Just a few months ago Mike Henry stepped down from the role of Cleveland on Family Guy, leaving fans wondering if they’d ever see the character again. Fear, not fans, as today it has been announced that Cleveland will remain in Family Guy, and he will now be voiced by Arif Zahir.
Mainly known as a YouTube star, it will definitely be interesting to see what Zahir brings to the table, and I wish him luck. He certainly sounds excited, as he had this to say to EW:
“Firstly, I’m eternally grateful to have received this once in a lifetime opportunity. 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. When I learned I would get to take over the role? Overabundant gratitude.”
He went on to thank both Henry and Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane for the opportunity while promising not to let down the shows’ fans.
I’m sure he’ll do a great job, but fans of the show will have to wait until next year to hear Zahir’s voice, as Mike Henry had already recorded dialogue for the next season of Family Guy, prior to stepping down.
The recasting of Cleveland comes hot on the heels of The Simpsons revealing the new voice for Carl after a number of changes in the animation world. When Henry stood aside from Cleveland he reiterated that people of color should voice characters of color.
It’s a statement I agree with and can’t wait to see what both new voice actors bring to their respective roles.
If you’re a fan of The Simpsons or Family Guy, be sure to let us know your favorite episodes in the comments.