According to Deadline, YouTube star Arif Zahir will be replacing Mike Henry as Cleveland … ‘Family Guy’ Hires Cleveland Brown Impersonator Arif Zahir to Play Cleveland for Real By Matt Goldberg Sep 25, 2020 Zahir previously did Cleveland impressions on his YouTube channel. YouTube comedian Arif Zahir has been announced as the new voice of Family Guy 's Cleveland Brown, taking over the role from Mike Henry. “Family Guy” has announced its replacement casting for Cleveland Brown. All thanks to his continual tendency of keeping his private affairs safe from the prying eyes. It’s hard not to root for him.”. His channel grew to the point where it covered the tuition to attend the arts-centric Relativity School (now Hussian College Los Angeles) in Downtown L.A. The long-running satirical cartoon about suburban family life was just picked up for seasons 19 and 20 on Fox after over two decades on the air. The decision comes … I studied it from the beginning of the ‘Cleveland Show’ to watching ‘Family Guy’ back in the late ’90s and seeing [Henry’s] performance change over the years. Jon Arvedon is an editor and writer for CBR and he has been contributing to the site since 2017. And his approach to the scripts just floored Seth, me and Alec. I look forward to getting to know Arif and working with him to make sure Cleveland stays every bit as awesome as he has always been. And we had a bunch of really talented actors audition for. And hopefully, we can make them while keeping the show seamless. The former longtime white voice actor for Cleveland, Mike Henry, will … ), “I thought they were going to write him out and I was like, oh no,” Zahir said. “It doesn’t seem real,” said Zahir, who officially landed the gig last month, as “Family Guy” was renewed for its 19th and 20th seasons. Each scene, it wasn’t always exactly to the note of what Mike would have done with it, but it captured Cleveland.”, At that point, MacFarlane, who had been on the fence over whether to keep Cleveland going, was in. '” Appel said. Star Trek: Discovery Reveals the Hidden Message at the Heart of the Burn, The Queen's Gambit: Why There Shouldn't Be a Season 2, WandaVision: A TINY Trailer Detail May Confirm a HUGE Character Reveal. He launched a YouTube channel in the early 2010s, and started uploading his impressions — first, “Family Guy” characters like Cleveland, and then others like President Obama. “Once that episode finally airs, and seeing my name next to these legends that I’ve grown up with, it’s going to be another level of surrealism for me,” he said. Everything that Mike’s done for the character — I think the most important thing is for people to make sure that he is the original. “Seth’s bottom line was during those conversations that, if we’re going to do this, we need to have somebody great,” Sulkin said. And to the millions of fans who love this show, I promise not to let you down. I have a fan base that supports me.”. ", RELATED: Family Guy Taps Sam Elliot to Succeed Adam West as Quahog's Mayor, In June, amid the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the globe, Mike Henry announced he was stepping down as Cleveland's voice actor after portraying the character for 20 years, saying, "I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color.". “I can’t wait to be so busy and to the point where I only have time to sleep and work. To Mike, you created something truly special, and I promise I will do my absolute best to honor your legacy. "When I heard that Mike Henry was stepping down from the role of Cleveland Brown — my favorite cartoon character of all time — I was shocked and saddened, assuming we’d never see him again. To Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin and Seth MacFarlane, thank you for this incredible gift. (2018).He has earned lots of fame at the present time, his voice is not only in movies but he has also voiced in TV series as well. It was a flowchart with one box: Can we find the second most perfect Cleveland — and someone who could live up to Mike’s standards.”, Sulkin noted that in a year of change, the decision to bring in an actor of color to perform Cleveland “felt like a change that we all got behind. Mike Henry, who voiced Cleveland Brown on 'Family Guy' for 18 seasons, stepped down in June along with other white voice actors who were playing Black characters. If Mike didn’t want anyone else to do this character it’s completely understandable.”. He’s been an avid superhero fan since he was a young child, though it wasn’t until much later in life that he finally began venturing into the actual comic books that made those characters so popular in the first place. Executive producers Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin confirmed that everything was on the table, including both phasing out Cleveland or finding a new voice actor to take over the role. YouTube star Arif Zahir has been announced as the new voice of Cleveland Brown in Family Guy. © Copyright 2020 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. Actor/comedian/YouTube star Arif Zahir will … As well Alex Borstein (Lois Griffin), Seth Green (Chris Griffin), Seth MacFarlane (Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin, Glenn Quagmire), Arif Zahir (Cleveland Brown), Mike Henry (Cleveland Brown) and Patrick Warburton as Joe Swanson. “And I think we just found the four-leaf clover.”, Added Appel: “I think a lot of the fans would have been really sorry to see Cleveland leave Quahog. Arif Zahir spoke to CBR about earning the role of Cleveland Brown in Family Guy and what it's been like to take over the character from Mike Henry. When you have the luxury of having 20 seasons, it’s nice that you can rely on the shared history of those four characters. “I know it’s his baby and I want to give it my hundred percent. By Brandon Zachary 20 hours ago Mike Henry was the original voice actor for the character of Cleveland Brown, joining the cast of Family Guy all the way back when it premiered in 1999. I’m just ready to do it all.”, Said Appel: “Cinderella wouldn’t have worked if Cinderella weren’t likable. It was “Family Guy” director Greg Colton who stumbled across Zahir’s YouTube videos and alerted the producers to his work. Henry will remain a series regular on Family Guy, voicing such recurring characters as Bruce and Herbert. I played back clips of the show, and matched the pitch as best as I could. Appel and Sulkin said they weren’t aware of Zahir until they started looking for a new Cleveland, but quickly became enamored by his YouTube page and impersonations. Henry has also been supportive of the change, and is still very much a part of “Family Guy” as a regular cast member performing other voices. YouTuber Arif Zahir will take over for voice actor Mike Henry, who left the role this year after saying that "persons of color should play characters of color." “I try to put my personality and be really animated in my voices,” he said. When I learned I would get to take over the role? ", RELATED: Fox Renews Family Guy, Bob's Burgers For Two More Seasons Each. Overabundant gratitude. (Henry joined several white performers on animated series who have agreed to no longer voice characters of color. LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Arif Zahir has gone from impersonating “Family Guy’s” Cleveland Brown on YouTube… to being cast as the new voice of the character on the actual show. Arif Zahir will take over the role. I would just sit there for hours and just play it, pause, play it, pause.”, After several rounds of auditions, the producers gave Zahir unaired episodes to perform. Arif Zahir, a YouTuber who has made a name for himself doing impressions of Family Guy's Cleveland Brown, has been officially cast as the character. #1 Brings a Devastating War to The Wizard of Oz, How Bloodshot's Greatest Failure Led to His Ultimate Rebirth, The Sandman: How DC's Death Evolved Into an Endless Icon, The Simpsons Only TV-MA Episode Is Censored on Disney+, The Mandalorian Theory: Grogu Played a Role in The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian's Magnificent Seven Easter Egg May Be a Clue to the Season Finale, Brandon Routh Trades Superhero Costumes for a Police Uniform in The Rookie Pics, The Simpsons: Lisa May Legitimately Be a God, Walker: Jared Padelecki's CW Reboot Rounds Up Its First Teaser, How The Simpsons’ Golden Age Gave Way To ‘Jerkass Homer’, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Debuts Action-Packed First Trailer. 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