The Cleveland Show is a spinoff of Family Guy, created by Seth MacFarlane. The series focuses on Family Guy's former side character, Cleveland Brown, his son, Cleveland Brown Jr, and their newfound blended family, with Cleveland's wife, Donna Tubbs and her children, Roberta and Rallo.
Cleveland's ex-wife Loretta, has finalized her divorce with him and has taken custody of the house, forcing him to move out of Quahog, to go live in Stoolbend, with his son, Cleveland Junior. They plan on moving to California and pursuing their dreams there, but on their way, they take a stop by Cleveland's hometown, Stoolbend, of East Virginia. There, Cleveland is reunited with his high school, sweetheart, Donna Tubbs, who is now a single mother, bringing up two kids, Roberta Tubbs and Rallo Tubbs, after divorcing her nasty, ex-husband, Robert, who stole her from Cleveland, back when they were still in high school. Now that Cleveland is back with Donna again, he is ready to give her the husband she needs in order to support her dysfunctional family. However, he has a bit of competition, as Robert has the nerve to come back and try to win her over again. Cleveland eventually wins the fight and marries Donna, bringing the Brown and Tubbs family together as one, and making them settle for a life in Virginia, as opposed to California. Now all that needs to be focused on is the wild and crazy adventures of Cleveland Brown, living in Stoolbend, and supporting two ungrateful stepchildren, with no respect for him, and a crazy bear, who lives next door.
On the date of May 19, 2013, The Cleveland Show had been officially cancelled, due to unspecified reasons, though most believe that it was due to a decrease in ratings and lack of interest. Following it's cancellation, production for the series was shut down entirely, meaning that there was no proper series finale episode. However, the story arc continued, when Cleveland returned to Quahog in the Family Guy episode "He's Bla-ack!", an episode of the season of Family Guy that aired the year after The Cleveland Show's final season. Cleveland, Donna, Junior, Roberta, Rallo, are now minor characters, who are neighbors on Spooner Street. and Cleveland has assumed his original position as one of Peter's friends in the Drunken Clam circle.
Cleveland Brown (voiced by Mike Henry), is the protagonist of the series. He is a heavy-set African-American male who is very polite to everyone and has a unique laugh. He was formerly one of Peter Griffin's best friends in Family Guy and also owned and ran a deli. In "Pilot" he moves to the town of Stoolbend, Virginia to show his son where he grew up (even though Cleveland was in love with Donna but they were only friends and she did not know it). Eventually re-sparking his relationship with her, they get married and he and his son move in with her and her two children. Cleveland is usually depicted as exceedingly gentle and patient, and it is only on rare occasions that he has been known to lose his temper and resort to violence. However, Cleveland gets visibly annoyed with racist behavior, which sometimes is justified. He often acts as the voice of caution when other characters hatch harebrained schemes. Cleveland's speech is slow and almost elongated in Family Guy, but in The Cleveland Show his voice has a wide variety. Various flashbacks give conflicting histories of his speech patterns. He is shown as a more sexual, stupid, and violent character in his new form than he was originally.
Donna Tubbs Brown (voiced by Sanaa Lathan), is the second wife of Cleveland Brown and works as the principal's secretary at Stoolbend High School. She has two biological children from her previous relationship with Robert (last name unknown, which is a joke later in the series), Roberta and Rallo, and she has kept her maiden name (seen in "Pilot", Cleveland says, "Back in high school, I would have given anything to spend the night at Donna Tubbs' house."). As a result of her marriage to Cleveland, she has adopted a third child, his son Cleveland Brown, Jr.
Cleveland Brown, Jr. (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), is the obese biological son of Cleveland Brown and his late ex-wife Loretta. He debuted in the season 2 episode "Love Thy Trophy" on the animated TV show Family Guy. During his time in Family Guy he was shown to be skinny, hyperactive, and athletic. He was presumably taken into Loretta's custody after she divorced Cleveland in "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire" and has since become severely obese. He suffers from mild seizure-like episodes which he refers to as "brainstorms" and takes medication to control them. It was revealed in the episode "The Hurricane!" that he "doesn't believe in God", although he claims he is not an atheist either, which he calls "another religion".
Roberta Tubbs (formerly voiced by Nia Long and currently voiced by Reagan Gomez-Preston), is the fifteen-year-old, biological daughter of Donna and her ex-husband, Robert. She looks up to Tyra Banks, hoping to one day become her co-hostess. A relatively popular girl in school, Roberta is often seen socializing with her friends, both in person, and using phones, on social networking websites. She has been dating a less than respectable boy by the name of Federline Jones, who Donna does not much approve of, but who Cleveland has managed to bully into submission. As with many popular students, Roberta often acts as a bully and a self-centered character, even towards her own family members.
Montclair "Rallo" Tubbs (voiced by Mike Henry), is the five-year-old and he is in Kindergarten, biological son of Donna and her ex-husband, Robert. He has one biological sister, Roberta. As a result of his mother marrying Cleveland, Rallo has gained Cleveland Brown, Jr. as a stepbrother, Rallo has a light blue shirt with dark blue shorts and red sneakers and he sports a black Afro. His best friends are Julius and Walt.
Rock Hudson (a voiceless character with no voice actor), is the pet dog of Rallo Tubbs. In the episode "Hustle 'N' Bros", Rallo tries to find Lloyd Waterman's lost dog, Rock Hudson. When he does, he grows attached to it and doesn't want to let it go. Luckily for him, Lloyd absolutely despised Rock Hudson and it's his wife, Lydia, that wanted him back. They then find a win win deal, that Rallo can keep him, and sneak it under the radar of Lydia. Since then, Rock Hudson has made occasional appearances in subsequent episodes of The Cleveland Show.
Tim the Bear
Tim the Bear (formerly voiced by Seth MacFarlane and currently voiced by Jess Harnell), is one of Cleveland and Donna's neighbors in Stoolbend who just happens to be a bear. He is thirty-five years old and lives with his wife, Arianna, and his son, Raymond. He has deep religious convictions (often attending Stoolbend Community Church and having his honeymoon in Israel). He works as a telemarketer at Waterman Cable. He becomes Cleveland's drinking buddy at The Broken Stool, where he also converses with Holt and Lester. He apparently smokes in secret, as he asks Cleveland not to tell his wife about it. He also has a very deep Eastern European accent, has trouble with American euphemisms, and has a tendency to stammer a lot. He finds it racist when someone screams because he is a bear. Additionally, he often accidentally slashes things with his claws, something he is quite ashamed of. In "Brown History Month", Cleveland stated that Tim's father was a black bear and that his mother was a kangaroo, actually making him a hybrid between the species rather than a bear. Tim has often hinted at his attraction to Donna, similar to Quagmire's attraction to Lois on Family Guy. Seth MacFarlane stopped voicing the role after episode S3EP10 for reasons unknown, and finally Jess Harnell took over.
Lester Krinklesac (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), is one of Cleveland and Donna's neighbors in Stoolbend, Lester is a redneck with a large beer gut. He is 38 years old and he is apparently on friendly terms with his neighbor Donna, being at first concerned that Cleveland is stalking Donna but promptly apologizes to her when he realizes Cleveland was an invited guest. He becomes Cleveland's drinking buddy at The Broken Stool conversing with Tim and Holt, Cleveland even helped Lester get his son back from a rather money obsessed foster family. He was thought to be a Neo-Confederate, but it was revealed that he has no clue about any of that when he proclaims that the Navy Jack adorning his house is a "Dukes of Hazzard flag". In the Season 1 finale, it is revealed Lester has a sister who is a stripper. He also appears to be very good at making racing cars.
Holt Richter (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), is a 32-year-old frat boy wannabe. Holt attempts to be a suave, pop-culture reference-dropping bro, but the effect is undercut by his short stature (he is short enough to be mistaken for a child, as proven by Kendra occasionally referring to him as "the baby man"), as well as the fact that he still lives with his mother. He enjoys Game Boy and Entourage, and is frequently seen playing or practicing golf. He drives a Chrysler Crossfire named Appolonia. Holt has a tattoo of Jeremy Piven on his chest. His occupation is personal trainer at a local gym.
Green-Jarvus Ben-Ellis (codename: Dr. Chip Fist) (formerly voiced by Seth McFarlane and currently voiced by Bryan Cranston), is a doctor that works at Stoolbend's hospital. Due to Seth MacFarlane working on the film Ted, Tom Kenny had to cover for Seth by voicing Dr. Fist starting with "Skip Day." In "Fist and the Furious," it is revealed that Dr. Fist was originally called Green-Jarvis Ben-Ellis(based on BenJarvus Green-Ellis) had a private practice until he was approached by members of the New York Mafia to save one of their fellow members from multiple stab injuries. Then he was approached by the FBI to put anesthesia on the Mafia Don enough to put him in a coma so that he can go under Witness Protection. Cleveland learns this when they end up pursued by members of the New York Mafia. He was later shot by Cleveland when the New York Mafia failed to do the job. Cleveland was able to save Dr. Fist's life by doing it Operation style. Three months later, Dr. Fist decides to stay in Stoolbend now that the New York Mafia thinks that he is dead. Since the events of that episode, Dr. Fist has become the newfound, fifth member of Cleveland's friend circle at The Broken Stool and has appeared with the cast in all subsequent episodes, featuring the group.
The Cleveland Show references on The Simpsons
|The Brown family appears in the credits gag of Homerland, going to a party to celebrate the 25th season of The Simpsons, along with families from tons of other FOX cartoons such as Family Guy, American Dad!, and Bob's Burgers. However, they are not allowed to go into the party because they're black. The family starts picketing outside the party, demanding to be let in. Homer Simpson, who was also disallowed in there, is joining them, saying that FOX is also against him. The Brown family is eventually let in, but Homer Simpson is still locked out.|
|The show is acknowledged in The Simpsons Guy, where Peter does a cutaway to himself and Homer fighting in the air force. One of the planes is Cleveland falling and crashing into the ground and Peter explains that without him, Cleveland could not hold up on his own, referencing to the show's cancellation.|
The Simpsons references on The Cleveland Show
|In Brown History Month, Cleveland does a Black History month-themed cutaway gag, featuring himself, Carl Carlson, and Randy Jackson in a happy FOX promotional image.|
|In Cleveland Live!, the into listed a bunch of famous FOX cartoons that came before The Cleveland Show. The first one was The Simpsons, which had a picture of Bart Simpson, saying his famous catchphrase, ¡Ay, caramba!. They later mentioned Family Guy, where Stewie said the same thing, referencing the the common joke that Family Guy ripped off The Simpsons.|
|In Harder, Better, Faster, Browner, Cleveland and Kenny West were becoming famous for their song, "Be-Cleve in Yourself". As they gain more popularity, their song moves up the billboard, titled "Hot 100 Cartoon Songs", which contains various musical numbers from other cartoons, including Boozehound, Do the Bartman, We Put the Spring in Springfield, Baby on Board, and Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart? from The Simpsons.|
In Ain't Nothin' But Mutton Bustin', a guy was selling knockoff dolls of cartoon characters. One was a knockoff of Bart Simpson, called "Brat Simpson".
Later in the episode, Rallo also mentions putting an end to his rodeo career, while it was still good, just like The Simpsons. This is a joke on the fact that "ending the show while it was still good" was something The Simpsons obviously never did.
|In Hot Cocoa Bang Bang, Jeffrey Albertson appears and claims that his own cameo appearance is the "Worst. Cameo. Ever."|
|In BFFs, Donna says that in FOX cartoons, the male protagonist always has dozens of friends, while his wife has none. She lists off herself, Marge Simpson, Lois Griffin, and Francine Smith as examples.|