In 2008, when it was announced that Family Guy character Cleveland Brown was getting his own show, much of the media coverage concentrated on the fact that one of TV’s rare black sitcom lead roles was going to be voiced by a white man, Mike Henry. More than two years on, the conversation about The Cleveland Show seems to have moved on from the color of Henry’s skin to the quality of the guest stars he has convinced to visit with his Stoolbend-dwelling animated character. That list of notables includes Kanye West, LeBron James, Justin Timberlake, Hall & Oates, Arianna Huffington, and, most bizarrely, famed auteur David Lynch, who has a recurring role as “Gus the Bartender” (although, the fictional nature of Lynch’s Gus didn’t prevent one patron of the Broken Stool bar telling him to “Shut up, Eraserhead!” in a recent episode).
One of the guests who seems to have left the biggest impression on the Cleveland crew is legendary comedy craftsman and Man with Two Brains director Carl Reiner. “He was a d—, and a little green frankly,” deadpans Henry, who in addition to voicing Cleveland Brown and his stepson Rallo is an executive producer on the show. “No, you talk about a sharp tack. I believe the guy is 88 now and he totally understood everything we were going for, practically reading it cold. He was so good that we actually invited him to sit in our writers’ room for a few days. Not only was he a legend in telling cool stories, but he was actually pitching jokes that were funny. He has a story credit on one of our scripts for next year.” READ FULL STORY »