Clarence (2014 TV series)
|Created by||Skyler Page|
|Creative director(s)||Nelson Boles (2014–15)
David Ochs (2015)
|Theme music composer||Simon Panrucker|
|Opening theme||"King of the World"|
|Ending theme||"Good Habits (And Bad)", performed by Saba Lou|
|Composer(s)||James L. Venable
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||117 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
|First shown in||February 17, 2014 (pilot)|
|Original release||April 14, 2014– present|
Clarence is an American animated television series created by Skyler Page for Cartoon Network. The series revolves around a young boy named Clarence and his two best friends Jeff and Sumo. Page, a former storyboard artist for Adventure Time and revisionist for Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, developed the series at Cartoon Network Studios as part of their shorts development program in 2012.
The pilot aired after the 2014 Hall of Game Awards show on February 17, 2014. The series officially premiered on April 14, 2014 and was seen by approximately 2.3 million viewers, outperforming shows in its same demographic in the time slot. The series' pilot was nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy Award.
On April 4, 2017, Spencer Rothbell confirmed that the show's third season will be the last.
The show focuses on the daily life of Clarence Wendell, a fun-loving and spirited boy, and his best friends: Jeff, who is the more intellectual type, and Sumo, who often uses drastic measures when solving problems.
Clarence lives with his widowed mother Mary and her boyfriend Chad in the fictional town of Aberdale, Arizona located near Phoenix. Each episode focuses on the daily-life situations and problems that Clarence and his friends encounter, and their everyday adventures and life experiences as kids.
Other characters include students and faculty at Aberdale Elementary, Clarence's school. Certain episodes focus on the life of supporting characters, like the citizens of Aberdale and Clarence's classmates.
- Clarence Wendle (voiced by Skyler Page (episodes 1–32 and 35–36) and Spencer Rothbell (episodes 33–34 and 37–present)) - An overweight, extroverted, and optimistic 10-year-old boy who wants to believe the best in everything and everyone. In the pilot episode, he was the "new kid" in Aberdale and could not wait to make friends. He is the kind of person who listens to and follows his heart, reacting toward life with unfailing excitement and enthusiasm. Sweet, helpful, and selfless, Clarence cares deeply for the well-being of others and enjoys helping people with their problems, often by using unorthodox methods to do so. He is however, not without his faults, namely a tendency to let his imagination get the better of him, and one to often get ahead of himself in his daily schemes. Clarence has a wide range of interests and hobbies, and despite sometimes coming off as a goofball, displays an underlying intelligence. He is also missing his two front teeth, which perhaps explains why he speaks with a lateral lisp.
- Jeffrey "Jeff" Randell (voiced by Sean Giambrone) - Clarence's second best friend. Intelligent, pragmatic, and rather idiosyncratic, Jeff is by far the most morally inclined of the trio and tries his best to prevent Clarence from going down a bad road. Jeff's most well-known trait is that he has a cube-shaped head which represents his "square" personality. He is an avid fan of game shows and enjoys playing along with them.
- Ryan "Sumo" Sumowski (voiced by Tom Kenny in the TV series and Jason Marsden in the pilot) - Clarence's best friend, who is fearless, unpredictable, and often takes drastic and crude measures when trying to solve problems. Despite this often being a drawback, Sumo is loyal to Jeff and Clarence and available when they need support. He and Jeff tend to quarrel with each other due to their opposing personalities, but Clarence acts as the glue that holds the boys' friendships together. In the third season, Sumo was transferred to the new school called West Aberdale.
- Mary Wendle (voiced by Katie Crown) – Clarence's mother who is always there to support her son no matter the difficulty. She lives with her boyfriend Chad and her son Clarence.
- Charles "Chad" Caswell (voiced by Eric Edelstein) – Mary's boyfriend (later husband) who works at various odd-jobs and acts as Clarence's father figure. Also has a fondness for guitar playing and rock music.
- Belson Noles (voiced by Jason Marsden in the pilot episode and Roger Craig Smith in the TV series) – The resident bully, who is more likely to use insults and quips rather than use physical violence. Self-absorbed, apathetic, and superficial, Belson is not a particularly well-liked person among his peers, yet Clarence is the only one that actually likes him, though the same can't be said for him. Belson is also prone to envy, as he is aggravated by the fact that Clarence is the "popular kid" at Aberdale Elementary School and has occasionally tried to ruin his reputation. He is also named after Nelson Boles, who helped create the show.
- Chelsea Keezheekoni (voiced by Grace Kaufman) – A plucky and outspoken girl who insists that she is superior to any boy, mainly Sumo. It is revealed in one episode that she and Sumo had shared a kiss in Clarence, Jeff and Sumo's treehouse.
- Breehn (voiced by Joshua Rush) – One of the intelligent kids in class who is more Jeff's friend than Clarence's. Keeps himself well grounded at all times.
- Ms. Melanie Baker (voiced by Katie Crown) – The children's 4th grade teacher at Aberdale Elementary School who is shown to be helpful and caring, yet easily overwhelmed.
- Percy (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) – A short, wimpy boy who speaks in a weak voice and is friends with Clarence.
- Nathan (voiced by Skyler Page and Damien Haas) – One of Belson's friends. He's a big guy who is considered dim-witted.
- Dustin Conway (voiced by Kyle Arem) – Another one of Clarence's classmates and Belson's friends. He is an avid fan of martial arts and sports.
- Mel Sumowski (voiced by John DiMaggio) – Sumo's father who has a stern voice but is really quite wacky.
- EJ and Sue Randell (voiced by Lea DeLaria and Tig Notaro) – Jeff's lesbian mothers; EJ has a very similar appearance to Jeff and has a masculine dress taste, while Sue is always patient with her son Jeff and has a calm personality.
- Jim Reese (voiced by Skyler Page and Donovan Patton) – The gruff yet dim-witted school secretary. He is a former police officer with a voracious appetite.
- Branda Shoop (voiced by Katie Crown) – The inattentive, irresponsible guidance counsellor who cares less about the students and more about the rules and safety. She has been working at the school for 29 years, as revealed in "The Substitute".
- Regis Gilben – A silent and motionless boy who communicates with an eerie wind sound instead of a voice. Everyone can seemingly understand this; also, somehow he is ghost-like and can touch without moving.
- Joshua "Josh" Maverick (voiced by Brent Popolizio) – A grumpy teenager who doesn't like children, especially Sumo, and later Clarence. He is shown to be very accident prone and constantly gets severe injuries during every one of his appearances. He is similar to Lars from Steven Universe.
- Kimberly "Kimby" Knutson (voiced by Isabella Niems) – Another of Clarence's classmates. Kimby is shown as an introverted, awkward, insecure, yet lovely girl who constantly plays with her hair. As a girly girl, Kimby often collects dolls, stuffed animals (particularly ducks), enjoys giving and receiving makeovers, and listens to boy bands. She is also known for harboring a crush on Clarence, as especially shown in "Slumber Party", and Clarence appears to like her as well.
- Malessica (voiced by Ivy Bishop) – One of Kimby's friends who is the object of Jeff's affection.
- Courtlin (voiced by Tayler Buck) – Another of Kimby's friends. She has a confident personality and isn't afraid to speak her mind.
- Mavis (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) – A squat, red-haired girl who speaks in unintelligible grunts and has a fear of fire hydrants.
- Amy Gillis (voiced by Ava Acres) - A nice girl who is a good friend to Clarence. However, she never appears after her debut in the second episode, "Pretty Great Day With a Girl", save for a cameo in "Rough Riders Elementary" and a flashback in "Clarence For President".
- Amy Shutzger (voiced by Skyler Page and Damien Haas) - A big girl who, along with Mavis, is the only recurring female character to be voiced by a man. She wears her hair in a ponytail and towers over most of her classmates.
- Blaide (voiced by Skyler Page, Spencer Rothbell, and Grace Kaufman) - A Russian exchange student.
- Tinia (voiced by Mckenna Grace) - A bratty little girl who is mean to Clarence and loves candy.
- Lauren (voiced by Rachel Eggleston) - An extremely smart girl who has been homeschooled since she was 6 years old and doesn't know much about the outside world.
- Cynthia Noles (voiced by Katie Crown) - Belson's divorced mother who doesn't stand up to anyone and doesn't notice her son's mean behavior. She resembles him down to their noses.
- Dilliss Wendle (voiced by Maria Bamford) - Mary's mother who has hair covering her eyes, talks a lot, messes up Clarence's house, and refuses to leave. In Plane Excited, she is now dead.
- Sandy (voiced by Katie Crown) - An obese, selfish, mean, short-tempered woman.
- Mr. Mozer (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) - Sumo's teacher at West Aberdale Elementary who shares a lot with Ms. Baker.
- Ms. Lofton (voiced by Jenelle Lynn Randall) - The principal of West Aberdale Elementary.
- Lauren's Dad - Lauren's strict yet fair father.
- Larry (voiced by Skyler Page and Spencer Rothbell) - A strange 70-year-old man who writes everything down.
- Jeremy (voiced by Henry Kaufman) - A doppelgänger of Clarence who appears in his dreams.
- Balance (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) - Clarence's evil doppelgänger who has mind control powers.
- Shannon (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) - A girl who looks a lot like Clarence.
At their 2013 upfront, Clarence was announced along with various other series. The show was created by Page, a former storyboard artist for Adventure Time and revisionist for Secret Mountain Fort Awesome. He is the fourth creator on the network who graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, and at age 24, he is also the youngest. As part of their shorts development program in 2012, the show was developed at Cartoon Network Studios; four others, Steven Universe, Over the Garden Wall, We Bare Bears and Long Live the Royals also came from this initiative.
Page, together with creative director Nelson Boles, conceived the show at CalArts. It was further considered when Page became hired at Cartoon Network Studios. A crew of two or three polished the pilot episode; after it had been picked up, a crew of 30 to 35 writers, storyboard artists, revisionists, colorists and designers were employed. Meanwhile, animation is outsourced to South Korea through the Saerom Animation.:20 Page explained that the hardest part of production was keeping pace, especially where once an episode is completed, one must start over. He called this "exciting", but "very challenging".:21
According to writer Spencer Rothbell, the show was created with a naturalistic tone, similar to cartoons of the 1990s, combined with a more modern feeling. Given this naturalism, writers can reference works that have inspired for them or fit the genre of an episode. He ultimately felt that it was about "empowering kids and having fun". Rothbell also avoids "pigeonholing" into one type of story, and that while some plots are mostly character-driven, others are "based on one idea that we think is really funny". Inspiration also came from the shows Page watched as a child, which invoked more poignant and relatable situations. Despite this, elements of fantasy are allowed, and that conveying both incongruous to one another was one technique he particularly enjoyed. Boles noted that the art direction called for inconsistent character design to avoid having to fit model sheet with the universe perfectly—a result of what he dubs the Simpsons effect.:20 Attention is also paid to background characters in order to expand variety in its plot and universe.:20–21
Clarence, Jeff, Sumo, and Belson appeared in "The Grampies", the short accompanying the Uncle Grandpa episode "Pizza Eve", along with other Cartoon Network characters from currently running and ended cartoons. Belson had a speaking role in that short.
In the Steven Universe episode "Kevin Party", Steven marks his name on Kevin's phone, and upon taking it back, Kevin says, "Huh, your name's Steven? Weird. I thought it was Clarence."
In July 2014, it was reported that Skyler Page was fired from the show and Cartoon Network Studios due to mental health problems allegedly leading to cases of sexual harassment. A Cartoon Network spokesperson confirmed that the series will continue despite his absence. Spencer Rothbell later became head of story and the voice of Clarence.
After Page was fired from the show, Nelson Boles served as series showrunner for the remainder of the first season. After the first season, Boles left the series. Stephen P. Neary, one of the storyboard artists for the show, became showrunner for the second season.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilot||May 21, 2013
February 17, 2014 (TV)
|1||51||April 14, 2014||October 27, 2015|
|2||39||January 18, 2016||February 3, 2017|
|3||TBA||February 10, 2017||TBA|
|Shorts||11||July 6, 2015||TBA|
Broadcast and reception
Clarence was originally previewed at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International. Cartoon Network had commissioned twelve quarter-hour episodes, with the pilot episode airing after the Hall of Game Awards show on February 17, 2014. The pilot was nominated for an "Outstanding Short-format Animated Program" at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2013.[a] The first episode, broadcast April 14, 2014, was met with an estimated 2.3 million viewers, outperforming shows in its same demographic in the time slot by double and triple digit percentages. Meanwhile, preliminary data identified it as the most watched series premiere for the network that year.
In Canada, Clarence premiered on Cartoon Network on April 14 and on Teletoon on September 4, but it was later moved exclusively to Cartoon Network. The series premiered on October 6 on Cartoon Network in Australia and New Zealand and on November 3 on Cartoon Network in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In India, the series debuted on June 1, 2015 on Cartoon Network.
In a three-star review, Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media alerted parents of "a similar brand of absurdity and crudeness" as Adventure Time—though less severe—but praised the cast as "oddly likable". Nancy Basile of About.com applauded the dialogue for its lengthiness, and considered the relationships between the characters to be dynamic and genuine, with some comedy thrown in. Whitney Matheson of USA Today found Clarence to blend optimism and surreal humor in "just the right amount", and encouraged children and parents alike to watch its premiere. In Animation Magazine, Mercedes Milligan described it as "a breath of fresh suburban air" and a celebration of childhood.:20 Nivea Serrao of TV Guide contrasted the show with most fantasy animated series. Brian Lowry of Variety called it "so quirky and idiosyncratic as to feel fresh", although it sometimes tread in "well-worn territory", but found the character designs unattractive.
The show gained considerable press after featuring a gay couple in the Season One episode "Neighborhood Grill", with coverage in various tabloid and entertainment news sites,[b] and in LGBT-oriented sites as well.[c] The scene involves two male characters greeting each other with kisses on the cheek while at a restaurant. Rothbell originally had the couple kiss on the lips after receiving flowers from the other, but this went unapproved by the network. He added that the scene was a "minor throwaway moment", albeit "better than nothing", and anticipated that "one day the main character can be gay and it won't be a big deal". Joe Morgan of Gay Star News called the buildup to the scene "an old joke", a notion shared by Dan Tracer of Queerty, although he praised their portrayal "just as normal people".
Awards and nominations
|2013||Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program||"Clarence" (Pilot)||Nominated|
|2015||British Academy Children's Awards||International||Clarence||Nominated|
|2016||Annie Awards||Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience||"Turtle Hats"||Nominated|
|DVD title||Season(s)||Aspect ratio||Episode count||Total running time||Release dates|
|Mystery Piñata||1||16:9||12 (plus pilot)||132 minutes||February 10, 2015|
|Dust Buddies||1||16:9||12||132 minutes||September 15, 2015|
- Page, Peter Browngardt, Robert Alvarez, Brian A. Miller, Jennifer Pelphrey, Curtis Lelash and Rob Sorcher were the recipients.
- Coverage in these sites include the Daily Mail, E! Online, El Universal, the Huffington Post (both in their UK and US editions), MTV News and Refinery29.
- Coverage in these sites include Pink News, Gay Star News and Queerty.
- "Julia Vickerman (@juliavickerman) • Instagram photos and videos". www.instagram.com.
- Rothbell, Spencer (April 4, 2017). "got the go ahead so just to confirm - It's a wrap for Clarence but don't worry, new episodes will continue to air through 2018". Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- Anderson, James; Swaney, Joe; D'Amato, Adrienne; Palaski, Courtenay (January 28, 2013). "Cartoon Network Gets in Front of the Upfront". Business Wire. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Milligan, Mercedes (December 13, 2012). "Cartoon Network Greenlights Clarence". Animation Magazine. ISSN 1041-617X. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Amidi, Amid (December 15, 2012). "Cartoon Network Orders Clarence". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Rusak, Gary (March 10, 2014). "Cartoon Network US & UK announce 2014 slates". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (December 12, 2012). "Cartoon Network Orders 1/4-Hour Animated Series Clarence". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Milligan, Mercedes (April–May 2014). "CN's New Bundle of Joy". Animation Magazine. 28 (4): 20–21. ISSN 1041-617X. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014.
- Serrao, Nivea (April 14, 2014). "Cartoon Network's Clarence Finds Joy in the Ordinary". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Behind the Scenes of Clarence". Cartoon Network. Turner Broadcasting System. April 4, 2014. See video. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Mordecai626 Alt (16 April 2016). "Cartoon Network Shows Cameo on Uncle Grandpa" – via YouTube.
- Staff, Variety (3 July 2014). "Cartoon Network Fires Creator of 'Clarence' Amid Sexual Assault Allegations".
- Yamato, Jen (3 July 2014). "'Clarence' Creator-Star Out At Cartoon Network Following Sexual Assault Allegations".
- "The Creator Of "Clarence" On Cartoon Network Has Been Fired After Allegations Of Sexual Assault".
- Aurthur, Kate (July 3, 2014). "Exclusive: The Creator of Clarence on Cartoon Network Has Been Fired After Allegations of Sexual Assault". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Milligan, Mercedes (September 22, 2014). "Cartoon Network Plans Surprise-Packed NYCC Panel". Animation Magazine. ISSN 1041-617X. Archived from the original on October 13, 2014.
- Wolfe, Jennifer (July 22, 2013). "CN Sneak Peeks Rebecca Sugar's Steven Universe". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Clarence". Television Academy. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. September 15, 2013. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Bibel, Sara (April 16, 2014). "Clarence Is Cartoon Network's Most-Watched Series Premiere to Date in 2014". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Cartoon Network Canada (April 4, 2015). "There's a new kid coming to @CartoonCAN & he's SUPER EXCITED to be your friend! Meet #Clarence April 14 at 8pm ET/PT!". Twitter. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "Gotta Gotta See It: TELETOON Launches 2014 Fall Slate" (Press release). Corus Entertainment. August 27, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- "FAQ". Teletoon. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "CARTOON NETWORK TOON MACHINE COMING TO AUSTRALIA". Turner Pressroom (Press release). Melbourne: Turner Broadcasting System Asia-Pacific. August 21, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "See the world through the eyes of Clarence, a boy excited by life". Eckfactor. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "Everyone's new best friend is coming to Cartoon Network!". Turner Media Innovations (Press release). Turner Broadcasting System Europe. October 8, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "Cartoon Network launches new show 'Clarence'". The Times of India. May 27, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- Ashby, Emily. "Clarence". Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Basile, Nancy (May 6, 2014). "Clarence". About.com. IAC. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Matheson, Whitney (April 14, 2014). "Clarence: Preview Cartoon Network's fun new series". USA Today. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Lowry, Brian (April 8, 2014). "TV Review: Cartoon Network's Clarence, The Tom and Jerry Show". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- McCormack, David (October 28, 2014). "Cartoon Network backs down from showing its first ever gay kiss". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Harrison, Lily (October 28, 2014). "Cartoon Network Censors Its First Gay Kiss on New Show Clarence". E! Online. NBCUniversal. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- "Cartoon Network censuró un beso de la serie animada Clarence" [Cartoon Network censors a kiss from the animated series Clarence]. El Universal. Epalisticia S.L. October 28, 2014. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Bagwell, Matt (October 28, 2014). "Cartoon Network Feature First Ever Gay Characters In Clarence, but Kiss Is Censored". Huffington Post (United Kingdom ed.). AOL Inc. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Nichols, James (October 28, 2014). "Cartoon Network Allegedly Censors First On-Screen Gay Kiss". United Kingdom. AOL Inc. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Bobb, Maurice (October 29, 2014). "Clarence Almost Featured Cartoon Network's First Gay Kiss". MTV News. Viacom International. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Barna, Daniel (October 28, 2014). "The Cartoon Network's First-Ever Gay Kiss Was Censored". Refinery29. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Day, Aaron (October 28, 2014). "Cartoon Network debuts first ever gay characters—but censors the kiss". Pink News. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Morgan, Joe (October 28, 2014). "Cartoon Network feature first gay characters in new show, but they were banned from kissing on the mouth". Gay Star News. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Tracer, Dan (October 27, 2014). "Cartoon Network Airs First Gay Characters Only After Making Sure They Aren't Too Gay". Queerty. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- "Cartoon Network: Clarence - Dust Buddies V2". 15 September 2015 – via Amazon.