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. FAMILY GUY Adds Arif Zahir as New Cleveland Brown; BOB’S BURGERS, FAMILY GUY Renewed for Two Seasons; Fox Sets Animation Domination Return; FAMILY GUY: Mike Henry Will No Longer Voice Cleveland Brown; Daily Dose of Joy: FAMILY GUY Embraces a Niche Song; Follow @GiveMeMyRemote and @marisaroffman on Twitter for the latest TV news. “And so that by definition precluded any rote impression, or repeating of what someone else who’s very talented may have done. FAMILY Guy producers have cast YouTuber Arif Zahir as the new voice of Cleveland Brown after the original voice actor quit. 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. To Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin and Seth MacFarlane, thank you for this incredible gift. This news follows fellow Fox animated series The Simpsons casting Black voice actor Alex Désert to replace Hank Azaria as the voice of Carl Carlson. “Family Guy” has announced its replacement casting for Cleveland Brown. Less than three weeks after YouTube sensation Arif Zahir landed the role of Cleveland Brown on FOX's Family Guy, we're learning from the voice actor as … "I welcome Arif to the Family Guy team," Henry said. Schedule for Family Guy Season 20 ", 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.". 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. 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. The announcement … If Mike didn’t want anyone else to do this character it’s completely understandable.”. By Jon Arvedon Sep 25, 2020 Fox has cast Arif Zahir as the new voice of Cleveland Brown on Family Guy beginning with Season 19. "Firstly, I’m eternally grateful to have received this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Zahir said. YouTube comedian Arif Zahir has been announced as the new voice of Family Guy 's Cleveland Brown, taking over the role from Mike Henry. We all felt and feel with what’s going on in our country, and it seemed like a good opportunity to make some adjustments on our end. ", RELATED: Fox Renews Family Guy, Bob's Burgers For Two More Seasons Each. YouTuber Arif Zahir will take over Mike Henry's role on Family Guy's 19th season, which is set to air in the 2021-22 season. His love of comics is rivaled only by that of his love for Star Wars. “But between now and then, it’s about recording and getting everything done. Mike Henry had voiced Cleveland since 1999, but announced he was stepping down in June. When you have the luxury of having 20 seasons, it’s nice that you can rely on the shared history of those four characters. It’s hard not to root for him.”. Arif Zahir is an amazing voice actor who is starred as a new voice actor for the Cleveland Brown in ‘Family Guy’. “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. On 25th September in 2020, ... Arif Zahir tweets about his girlfriend! The former longtime white voice actor for Cleveland, Mike Henry, will … 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. Season 19 premieres Sunday, Sept. 27 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. And hopefully, we can make them while keeping the show seamless. When I learned I would get to take over the role? Nevertheless, he immediately developed a strong passion for the medium and began aggressively expanding his knowledge, using any and all downtime at his old office job to scour the depths of Marvel Unlimited, ComiXology, and the occasional wiki page to help fill in the gaps. According to Deadline, YouTube star Arif Zahir will be replacing Mike Henry as Cleveland … Zahir began doing “Family Guy” voices in middle school to crack up his classmates. “Seth’s bottom line was during those conversations that, if we’re going to do this, we need to have somebody great,” Sulkin said. Arif, also popularly known as Azerrz, would be voicing Cleveland Brown on Fox animated series. 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. 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. Jon Arvedon is an editor and writer for CBR and he has been contributing to the site since 2017. He really is Cleveland Brown and I’m just continuing the legacy.”, Meanwhile, it’s been a whirlwind since the Cleveland announcement for Zahir, who has now signed with CAA and has started dreaming big: “Whether it be film, stage, voice, video game acting, the sky’s the limit,” he said. Zahir said he was convinced that “Family Guy” would retire the character after Mike Henry, who originated the role, stepped down in June. 5. As each stage of this process progressed, the list narrowed and narrowed until there was one person on that list.”. 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. All the latest gaming news, game reviews and trailers. “I’m just a huge Seth MacFarlane fan, anything he does,” Zahir said. FAMILY Guy producers have cast YouTuber Arif Zahir as the new voice of Cleveland Brown after the original voice actor quit. 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. I really studied every little nuance that Mike’s performance had as Cleveland. And we had a bunch of really talented actors audition for. Variety and the Flying V logos are trademarks of Variety Media, LLC. YouTube star Arif Zahir has been announced as the new voice of Cleveland Brown in Family Guy. Family Guy stars Seth MacFarlane, Alex Bornstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Arif Zahir, Patrick Warburton and Mike Henry. I played back clips of the show, and matched the pitch as best as I could. 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. Arif Zahir has been cast as the new voice of Cleveland Brown on Fox's Family Guy following Mike Henry stepping down from the role. He is well-known for his Eraser (2016), How It Should Have Ended (2005), and G.P.A. “One of the biggest things was I didn’t want to tarnish the character’s legacy or Mike’s legacy,” he said. Arif Zahir Replaces Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown on Family Guy. “My mama almost had a heart attack when I told her!”, When the “Family Guy” producers first emailed Zahir about auditioning to take over as the voice of Cleveland Brown, the young YouTube star thought it was a joke. Iron Man: Wait, HOW Many Rings Did The Mandarin Have? 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. Arif Zahir knows he’s living a bit of a Cinderella story: The aspiring young actor has gone from impersonating the “ Family Guy ” character Cleveland Brown on YouTube to … 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. Arif Zahir has been cast to voice Cleveland for the 19th season come 2021-2022. Contact Info: 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. 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The fact that we got a guy like Arif, who is fantastic, I think rewarded that decision.”. If you're so inclined, you can follow Jon on Twitter at @JonArvedon. And building a rapport with them.”. Just ask Arif Zahir, a YouTube impressionist who makes videos where he pretends to be famous people/fictional characters in Omegle chats or while playing video games. (PIC: Arif’s TW) Although, at the time of this writing, we had no cues, if he still had a wife prospect. 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." © Copyright 2020 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. "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. Zahir said he studied Cleveland Brown both as a voice impressionist but also as an actor, and that may have been the edge that landed him the part. Cleveland Brown has found his new voice: The actor Arif Zahir will take over the role of this friendly “Family Guy” neighbor on the Fox animated series. Connect with other TV … “And we wouldn’t cast a great comic actor who couldn’t capture not just the voice, but some of the part of the role that Mike Henry had nurtured for almost 20 years.”. 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. “I went from around 700,000 followers to a million and then two million in the same year,” he said. As soon as physical table reads can once again happen, Zahir looks forward to meeting with Henry in person. And his approach to the scripts just floored Seth, me and Alec. He’s a great character, and great for Peter and Quagmire and Joe to interact with. Arif Zahir knows he’s living a bit of a Cinderella story: The aspiring young actor has gone from impersonating the “Family Guy” character Cleveland Brown on YouTube to starring as the character’s voice actor starting next season. Family Guy has found the actor who will replace Mike Henry, who has voiced Cleveland for the last 20 years. “To be fair to Arif, this was a role that our casting folks cast a wide net. Zahir had previously done imitations of Cleveland on his YouTube channel under the name of 'Azzerz'. '” Appel said. Mike Henry, who is white, has voiced … Henry will remain a series regular on Family Guy, voicing such recurring characters as Bruce and Herbert. To Mike, you created something truly special, and I promise I will do my absolute best to honor your legacy. Arif Zahir is getting ready for his closeup on “Family Guy.” The YouTube star, 26, was hired in late September to replace Mike Henry as the voice of Cleveland … I’m just ready to do it all.”, Said Appel: “Cinderella wouldn’t have worked if Cinderella weren’t likable. (Henry joined several white performers on animated series who have agreed to no longer voice characters of color. Arif Zahir, beginning in Season 19 (Broadcast season 20), will be the new voice of Cleveland Brown, taking over from Mike Henry. “We did a deep dive, and certainly decided right then that if we were to recast Cleveland, obviously, we would have to consider him,” Appel said. Arif Zahir is a voice actor known for voicing Cleveland Brown. “We were talking about other possible solutions to a life without Cleveland, such as a new character, whatever it might be, while a parallel track continued of auditions.”, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane set the bar high, however. #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. I couldn’t help but think a lot of people that probably had auditioned didn’t really take the notes as much as I did. But when attending classes limited his time making videos — and his YouTube audience dipped — Zahir dropped out to focus on the channel. Zahir has already started attending virtual table reads for next season’s episodes, along side some of the “Family Guy” stars he has idolized for years as a fan: Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Patrick Warburton and others. It was “Family Guy” director Greg Colton who stumbled across Zahir’s YouTube videos and alerted the producers to his work. Covering the hottest movie and TV topics that fans want. 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. The Expanse: Will Bobbie and Avasarala Team Up in Season 5? "Arif’s vocal talent is obvious, but his understanding of Cleveland and his respect for the character give me confidence that he is in the right hands. Arif Zahir has been cast as the new voice of Cleveland Brown on Fox's Family Guy following Mike Henry stepping down from the role. The Expanse: Here Are Season 5's Returning Characters, Why Superman and Lois Gives the Man of Steel a New Costume, Charmed: Season 3 Trailer Foretells the Death of Magic, Dark Nights: Death Metal #6 Forges the Future of the DC Universe, SWORD #1 Goes Beyond Dawn of X and Into Marvel's Cosmos, King in Black - Namor #1 Is an Uneven Exploration of Atlantis' History, Review: The O.Z. Fox has cast Arif Zahir as the new voice of Cleveland Brown on Family Guy beginning with Season 19. Actor/comedian/YouTube star Arif Zahir will … Arif Zahir, a YouTube star with more than 6 million followers, will take over the role of Cleveland Brown on the Fox animated sitcom "Family Guy," according to … Overabundant gratitude. "I love this character, but persons of colour should play characters of colour," Henry said at the time. 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. The decision comes … 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. Arif Zahir will take over the role. It’s really lived-in more than it was. A one-stop shop for all things video games. “And I kept growing and growing and I’ve just gone full time on YouTube since then. By Russ Burlingame - September 26, 2020 01:51 pm EDT FOX has revealed that Arif Zahir will replace Mike Henry in the role of Cleveland Brown on Family Guy. “Seth was always very specific that he said, we would never just cast a great impressionist who wasn’t also a really talented comic actor,” Appel said. Family Guy Casts Black Actor Arif Zahir to Voice Cleveland Brown, Mike Henry to Remain Series Regular, Family Guy Taps Sam Elliot to Succeed Adam West as Quahog's Mayor, Fox Renews Family Guy, Bob's Burgers For Two More Seasons Each, replace Hank Azaria as the voice of Carl Carlson, The Loki Trailer Teased Marvel's Most Powerful - and EVIL - Cosmic Being Yet, Maya Lopez/Echo: The Powers and History of Alaqua Cox's Hawkeye Hero. The 26-year-old internet personality will replace voice actor Mike Henry in … ‘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. ), “I thought they were going to write him out and I was like, oh no,” Zahir said. Voice actor Arif Zahir, who does impressions of Cleveland on YouTube, has been tapped to replace Mike Henry, Cleveland's original portrayer, … 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. “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. (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. I have a fan base that supports me.”. “I know it’s his baby and I want to give it my hundred percent. “I felt like a lot of people who did Cleveland Brown’s impression lacked that. Take a visual walk through his career and see 1 image of the character he voiced.. “But I was appreciative of that, if that was the choice they were going to make. All thanks to his continual tendency of keeping his private affairs safe from the prying eyes. “These were scripts he could perform, for which he had zero reference,” Appel said. “It wasn’t, ‘We need to do it no matter what, and we’ll get the best person available. The decision comes nearly three months after Mike Henry, 54, announced his resignation in the wake of George Floyd's death, saying an actor of color should play the character. 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. “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. 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