Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars pay tribute to Cheddar the corgi — and the whale from Free Willy
The cast and producers of Brooklyn Nine-Nine kicked down the doors of EW’s suite at Comic-Con on Saturday — okay, maybe they politely knocked and then walked in — and among the many topics on the docket was a poignant one: the loss of Brooklyn guest-star Stewart. The corgi better known as the roguish and resourceful Cheddar, pet extraordinaire of Captain Holt (Andre Braugher), died earlier this month.
How did the cast of Fox-turned-NBC’s cop comedy pay tribute to their fallen comrade? “We sat shiva,” star Andy Samberg quipped respectfully, referencing the Jewish tradition of mourning. “Took a nap together,” added co-star Melissa Fumero. “The dog was adorable, and we always loved seeing him onscreen,” noted Brooklyn showrunner Dan Goor.
Cheddar, as you may know, was actually played by three different dogs. But Stewart was the “most successful,” shared executive producer Luke Del Tredici. It sounded like some of the workload may shift to Stewart’s little sister, who was used in scenes last season, though she is “still finding her way” as she is “new to show business,” he added.
Speaking of animal co-stars…. when EW writer Devan Coggan asked the cast about their dream guest star, the name “Bruce Willis” naturally came up, given Jake’s obsession with Die Hard and their previous appeals to land the actor.
“Can we start a Twitter campaign to get Bruce?” asked Fumero. “Maybe, like, public pressure.” Responded Samberg: “I’ve publicly begged many times. I don’t know if the message has gotten to him or not.” This led to a discussion of the best hashtag to kick off such a campaign. #Bru99 was Goor’s first suggestion, while Samberg preferred #BWilly99, which prompted Goor to pitch back #FreeWilly99, which led Samberg to reveal, “The whale from Free Willy is my dream guest…. That would be so tight.”
A precinct visit for Keiko, as proposed by Samberg would be impossible for many reasons. “Is that whale still alive?” asked Fumero.
That whale is not, as they learned from our off-screen producer. (Keiko died in 2003.) This interview wasn’t only about poignant RIPs, though. On a more uplifting note — and looking ahead to the upcoming seventh season — Del Tredici revealed that he spent this past week brainstorming “what I think is the craziest thing we’ve ever done.” Goor added that there are some “crowd-pleasing” stories in the works as well.
Dirk Blocker would love to see Hitchcock go skydiving, and Samberg deadpanned, “I’ve been pitching for three straight years an episode where Jake gets locked in a closet and no one hears from him. I just think it would be cathartic for everyone for me to shut up for, like, a full episode.” Meanwhile, Goor asked Joel McKinnon-Miller if he’d be up to film a cold open to an episode in which Scully is getting a haircut while sleeping, and “as a result, the flat top is at a 45-degree angle.” Not only was McKinnon-Miller up for the challenge, his wife could do it, as she cuts his hair. So, you just got two Scully fun facts for the price of one.
Click on the video to check out all the action, including what Brooklyn Nine-Nine would like in the Marvel/DC Universe, and how Jake might interact with the Joker.
Brooklyn returns to NBC during the 2019-2020 season.