able to sort of distinguish yourself and stand out from the crowd.   Yeah, definitely walking upright makes People take notice. And a strong vocabulary is exceedingly helpful.  Extinquishes a lot of misunderstanding, I think. Words are great. Words are fun. I love the English language.

T1: And a lot of other different languages, too, I understand.  Let’s see, you speak.., you’re fluent in French, Tagalog, and  Spanish?

Brian: I’m a little ashamed to admit my Spanish is not all that great.  You would think living as I do in Los Angeles I would get a lot of opportunities to practice the language more, but no…  It’s something I’m working on, though.

T1:  And did you attend Brown University before or after you came to live with the Griffin family?

Brian: No, before. I didn’t complete the degree, though…

T1:  Oh no..?

Brian: Typical story, you know, one class short of graduating. It’s something I will do.  I will graduate college.  It’s still my goal.

T1:  What did you study?  What was your major there at Brown?

Brian: I love language, and the music and flow of words when they’re put together well, so naturally I studied writing.  I’m an avid reader and writer.

T1:  And at least very briefly, you worked as a writer for the New Yorker?

Brian: (laughs) Brief would be a generous way of putting that, yes.

T1: And right now, in addition to your role on The Family Guy and your many personal appearances promoting the show, you’re also writing a book?

Brian: I actually have completed a book and I’m working on a second book.  I’ve been at it for several years now. Everybody’s wondering if I’ll ever get it done.  It’s been kinda crazy…

T1: While not seen holding a regular job in Quahog, Brian, on the show you’re often depicted owning a Toyota Prius car, paying bills, and maintaining a credit card. In one episode you’ve even been a substitute teacher at Chris’ school, a taxi driver and a drug-sniffing dog for the Quahog police department. Let’s see, you also sold cars when the Griffin family thought Peter had died in the episode “Perfect Castaways?”

Brian: I had several jobs on the show. While living in Los Angeles the writers’ had me working as a waiter, a car wash attendant, a screenwriter, a pornographic film director…

T1: We’ll have to talk about ThatOne at another time.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Brian: My character is pretty intellectually ambidextrous. And the audience relies on me to be the keeper of the continuity if you will.

T1: Indeed.  It’s interesting you mention That.  In contrast to the other characters on the show, you actually can remember things from episode to episode.

Brian: Yeah, I think of myself as the Ferris Bueller of The Family Guy, only instead of breaking the third wall literally….

T1: Breaking the third wall.., that’s when the character suddenly breaks character while in character to address the audience…

Brian: Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green are pretty clever…

T1: The creators and producers of the show…

Brian: Yeah, so we don’t have characters suddenly addressing the audience or looking into the camera at the audience, like they do in The Office or Modern Family. My character either references or alludes to previous episodes.  Our audience really likes that.

T1: As the most sensible member of the Griffin family, Brian, you very often have to take on the role as the voice of reason or as a mediator during family arguments.

Brian: It’s the typical sitcom formula in that regard because even though Peter is my best friend, clearly we are not intellectual peers. Peter is the historical dumb dad.  It’s Brian’s job to show Peter how riddicules his plans are.  He accepts criticism from Brian, even when it’s harsh. They have a very pragmatic friendship, I would say.

T1: Yeah, and your having such rapier wit and a great sense of humor goes a long way, I’m sure….

Brian: Oh, absolutely.  Absolutely.

T1: So tell me a little bit about the real Brian. It’s interesting your name is also Brian Griffin in real life…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Brian: Yeah, a lot of people don’t realize That.

T1:   What makes Brian Griffin, the regular beagle at home, different from Brian Griffin on The Family Guy?  What does he like?  What doesn’t he like?

Brian: Our tastes are a lot alike, so it’s not that much of a stretch for me to play Brian. He has a sharp wit.  He’s defined himself.  He’s the dog he’s decided he is going to be. Not a peer group. Not a society. He decided who he is, how he behaves, and how he’s going to live his life. So he’s not wealthy.  It doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate the finer things in life. It doesn’t make him inauthentic or pretentious or phony in my book. He is who he believes he is.

T1:  Oh, I like That.  He is who he believes he is. He’s a middle class dog with upper class sensibilities…

Brian: …having come from utter and abject poverty and lived the life of a homeless, orphaned, abandoned dog. Yes. He has refined and cultured his tastes. He loves opera and jazz, has vocal ability– You know, being able to sing all four parts to a barbershop quartet is no mean feat.  That’s a unique talent, I would say.

T1: Umm.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Brian: Things I don’t like? I try to avoid this kind of list making.  I don’t really like summing myself up that way but if I were hard pressed to mention things I would definitely mention Ashlee Simpson, Coldplay, Jamie Foxx, Usher and Kevin Federline.  Justin Beiber, even.  John Mayer…

(Soundbite of laughter)

T1: We’re pretty tough, Brian, but we’re not really that tough.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Brian: You dragged it all outta me. That is One tough interviewer.

(Soundbite of laughter)

T1: We talked already about how your experience as a homeless orphan living on the streets shaped you.

Brian: Ummm, hmmm…

T1:  You’re an erudite, martini sipping, urbane, talking dog who chooses to walk on two feet like People. But what about the dog in you?

Brian: Ha ha  “Bow wow wow yippee yo yippee yay?”

(Soundbite of laughter)

Brian: Well in my more private moments, I lick myself with my tongue. I scratch with my hind leg. I’m completely colorblind. I don’t like the sound of toilet flushing or the vacuum cleaner. Umm, let’s see.., Oh, I have trouble standing in cars.  Dried pig’s ear is probably by far my favorite chew toy. I see you, too, have a similar preference for red collars…

(Soundbite of laughter)

T1: I do, and I like the rope toy that’s also supposed to floss your teeth.

(Soundbite of laughter)

T1: My guest today has been Brian Griffin star of the hit animated TV series The Family Guy currently enjoying its 9th season on Fox television. It’s a very funny show, one of my favorites. Brian, I want to congratulate you on the success of the show and wish you much continued success…

Brian: I’m enjoying the ride for however long it lasts.

T1:  Thank you very much for coming here and talking with us.

Brian: Cool. Thank you very much.

T1: And I want to close with a little clip of Brian in action from an episode of  The Family Guy, Bird is the Word!

You can watch full episodes of “Family Guy” by clicking on the any of the pictures of Brian on this post.

This is #bullDogNATION.

(Soundbite of music)

Goodwill Energies I direct
Toward each and every one of you
Each and every day

❝And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…❞

That's life today!

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  1. Love Brian & The Bird Is The Word is one of the funniest Family Guy clips ever

  2. BOL, he is one of my fav K9 persona’s!

  3. (soundbite of applause) – raving reviews!!

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