Family Guy took a bite out of the past on Sunday, with its own updated spin on a classic McGruff the Crime Dog commercial, first made popular in the early '80s.
In the episode, titled “Christmas Crime,” Brian the dog found himself in a bit of trouble and while trying to convince Mayor Wild West that he was one of the good guys, Brian claimed that he was briefly McGruff’s sidekick. That’s when the show cut away — in typical Family Guy fashion — to a classic McGruff PSA with Brian edited in.
Since the spots always featured an animated McGruff talking about live-action video, fitting Brian into the mix worked seamlessly.
McGruff the Crime Dog was created by an advertising executive and debuted in 1980, with a series of PSAs educating citizens on personal security measures. And the cartoon canine is still used today as part of the National Crime Prevention Council, which actually tweeted about McGruff and Brian’s team-up and their “very important message” ahead of Sunday’s episode.
McGruff and Brian have a very important message for you. And don’t forget to watch @FamilyGuyonFOX Sundays on @FOXTV or stream anytime on @Hulu. pic.twitter.com/49rKGJ2MOu
— National Crime Prevention Council (@McGruffatNCPC) December 20, 2021
Plenty of viewers took to social media to celebrate the heavy dose of nostalgia, with one Twitter user saying that they have been “waiting 23 years” for Family Guy to do this joke, and the show totally nailed it.
Man, a McGruff commercial. That’s a throwback. #familyguy
— SteveCember (@Galileo908) December 20, 2021
McGruff the Dog! Nostalgic commercial! #FamilyGuypic.twitter.com/lgCKsa9qFY
— Santa Nicky Claus J. O'Hagan 🎅🎄🎁❄ (@hagan_nicky) December 20, 2021
Been waiting 23 years for #FamilyGuy to do that McGruff the Crime Dog joke. HAHA, freakin' nailed it. @SethMacFarlane
— DJ Not Today (@MrAlvinSane) December 20, 2021
Not Mcgruff💀💀💀🤣🤣🤣I cant #FamilyGuy
— Kevin 🇨🇴 (@Colombianito__) December 20, 2021
— K👁️yotee (@ShowzOut) December 20, 2021
Let's hope series creator Seth MacFarlane and the rest of the powers-that-be behind the scenes were paying attention, because clearly taking one bite out of this McGruff callback was simply not enough.
Family Guy airs Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on FOX.
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