Van Halen’s ‘Panama’ Featured in New ‘Family Guy’ Episode, Puts Peter Griffin in Coma
Van Halen's bouncy '80s hit "Panama" — and the tune's parent album, 1984 — drive the latest episode of Family Guy. In fact, in "Coma Guy," which first aired on Fox on Sunday (April 26), cartoon protagonist Peter Griffin goes on such a high-powered Van Halen kick that it ends up landing him in a coma.
Not to mention one scene in which the fictional father appears in period-specific David Lee Roth garb, espousing his newfound love for the glam-metal icons led by guitarist Eddie Van Halen. But it's the energizing effect that "Panama" gives to vehicle operation that almost kills Peter in the most recent Family Guy.
It all starts when Peter ruins a party, planned by wife Lois, by admitting that he's never read a book. Eager to imbue her husband with some culture, Peter's spouse urges the Family Guy patriarch to read George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. So the Griffin dad heads to the library.
But when a librarian gives Peter Van Halen's 1984 instead of the Orwell tome, the Family Guy character is instantly transformed into a hard-rock-loving metalhead. Specifically, it's the effervescent "Panama" that grabs him. The tune then becomes a propulsive device of Peter's mayhem for the rest of the episode.
Following one scene in which the animated star outruns a cop during a high-speed chase set to the song, Peter winds up nearly losing his life while rocking out to the number. Driving around town listening to "Panama," he crashes into a tree and is subsequently admitted to the hospital in a coma.
Of course, true to form, the Family Guy principal pulls through. But the story stands a testament to the timeless rock power of Van Halen. Plus, Peter's "Panama" obsession echoes the character's past infatuation with seminal rock songs, like his fixation on The Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird" in a 2008 episode.
As for 1984, there are certainly worse rock albums one could get engrossed in. After all, in addition to "Panama" — a song reportedly composed with cars in mind — the effort harbors other Van Halen staples such as "Jump," "Hot for Teacher" and "I'll Wait." But it won't teach one anything about Big Brother.
Family Guy's Peter Griffin Listens to Van Halen's "Panama" During Police Chase
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