Clarence (American TV series)

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Clarence (2014) logotype.svg
Slice of life
Created bySkyler Page
Directed by
  • Martin Ansolabehere (art)
  • Andrew Overtoom & Helen Roh (animation)
  • Raymie Muzquiz (supervising, Season 1)
  • David Ochs & Niki Yang (supervising, Seasons 2–3)
  • Vitaliy Strokous & Julia Vickerman[2] (supervising, Season 3)
Creative director(s)Nelson Boles (2014–15)
David Ochs (2015)
Voices of
Theme music composerSimon Panrucker
Opening theme"King of the World"
Ending theme"Good Habits (And Bad)", performed by Saba Lou
Composer(s)James L. Venable
Simon Panrucker
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes130 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Keith Mack
  • Supervising producers:
  • Bob Boyle (Season 1)
  • Yvette Kaplan (2014)
  • Nelson Boles (2015–16)
  • Stephen P. Neary (Seasons 2–3)
Running time11 minutes
Production company(s)Cartoon Network Studios
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkCartoon Network
Picture format1080i HDTV
Original releaseFebruary 17, 2014 (2014-02-17) –
June 24, 2018 (2018-06-24)
External links

Clarence is an American animated television series created by Skyler Page for Cartoon Network. The series revolves around the title character 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. The series completed its four-year-run on June 24, 2018, after 3 seasons and 130 episodes.


The series focuses on the daily life of Clarence Wendle, a fun-loving and spirited 10-year-old 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 divorced mother Mary and her boyfriend Chad in the fictional town of Aberdale. 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.



The main characters, from left to right: Sumo, Jeff, and Clarence
  • Clarence Wendle (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) – An overweight, extroverted, optimistic, and wide-eyed 10-year-old boy who wants to bring out 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 more often than not listens to and follows his heart, reacting toward life with unfailing excitement and enthusiasm. A "nice guy" at heart, Clarence aspires to help people, especially his fellow kids, have fun and live freely, often by using unorthodox methods to do so. He can, however, occasionally let his imagination get the better of him, and has a bad habit of meddling into people's personal lives. Clarence has a wide range of interests and hobbies, and despite sometimes coming off as a goofball, he more often than not displays an underlying intelligence.
  • Jeffrey "Jeff" Randell (voiced by Sean Giambrone) – Clarence's second best friend. Jeff is by far the most intelligent, levelheaded, and 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" Sumouski (voiced by Tom Kenny) – 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. It is revealed In "Hurricane Dilliss" she has an overbearing mother (now deceased) which makes her very annoyed by her taking over her life, and that she has been seeing a therapist for 15 years. She is 37 years old.
  • Charles "Chad" Caswell III (voiced by Eric Edelstein) – Mary's boyfriend who works at various odd-jobs and acts as Clarence's father figure (Although Clarence mostly calls him Chad). Also has a fondness for guitar playing and rock music. He is 36 years old.


  • Ms. Melanie Baker (voiced by Katie Crown) – The children's 5th grade teacher at Aberdale Elementary School who is shown to be helpful and caring, yet easily overwhelmed.
  • Belson Noles (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) – The resident bully, who is more likely to use insults and quips rather than use physical violence. Selfish, inconsiderate, spoiled, obese, lazy, a show-off, and very superficial, Belson is rather unpopular among his peers, yet Clarence is the only one that 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 series. He likely takes after his father, who appears in "Company Man" because they both show a desire for complete control over others (the father over his employees, to Belson over the kids).
  • 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 and stuffed animals, enjoys giving and receiving makeovers, and listens to boy bands.
  • Malessica (voiced by Ivy Bishop) – One of Kimby's friends who is the object of Jeff's affection. She plays the electric guitar, as revealed in "Turtle Hats".
  • Courtlin (voiced by Tayler Buck) – Another of Kimby's friends. She has a confident personality and isn't afraid to speak her mind.
  • Nathan Springfellow (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) – One of Belson's friends. He's a big guy who is considered dim-witted. He becomes friends with Clarence as well, often participating in his escapades.
  • Dustin Conway (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) – Another one of Clarence's classmates and Belson's friends, who is a karate aficionado. He later becomes friends with Clarence.
  • Percy Dahmer (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) – A short, wimpy boy who speaks in a weak voice and is friends with Clarence and Belson. He lacks fingers.
  • Breehn Weinberg (voiced by Grey DeLisle) – One of the intelligent kids in class who is more of Jeff's friend than Clarence's, and keeps himself well grounded at all times. However, in later episodes he warms up to Clarence and joins him on some of his misadventures. He becomes a better friend of Clarence, and lets loose when with him.
  • Chelsea Keezheekoni (voiced by Grace Kaufman) – A plucky and outspoken girl who insists that she is superior to any boy, mainly Sumo. She and Sumo have shared a kiss in Clarence, Jeff and Sumo's treehouse in "Too Gross For Comfort".
  • 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.

Minor Characters[edit]

Aberdale Elementary Students[edit]

  • 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", due to her moving away, save for a cameo in "Rough Riders Elementary" and a flashback in "Clarence For President". She has an older brother.
  • Amy Shutzger (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) — 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 is taller than most of her classmates. She has a crush on Jeff.
  • Tinia (voiced by McKenna Grace) – A girl whom Clarence meets at the hospital. She presents as sweet and naïve, but has a greedy and selfish soul.
  • 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.
  • Guyler (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) – A blond-haired boy with a long neck and a big nose. Although generally silent, he does make occasional grunts. He is friends with Clarence, and joins him on his escapades. At first a minor character, he becomes more prominent in later episodes; specifically in "A Nightmare on Aberdale Street: Balance's Revenge".
  • Mavis (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) – A squat, red-haired girl who speaks in unintelligible grunts and has a fear of fire hydrants.
  • Brady Brown (voiced by Daniel DiMaggio) – A shy, quiet, self-isolating student who has a crush on Mavis. He is also handy and intelligent.
  • Blaide (voiced by Grace Kaufman) — An exchange student who is Breehn's best friend.
  • Emilio (voiced by Enrique Contreras) – A student from Mexico who is friends with Julien and Memo. He is easily scared, but tries to act tough.
  • Julien (voiced by Joshua Black) – A student who is friends with Emilio and Memo.
  • Memo – A mysterious student who doesn't speak and is friends with Emilio and Julien.
  • Camden Golightly (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) — A red-haired, droopy-cheeked, nasally-voiced kid who frequently gets hurt.

Aberdale Elementary Staff[edit]

  • Mr. Jim Reese (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) – The gruff yet dim-witted vice-principal of the school. He is a former police officer with a voracious appetite.
  • Ms. Brenda Shoop (voiced by Katie Crown) – The inattentive, irresponsible guidance counselor who cares less about the students and more about the rules, safety and herself. She has been working at the school for 29 years, as revealed in "The Substitute".

Sumouski Family[edit]

  • Tanner Sumouski (voiced by Ari Rubin) – Sumo's muscular, dim-witted older brother who frequently bullies Sumo.
  • Melvin "Mel" Sumouski (voiced by John DiMaggio) – Sumo's father who has a stern voice but is really quite wacky.
  • Tinona Sumouski (voiced by Ashley Gardner) – Sumo's extremely protective mother who speaks with a southern accent and heavily resembles Nancy Gribble from King of the Hill.

Noles Family[edit]

  • Cynthia Noles (voiced by Katie Crown) — Belson's mother who doesn't stand up to anyone and doesn't notice her son's mean behavior. She resembles him down to their noses. Jeff is implied to have a crush on her.

Randell Family[edit]

  • Eleanor-Josephine "EJ" Randell (voiced by Lea DeLaria) – Jeff's birth mother, who has a very similar appearance to Jeff and has a masculine dress taste.
  • Sue Randell (voiced by Tig Notaro) – EJ's wife and Jeff's adoptive mother who is free spirited and always shows a patient personality with her son.
  • Rosie Randell (voiced by June Squibb) — EJ's mother and Jeff's grandmother. She is extremely overbearing.

Wendle Family[edit]

  • Dilliss Wendle (voiced by Maria Bamford) — Mary's fast-talking, scatterbrained, extremely overbearing mother who suffers from dementia and insists that she do everything for everyone. In "Plane Excited", she is revealed to have died at the age of 63, although it's never specified how.
  • Seymour Wendle (voiced by Mike Judge) — Mary's father whose voice heavily resembles that of Hank Hill from King of the Hill. He calls Clarence "Creedence".

Shoop Family[edit]

  • Millie Shoop (voiced by Katie Crown) — Ms. Shoop's extremely protective mother who would never let Ms. Shoop play outside as a child.

West Aberdale Elementary Staff[edit]

  • Mr. Mozer (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) — Sumo's teacher at West Aberdale Elementary who is involved with Ms. Baker.
  • Ms. Lofton (voiced by Jenelle Lynn Randall) — The principal of West Aberdale Elementary.

Weinberg Family[edit]

  • Walt Weinberg (voiced by Tom Kenny) — Breehn's father.
  • Tiffany Weinberg (voiced by Abigail Revasch) – Breehn's mother.

Dahmer Family[edit]

  • Mr. Dahmer (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) — Percy's father.
  • Mrs. Dahmer (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) — Percy's mother.

Golightly Family[edit]

  • Herschel "Hershey" Golightly (voiced by James Arnold Taylor) — Camden's widowed father who is very protective of his son.


  • Sandy (voiced by Katie Crown) — A stuffy, unsatisfiable, rude, irritable, morbidly obese woman who rides around on a scooter and speaks with an upper-class English accent. She is a frequent customer at Mary's hair parlor, where she often runs over employees and always demands that the most expensive shampoo be used for her.
  • Larry (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) — An odd old man who goes on a date with Ms. Baker in "Neighborhood Grill". He is known for not being fazed by anything.
  • Balance (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) — A violent, short-tempered circus performer with dwarfism who loves to terrorize children and has a hook for a right hand. He is very acrobatic and possesses mind control powers.
  • Lauren (voiced by Kyla Rae Kowalewski) — An extremely smart girl who has been homeschooled since she was 6 years old and doesn't know much about the outside world.
  • Lauren's Dad (voiced by Mike Judge) — Lauren's dignified yet gentle and open-minded hippie father who encourages Lauren to talk about her feelings. His character traits resemble those of Mr. Van Driessen character from Beavis and Butt-head.


At their 2013 upfront, Clarence was announced along with various other series.[3] The series was created by Page, a former storyboard artist for Adventure Time and revisionist for Secret Mountain Fort Awesome.[4] He is the fourth creator on the network who graduated from the California Institute of the Arts,[5] and at age 24, he is also the youngest.[6] As part of their shorts development program in 2012, the series 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.[7]

Page, together with creative director Nelson Boles, conceived the series 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.[8]: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".[8]:21

According to writer Spencer Rothbell, the series 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".[9] 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".[10] 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.[8]:20 Attention is also paid to background characters in order to expand variety in its plot and universe.[8]: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.[11]

In the Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Boredom", Clarence and Mary make an appearance, alongside Uncle Grandpa and Regular Show characters.

In the end of the Steven Universe/Uncle Grandpa crossover episode, "Say Uncle", UG looks over the list of characters from former and current Cartoon Network shows and saw Clarence is the last on his list.

Page's firing[edit]

In July 2014, Skyler Page was fired from Cartoon Network Studios due to cases of sexual harassment.[12][13][14] A Cartoon Network spokesperson confirmed that the series would continue despite his absence.[15] Spencer Rothbell later became head of story and the voice of Clarence.[16]


After Page was fired from the series, Nelson Boles, who was previously the series creative director, served as series showrunner for the remainder of the first season. Stephen P. Neary, one of the storyboard artists for the series, took over as showrunner for the second season and onward after Boles left the series early in the second season.[17]


On April 4, 2017, Spencer Rothbell confirmed that the series' third season would be its last as Cartoon Network did not renew the series for a fourth season,[18] which ended on June 24, 2018.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
PilotMay 21, 2013 (2013-05-21) (Online)
February 17, 2014 (2014-02-17) (TV)
151April 14, 2014 (2014-04-14)October 27, 2015 (2015-10-27)
239January 18, 2016 (2016-01-18)February 3, 2017 (2017-02-03)
340February 10, 2017 (2017-02-10)June 24, 2018 (2018-06-24)
Shorts14July 6, 2015 (2015-07-06)June 24, 2018 (2018-06-24)

Broadcast and reception[edit]

Clarence was originally previewed at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International.[19] Cartoon Network had commissioned twelve quarter-hour episodes, with the pilot episode airing after the Hall of Game Awards show on February 17, 2014.[7] The pilot was nominated for an "Outstanding Short-format Animated Program" at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2013.[20][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.[21]

In Canada, Clarence premiered on Cartoon Network on April 14[22] and on Teletoon on September 4, but it was later moved exclusively to Cartoon Network.[23][24] The series premiered on October 6 on Cartoon Network in Australia and New Zealand[25][26] and on November 3 on Cartoon Network in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[27] In India, the series debuted on June 1, 2015 on Cartoon Network.[28] The last 13 episodes of the series aired first in Germany before airing in the United States.[29]

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".[30] Nancy Basile of applauded the dialogue for its lengthiness, and considered the relationships between the characters to be dynamic and genuine, with some comedy thrown in.[31] 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.[32] In Animation Magazine, Mercedes Milligan described it as "a breath of fresh suburban air" and a celebration of childhood.[8]:20 Nivea Serrao of TV Guide contrasted the show with most fantasy animated series.[9] 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.[33]

The series gained considerable press after featuring a gay couple in the 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".[36] Joe Morgan of Gay Star News called the buildup to the scene "an old joke",[41] a notion shared by Dan Tracer of Queerty, although he praised their portrayal "just as normal people".[42]

In 2017, the Kenya Film Classification Board banned Clarence, together with the cartoon series The Loud House, The Legend of Korra, Hey Arnold!, Steven Universe and Adventure Time, from being broadcast in Kenya. According to the Board, the reason was that these series were "glorifying homosexual behavior".[43]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
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

Home media[edit]

Title Season(s) Episode count Running time
Release dates
( United States)
Cartoon Network Holiday Collection 1 1 11 October 7, 2014 (2014-10-07) 3
Mystery Piñata[44] 12 132 February 10, 2015 (2015-02-10) Pilot, 1–2, 4–5, 7, 11–12, 15–16, 18, 21, 23
Dust Buddies[45] September 15, 2015 (2015-09-15) 3, 6, 8, 10, 14, 17, 19–20, 25–26, 29, 36


  1. ^ Page, Peter Browngardt, Robert Alvarez, Brian A. Miller, Jennifer Pelphrey, Curtis Lelash and Rob Sorcher were the recipients.[20]
  2. ^ E! Online,[34] El Universal,[35] the Huffington Post (both in their UK[36] and US editions[37]), MTV News[38] and Refinery29.[39]
  3. ^ Coverage in these sites include Pink News,[40] Gay Star News[41] and Queerty.[42]


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  12. ^ Staff, Variety (3 July 2014). "Cartoon Network Fires Creator of 'Clarence' Amid Sexual Assault Allegations".
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  14. ^ "The Creator Of "Clarence" On Cartoon Network Has Been Fired After Allegations Of Sexual Assault".
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  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Gotta Gotta See It: TELETOON Launches 2014 Fall Slate" (Press release). Corus Entertainment. August 27, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
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  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ 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.
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  41. ^ a b 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.
  42. ^ a b 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, 2015.
  43. ^ Anyango, Jennifer (June 15, 2016). "Films board bans six TV programs 'for promoting homosexuality'". The Standard. Archived from the original on June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  44. ^ [2][dead link]
  45. ^ "Cartoon Network: Clarence - Dust Buddies V2". 15 September 2015 – via Amazon.

External links[edit]