Cartoon Country/Talkin’ Nerdy: Brian Griffin & Toucan Sam — Deconstructed

In the Family Guy episode “The Thin White Line”, there was a cutaway gag in which family dog Brian is shown auditioning for the role of spokesman for Fruit Loops cereal; seated next to him is of course ‘Toucan Sam’. Then there’s the following exchange (NOTE: It’s been a while since I’ve seen the episode, so I may not get all the words verbatim):


Sam: (reading lines) “Follow your nose”. “Follow your nose”.

Brian: Is that, uh, really how you’re gonna do it?

Sam: Is that wrong?

Brian: “No, it’s fine, I just didn’t think you were going to go so, uh, ‘cartoony’ with it.

Sam: Well, how were you going to do it?

Brain: I was going to do it, good, like an actor, but your way’s good too.

-Amusing, but my inner nerd has to address a few points here:

  1. Why is Brian surprised that Toucan Sam is taking a cartoony approach to the role, when the ads are flipping CARTOONS?
  2. Regarding the “like an actor” line, I’d like to point out something: Toucan Sam’s voice and mannerisms are pattered after one Ronald Colman.

Ronald Colman.3

For those who don’t know, Mr. Colman, was, wait for it….an ACTOR. He was a British leading man of primarily American films, and one of the great stars of the Golden Age. His film credits include Lost Horizon (1937), Random Harvest (1942), The Prisoner of Zenda (1947) and A Tale of Two Cities (1935). So Toucan Sam is reading his lines like an actor, a famous one at that.

So while I normally love a good wacky spot gag, this one has too many inaccuracies for it to work for me. Sorry, FG writers, but for not doing your homework, you receive the label of…..

Better luck next time!

Better luck next time!

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