Arif Zahir has gone from impersonating “Household Man’s” Cleveland Brown on YouTube… to being forged as the new voice of the character on the precise present.
Zahir will take over as Cleveland in Season 19, as the present has simply been picked up for 2 extra seasons (its nineteenth and twentieth) and episodes are actually going into manufacturing. He takes over from Mike Henry, who created the character and voiced it since “Household Man” premiered in 1999 (and in a while the spin-off “The Cleveland Present”).
In June, Henry introduced that he would step down from taking part in Cleveland: “I like this character, however individuals of shade ought to play characters of shade,” he mentioned at the time.
Henry will proceed to be heard as Cleveland on this yr’s Season 18 “Household Man” episodes, which had already been accomplished and return on Sunday evening with the present’s 350th episode. However sequence creator and govt producer Seth MacFarlane and showrunners Wealthy Appel and Alec Sulkin introduced on Friday that Zahir would take over as Cleveland shifting ahead.
“Arif’s vocal expertise is apparent, however his understanding of Cleveland and his respect for the character give me confidence that he’s in the proper palms,” Henry mentioned. “I stay up for attending to know Arif and dealing with him to ensure Cleveland stays each bit as superior as he has all the time been.”
Recognized on YouTube as “Azerrz,” Zahir does video impressions of President Obama, Cleveland Brown, Donald Trump and Kendrick Lamar (amongst others), and has 6.25 million subscribers. His video “Hit Rap Songs in Voice Impressions,” which options him reimagining “Sicko Mode” as sung by Cleveland, has attracted 14.2 million views; one other one from 2017 that includes Cleveland performing hit rap songs garnered 6.5 million views.
In June, after Henry introduced he was giving up the function as Cleveland, Zahir made a TikTok video providing up his companies (and tagging Henry on Twitter to hopefully see it).
“After I heard that Mike Henry was stepping down from the function of Cleveland Brown — my favourite cartoon character of all time — I used to be shocked and saddened, assuming we’d by no means see him once more,” Zahir mentioned. “After I discovered I’d get to take over the function? Overabundant gratitude. To Mike, you created one thing actually particular and I promise I’ll do my very best to honor your legacy. To Wealthy Appel, Alec Sulkin and Seth MacFarlane, thanks for this unbelievable present. And to the thousands and thousands of followers who love this present, I promise to not allow you to down.”
The information of Zahir’s hiring comes a day after Selection broke the information that actor Alex Désert had taken over the function of Carl Carlson on “The Simpsons” season opener. Carl, who’s Black, had been voiced by Hank Azaria. However earlier this summer time, “The Simpsons” introduced that BIPOC characters would now be performed by performers of shade.
In June, as the dialog about illustration on TV prolonged to animation, Henry mentioned he would not voice Cleveland, whereas Kristen Bell additionally stepped down from plating the biracial character Molly on “Central Park” and Jenny Slate mentioned she wouldn’t proceed to play Missy, additionally a biracial character, on Netflix’s “Large Mouth.” Emily Raver-Lampman will now play Molly in Season 2 of “Central Park,” whereas Ayo Edebiri has been tapped to voice Missy shifting ahead on “Large Mouth.”
Zahir is repped by CAA.