Since both Family Guy and Alan Bennett take star turns on this blog, how wonderful to learn that they actually came together! I’ve already noted their mutual taste for Jesus jokes, but now I learn (Keeping on keeping on, Diaries, 2012):
25 April. At five a car comes to take me down to Silk Sound studios on Berwick Street to record a voiceover (in my own voice) for an episode of Family Guy, the story being that Brian, the dog, has written a play, premiering at Quahog, which “all the playwrights” (i.e. Yasmina Reza, David Mamet, and me) duly go and see—and rubbish. They had first of all asked if they could use me as a cartoon character [,] to which I graciously agreed (not saying that I felt it was the highlight of my career). It was then they asked if I would voice myself. Yasmina and David had apparently not been tempted but I went for this too. […]
The “Brian’s play” episode (10th in season 11) comes and goes on YouTube; for the moment, the playwright scene is here, from 18.42:
The episode has been considered one of the most profound in the whole epic; the nuanced plot is far more cogent and condensed that of a Handel opera. Brian and Stewie are magnificent as ever—echoes here of Amadeus…
Alan Bennett’s voice has long been a boon for impresssionists. Like the apocryphal story of Einstein winning second prize in an Einstein Lookalike Competition, I’m not sure AB [as he’s known in Love, Nina] makes the most convincing impersonator—but hey. (For an audition, see Frances Wood’s comment here.)
It’s great to see AB finally getting the recognition he deserves (cf. “Do you think this award will kick-start your career?”). And I love to see stellar conjunctions of my heroes—like Bach and Li Manshan, AOC and Greta Thunberg, or Kristin Scott Thomas and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.