Updated on December 10, 2021
Today’s entry is Cleveland Brown. Not the football team, but a character from the Fox animated series “Family Guy.”
Cleveland‘s an easy-going friend of “Family Guy”s Homer Simpson-esque bumbling idiot patriarch Peter Griffin. Cleveland was eventually given his own spinoff, “The Cleveland Show,” which ran from 2009 to 2013. He’s since gone back to being a supporting character on “Family Guy.”
From what I can tell, even “Family Guy”‘s fans wondered why they gave a spinoff to Cleveland of all “Family Guy” characters. It’d be like giving a “Simpsons” spin-off to Carl, Homer’s African-American friend and coworker at the power planet, but a secondary character at best.
Also from what I can tell, Cleveland’s the first African-American animated character to gain his own primetime animated series on broadcast TV. Cable TV had already featured animated series starring Black characters. One example was Bill Cosby’s short-lived series “Fatherhood.” There’s also Disney Channel airings of “The Proud Family.”
Cleveland is voiced by Mike Henry. Henry’s done voice work for the various Seth MacFarlane series on Fox. He’s also appeared in the drama “Gilmore Girls.”