Van Halen’s hit song ‘Panama’ takes leading role in most recent ‘Family Guy’ episode

Watch 04/05/2020

Van Halen's iconic single 'Panama' appeared in the most recent episode of popular television show Family Guy, almost ending the life of the main character Peter Griffin.

In the episode released on April 26th, titled 'Coma Guy,' Peter admits he's never read a book in his life. Peter's wife Lois is disgusted by this fact, so she sends him to the local library to borrow George Orwell's dystopian novel '1984'. Peter gets confused, however, and ends up listening to Van Halen's 1984 album, becoming obsessed with 'Panama' in the process.

Peter's obsession, in true Family Guy fashion, goes way beyond normal fandom - he begins wearing spandex costumes similar to David Lee Roth, driving erratically and at one point even leads police on a high-speed chase. During a drag race, Peter blasts' Panama' to pump him up, but a distraction ends up causing him to swerve off the road into a tree, leaving him in a coma. You can watch the police chase scene featuring the track below.

While on life support in the hospital, Peter begins to have a series of dreams. He finds himself at the Panama Canal in one, watching as ex-president Woodrow Wilson christens the famous waterway. The President's speech is lifted directly from Van Halen's song, as he tells the crowd assembled: "Ah, you reach down, between my legs and ease the seat back. Got the feeling, power steering. Pistons popping, ain't no stopping now. Panama."

'Panama' isn't the first iconic rock song to serve as a major plot point in Family Guy's history. The Trashmen's 'Surfin' Bird', Kiss' 'Rock and Roll All Nite', Toto's 'Africa', Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin" and the B-52's 'Rock Lobster' have all previously featured on the show. 

Surprisingly, 'Panama' 's music video was shot at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, R.I., the city on which Family Guy's Quahog town was based.

You can watch the full 'Panama' episode below.

Van Halen has featured in previous Family Guy episodes, with the band's song 'Drop Dead Legs' was used in a 2009 episode, and a visual gag at the band's expense being used in a 2017 episode.

In the episode 'Cop and a Half-Wit', Peter declares he had gotten into great shape since working out with his Dave Matthews punching bag. However, when he decides he needs something more annoying, he swaps it out for a David Lee Roth punching bag.