Being a huge fan of Family Guy, I’m not entirely sure how come I’ve missed – until last night – the hugely funny spin-off, The Cleveland Show.
Cleveland was of course one of Peter Griffin’s drinking buddies in Family Guy, however, following his split from wife Loretta, it seems he’d had enough of Quahog so he and his son Cleveland Jnr relocated and warranted their very own show.
In this show, Cleveland’s son – Cleveland Jr – has put on a lot more weight but is still a geek, and last night’s episode centred around Cleveland Snr’s attempts to get Junior to play baseball.
As with Family Guy, most of the laughs had little to do with the actual storyline and came with sidebar narratives and quirky one-liners, such as Cleveland’s old high school coach asking Cleveland if he thought their livers would be a good match.
The cast of characters combine to create – as one would expect of Seth MacFarlane et al – a deep well of humour, with each being assigned various and hilarious quirks. And having Cleveland living next door to a family of talking bears is a masterstroke. Especially given that Tim – the daddy bear of the household and voiced by MacFarlane himself – speaks with a no-good-reason-why slightly German accent.
That’s the sort of attention to detail that makes Family Guy, and now The Cleveland Show, such compulsive viewing; even though of course all the characters are animated, you do actually get a sense of getting to know them all.
By far my favourite part of last night’s show was when Cleveland visited a gas station bathroom and offered up a narrative that had me laughing so hard I was actually crying…
Most of what he said can’t be retold here, obviously, this being a family site, but as with the rest of the show, it’s adult humour that requires a certain amount of weirdness on the part of the viewer to appreciate. And my sense of humour is without doubt weird…
I love every subtle – and the not subtle at all – word play and innuendo, and let’s face it, some amount of animated violence is just plain funny, and there was lots of that too.
So if you, like me, love Family Guy but have managed to miss The Cleveland Show, you can catch up with it on Channel 4oD.