We’ve had James Woods Regional High in our tiny towns since the release of District 4 but it’s taken another 2 and a half years for the man himself to appear in Quahog as part of the current Halloween event, The Hauntening. As well as the James Woods character himself the event also brought us a premium costume for him, Peter James Woods. But just where have we seen the man and this costume before? Well he’s made quite a few appearances in Family Guy and I’m going to highlight them here.
So join me on a journey down memory lane as we stroll through James Woods’ many appearances and mentions in Family Guy.
Peter Got Woods – Season 4, Episode 11
It’s PTA night at James Woods Regional High, and Peter, living up to his usual lazy reputation, convinces Brian to go. Once there Brian gets a pleasant surprise in the shape of Shanna, and he decides there and then he would like very much to become this teacher’s pet.
In an attempt to impress his latest girl crush he suggests they rename the school after Martin Luther King Jr. Peter, in a jealous strop, decides to try to sabotage Brian’s plan by inviting James Woods to the meeting being held to rubber stamp the change.
James Woods duly agrees and delivers a moving speech agreeing readily to the name change, but this noble show of humility sees the board do an about turn and decide to keep the name as it is.
Brian is absolutely furious at Peter’s act of betrayal and they fall out big time, leaving Brian to lick his wounds over Shanna and Peter to find a new best friend. And who just happens to be available to fill this void, yes James Woods himself.
But Shanna pushes Brian too far when she tries to make him choose between having her or Peter in his life. As much as Brian likes Shanna he just can’t imagine life without his friendship with Peter and over a drink or three at The Clam they mend their friendship.
They head home merry only to find the spare wheel in their renewed friendship, James Woods, is still hanging around. They decide they need to get rid of him and set about trapping him in a crate with the help of a trail of candy. Yes, just like in the task he performs in our games.
The crate, with James Woods trapped inside, then ends up in a secret government warehouse. But has Peter got rid of his new stalker, I mean friend, that easily? Keep reading to find out.
The Fat Guy Strangler – Season 4, Episode 17
When Lois somewhat naively brings her long-lost brother, Patrick Pewterschmidt, home from the mental asylum he has lived in since he was a child, little does she know the havoc that will follow. To cut a long story short, Patrick is a serial killer and he targets fat people, which places Peter high up on his to do list.
However Peter has some back up in the shape of The National Association for the Advancement of Fat People, or NAAFP for short. When Brian reveals to Peter that Patrick is ‘The Fat Guy Strangler’, he and his NAAFP posse chase Patrick into a forest area, that just happens to be named after James Woods. Wow, that guy has some serious hold over real estate in Quahog.
Back To The Woods – Season 6, Episode 9
Peter’s not having a good night, if it’s not bad enough having to attend a Barry Manilow concert whilst there he only goes and loses his wallet. And just to prove bad luck does come in threes he then finds out the person who found his wallet is anything but honest and is having a good old spending spree all at Peter’s expense.
Peter and Brian turn detective determined to apprehend the shopaholic whose lifestyle Peter is now funding, They are soon hot on the trail and finally track the culprit down whilst he’s dining out on Peter’s dime.
Imagine their shock when they discover the culprit is James Woods, yes he’s back, back again, and he’s not feeling friendly towards Peter after what happened in Peter Got Woods.
Not content with stealing Peter’s credit card, he decides to go further, much further and soon he’s stolen Peter’s identity and helps himself to everything Peter owns, including his home.
And as if that isn’t bad enough he gets Joe to evict Peter, forcing him to check into a hotel with Lois. Back at home Brian swears James won’t get away with this but his act of defiance sees him banished to the yard, whilst James settles into family life, Griffin style. But it’s not long before Peter’s back home, disguised as Scooter, a friend of Chris. However James sees through this and soon has the upper hand again. Or does he? Brian has spent his time banished from his home plotting his revenge and has come up with a cunning plan. Peter should steal James’ identity and get his own back.
With a little help from Stewie, Peter soon manages to convince the public he is James Woods and takes to live TV to ruin James’ career in spectacular style. First by making a number of distasteful remarks, then by announcing he will be starring in a comedy ridiculing the events of 9/11.
James is apocalyptic with rage and confronts Peter only to once again be trapped in his crate, this time following a trail of Reece’s Pieces. With his nemesis once again dispatched to a secret government warehouse, Peter returns home and resumes family life.
Brian Griffin House of Payne – Season 8, Episode 15
Banished to the basement for tormenting Peter one too many times, young Stewie decides to pass his time by snooping around and is delighted when he comes across an old script belonging to Brian entitled ‘What I Learned on Jefferson Street‘.
Always one for dramatics Stewie throws the script onto the kitchen table during the family meal. Lois reads the script and after taking a while to digest the concept soon becomes Brian’s No. 1 fan . With Lois encouragement Brian decides to take his show to the networks.
CBS is the network crazy enough to pick it up and soon they are holding casting auditions, and Brian is delighted to see Elijah Wood is the favourite to play the lead. But an old foe is waiting in the wings to audition, yes James Woods is back.
James has different ideas from Brian and hams it up in his audition, showing how he’d bring a comedy element to the show. The executives lap it up, and not only sign up Brian’s nemesis James for the lead, but they decide they will develop the show as a comedy filmed in front of a live audience. As if that’s not bad enough they create a new character, a chimpanzee, and rename the show Class Holes.
Brian heads home with his tail truly between his legs and says nothing of what’s happened to the family and friends all gathered round the TV to watch his show. Lois is horrified by what’s she’s seeing and demands Brian bite back.
Rejuvenated by Lois’ ear-bashing Brian heads to the studios and tells the producers that he wants his original script followed, but it’s too late. James Woods has the producers on side and Brian is left with no choice but to walk away from his dream.
It would seem to me James Woods won this round, just where was that crate when Brian needed it most.
And Then There Were Fewer – Season 9, Episode 1
***I already covered this in the Rocky Point Where the Hell?….the link to this post is below***
Tom Tucker – The Man and his Dreams – Season 10, Episode 13
Tom Tucker’s secret is out, and it’s a bit of a horror story. Yes, Tom played Michael Myers in Halloween IV and when Peter finds out his excitement goes into overdrive and suddenly Hollywood is calling to him.
Initially reluctant Tom finally agrees to go to Hollywood with Peter. Once there Peter decides to do a little acting himself as he pretends to be Tom’s agent to try get him a role on NCIS.
Unbelievably Tom gets the part, and with the new role in the bag the guys head back to their hotel for a little celebration. Whilst toasting their success things get even better for Peter when he hears someone else is looking to hire him as an agent.
But imagine Peter’s shock when he finds out his potential new client is none other than James Woods. Didn’t he die in “Then There Were Fewer” you cry, yes he did. But before you start thinking you’re seeing dead people, James explains one of the perks of being a celebrity is cheating death. He explains he managed to escape the grip of the Grim Reaper through a combination of extreme medical intervention and um, a human sacrifice. Think the less we know the better on this one.
Unperturbed by any of this Peter agrees to take James on as his client, and leaves Tom to fend for himself in Tinsel Town. But as with anything involving James Woods, it all ends in tears for Peter, as James’ diva like behaviour leads to him dumping Peter. Guess Peter now knows how poor Tom felt.
The Simpsons Guy – Season 13, Episode 1
James Woods makes a little cameo appearance in this amazing cross-over episode. Well actually make that James Wood times two, as Family Guy James gets to meet his Simpsons doppelgänger. Which James do you prefer?
Apart from the above James Woods also plays a part in Something, Something, Darkside, (Season 8, Episode 20), as General Veers. I’m not including this in the What The Hell as he isn’t playing himself, but just thought I’d mention it.