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Cleveland Orenthal Brown Sr., mainly known as Cleveland Brown is a recurring character in Family Guy and the main protagonist of The Cleveland Show.
Until recently he was married to Loretta Brown, but they separated after Loretta had an affair with Glenn Quagmire, although they still have feelings for each other. Together they had a son, Cleveland Brown Jr. Eventually, Loretta gains his house and Cleveland has to move. Cleveland is now married to Donna Tubbs-Brown and has two stepchildren, Roberta and Rallo Tubbs. He also sports a mustache and often offers deep insight that the other characters are unable to see.
Cleveland Brown was formerly voiced by Mike Henry from seasons 1-19, until his resignation on June 26th, 2020. Following Henry's resignation, the role of Cleveland's voice actor was taken over by Arif Zahir, voicing him from season 20, onwards, starting with July 2nd, 2020.
Cleveland Brown is a large-framed African-American adult man, with dark curly hair and a firmly rounded mustache. His clothing attire consists of a mustard yellow shirt, dark blue jeans, and dark brown shoes. He also wears white briefs and white socks. In "BFFs", it was revealed that Cleveland had a tattoo on the inside of his bottom lip that said "Peter". Similarly, Peter had a tattoo on the inside of his own bottom lip that said "Black Friend". However, this was most likely just a gag. In "Bri, Robot", Cleveland said that he had a flappy scrotum-like blob of skin, that dripped off of his arm. He did not know what it was and assumed it was a tumor. As he had moved back into Quahog at this point, Cleveland no longer had a doctor, so he had no way of finding out what it was. However, this too was likely just a one-time gag, that wasn't actually canon to the series.
Cleveland Brown is cheerful and optimistic, but also generally very calm and timid. He serves as the voice of reason to his Drunken Clam friend circle, often giving cautionary warning to his friends, especially Peter Griffin, whenever they're about to do something stupid. Unfortunately, due to his mild and passive demeanor, Cleveland is almost always being ignored and more often than not, reeled into the stupidity, himself, leading to him getting harmed as well. Despite all of the pain that Cleveland is put through, he still managed to keep a bright and chipper attitude on life, always looking on the bright side of even the darkest of situations.
Cleveland is known for having a very high tolerance policy for bullshit and usually won't get mad over even the most terrible of things. For instance: In "The Cleveland Loretta Quagmire", his wife, Loretta Brown, cheated on him with his best friend, Glenn Quagmire and Cleveland didn't get mad at either of them. Cleveland laughed off Quagmire's actions, deeming them to be simple acts of "Classic Quagmire" and when Loretta divorced him, Cleveland just sadly accepted it. It wasn't until after Peter and Brian tirelessly motivated him to get mad, that Cleveland was finally overcome with a surge of fury and stormed down to Quagmire's house to beat the living crap out of him, wrecking his personal property, and even attempting to kill him. This would be an example of one of the very rare occasions does he ever get angry. Although it was the first time the audience would see Cleveland act this way, it wouldn't be the last.
If you're looking for a shortcut to Cleveland's berserk button, racism is the way to go. As an African-American man, Cleveland does not take too kindly to being discriminated against. Jokes are okay, but cases of blatant racism, such as people dressing in blackface of the usage of the dreaded "N-Word" are not okay with him.
When Cleveland got his own spin-off series, The Cleveland Show, he started to develop as a character and we were introduced to many new layers of his personality that we have never seen before. Now that he was no longer being weighed down by the likes of Peter and other more "important" characters than himself, Cleveland was free to express himself to the fullest. It was learned that Cleveland is a very joyful and outgoing man. His quiet and submissive personality would soon vanish, throughout the first season and he became a lot funnier, telling jokes, referencing to pop culture, and singing songs. Finally, Cleveland was in charge of his own life.
In the "Pilot" episode of The Cleveland Show, Cleveland found happiness when he married his high-school sweetheart, Donna Tubbs after being separated from her since high school. Since they last met, Donna had also gone through a marriage and divorce to Robert and she bore two kids. Roberta and Rallo Tubbs. Due to the absence of Robert, Cleveland served as a father figure to Roberta and Rallo and although neither of them respected him at all at first, he eventually took charge and established parental dominance over both of them, receiving only minimal disrespect from both of them. When Donna's ex-husband, Robert tried to get her back, Cleveland stood up for himself and fought with him, showing him who's boss and winning Donna's heart. Cleveland and Donna were quickly wed and The Brown-Tubbs Family became a beautiful blended family.
In terms of his social life, Cleveland gathered together Tim the Bear, Lester Krinklesac, Holt Richter, and later Dr. Fist and form a new "friend circle", which would hang out at The Broken Stool and would heavily mirror his old friend circle. However, in this case, Cleveland would be the leader of the group, while his colorful cast of new friends would be sidelined. He did make sure to give plenty of time for his friends to have their own stories too, but it was still made clear that he was the star of the show. Tim the Bear became the newly designated calm and overlooked voice of reason to his hair-brained schemes.
As the main character of his own show, Cleveland turned into somewhat of another Peter Griffin, sharing the "bumbling father" archetype. However, unlike Peter, Cleveland proved many times to actually love his family and care about other people. He was a good-hearted American citizen, who cared for other people. Like everyone, Cleveland was imperfect and he would make plenty of mistakes and bad choices in his life. However, he would always regret doing bad things and try his damnedest to fix them or at least make up for the damage he caused.
Such newfound traits of Cleveland included the fact that he was sporty. It was learned that he had a great passion for America's favorite pastime, as it was learned that he was on the Stoolbend High School baseball team, back when he was a teenager. In "Field of Streams", Cleveland met up with his old coach, Charles McFall, and was accepted as the official coach of the new generation of baseball players at his old school. He is also a fan of basketball, as seen in "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner", when he mentioned how he used to play basketball with Barack Obama, back when they were still kids. He is also an avid fan of the sport as well, as he won tickets to an NBA All-Star game in "A Short Story, and a Tall Tale" and saw them live at the staples arena. He is also a fan of March Madness, as seen in "March Dadnes". Lastly, Cleveland is also a massive football fan, watching Superbowl every year and going all-out with throwing a huge Superbowl block party in his house every time the Superbowl comes around, as seen in the episode "Like a Boss", where he went as far as to dress as the GM Robot and sang the Superbowl song. A flashback in the same episode showed that the year prior, Cleveland hired The Jackson Four to perform live at his party. Cleveland's famous annual Superbowl parties made a return in "There Goes El Neighborhood", where Cleveland installed booths in his own living room for massive audiences to watch the game in his house. However, nobody would come to his party, as right across the street, Choni Moreno was holding an even better party, that attracted the entire neighborhood, completely upstaging poor Cleveland. In "Ship'rect", Cleveland was star struck when he met Barry Shadwell in person and became friends with him. He also wanted Roberta to marry his son, so that he could associate with the Shadwell family tree.
When The Cleveland Show was canceled, Cleveland returned to Family Guy, wherein he became immediately deprived of all substance to his character. All of his depth and personality was thrown out the window and Cleveland was diminished to nothing more than a black stereotype.
- Cleveland's voice actor Mike Henry has stated that his inspiration for the voice was someone that he had met and told him that he had graduated from the University of Maryland, pronouncing it "the University of Merlind", which is recognizable, as the way Cleveland pronounces the "ɛər" sound as the "ɜːr" sound.
- In college, Cleveland majored in ceramics and minored in trombone playing.
- Cleveland was conceived during the 7th inning stretch of a Cleveland Indians game, which is where his parents got the idea for his name from.
- Cleveland's e-mail address is ClevelandBrown@clevebro.com
- In "Cleveland Live!", it was revealed that Cleveland believes that 9/11 was an inside job.
- In "The Cleveland Brown Cherry Bomb", it was revealed that Cleveland lost his virginity when he was nine.
- In June 2020, in the aftermath of racism protests in the United States, Mike Henry announced that he will be steppin away from voicing Cleveland, believing that a black character must not be voiced by a white actor.
- Cleveland Brown at the Family Guy wiki
- Cleveland Brown at the The Cleveland Show wiki
- Cleveland Brown at the Heroes wiki
Guest Star Characters