Family Guy will welcome Peter’s new bosses at the Pawtucket brewery in Sunday’s episode, and their voices will sound more than a little familiar. Yes, that’s Bryan Cranston and Niecy Nash playing husband-and-wife team Bert and Sheila.
But before you meet the new man and woman in charge, the animated Fox comedy will pay tribute to the old one: Angela, voiced by Carrie Fisher. The actress/writer, who died two years ago with a film resume that boasted Star Wars, Hannah and Her Sisters, and When Harry Met Sally, lent her voice to two dozen episodes of Family Guy over the years, and the producers were thrilled by the way she attacked the aggressive-but-lonely, more-complicated-than-you-think character who harassed Peter; learning of her inner sadness, he rescued her from the throes of suicide and even semi-cheated on Lois to boost Angela’s spirits. “It would be easy for a less capable actress to make that character kind of one-note, gruff, and yelling all the time,” Family Guy executive producer Steve Callaghan told EW last year. “But Carrie brought to it a depth that I don’t think just anyone could have…We’re incredibly grateful to her for that, and we all feel the loss of that now that we’re writing episodes that don’t have Angela in them.”
The beginning of this week’s episode bids farewell to Angela — and Fisher — with a funeral service that does not turn out the way you think it will. Above, you can preview Peter’s eulogy, in which he also incorporates his love of TV theme songs into his heartfelt speech. “[I]t’s very much intended and a respectful goodbye to both the character of Angela and also Carrie Fisher,” said Callaghan at the time. “Peter has a speech in there where he’s talking about Angela, but we the audience know that he’s also quite deliberately talking about Carrie Fisher. It’s not like the entire episode is about Angela’s departure, but it does introduce Peter’s new bosses that then sets the stage for what the episode is about.”
Speaking of those bosses, EW can give you a preview of the new folks in charge in the following clip, in which Bert and Sheila task Peter with taste testing the seasonal beers and separating them from… cue your gag reflex… urine samples given by the company’s truck drivers. Family Guy executive producer Alec Sulkin told EW this fall that the touchy-feely Bert and Sheila will be “the essence of co-managerial…There’s a point where they even alternate words in a sentence.” How will Peter respond to his new managers? “The way that Peter responds to anything new in his life,” said Sulkin. “With fear.”
Family Guy airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.