Clarence (2014 TV series)
|Created by||Skyler Page|
Nelson Boles (2014–15)|
David Ochs (2015)
|Theme music composer||Simon Panrucker|
|Opening theme||"King of the World"|
|Ending theme||"Good Habits", performed by Saba Lou|
James L. Venable|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||89 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios|
|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. In July 2015, Clarence was renewed for a second season which began January 18, 2016.
The show focuses on the daily life of Clarence Wendle, a fun-loving and spirited boy, and his best friends: Jeff, who is the more intellectual sort and Sumo, who often uses drastic measures when solving problems.
Clarence lives with his mother Mary and her boyfriend Chad in the fictional city 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)) – a fun-loving, spirited, fat 8-year-old boy who sees good in everything and everyone and wants to try it all. Clarence values his friends, Jeff and Sumo, more than material possessions.
- Jeffrey "Jeff" Randell (voiced by Sean Giambrone) – One of Clarence's best friends who is more the intellectual type, and has a cube-shaped head representing his "square" personality. His mannerisms are calculated while his mind is teeming in knowledge (of mostly trivial facts)Jeff Has A Extra Toe In Jeffs Secret
- Ryan "Sumo" Sumouski (voiced by Jason Marsden in the pilot episode and Tom Kenny in the TV series) – Clarence's other best friend who is the most instinctual of their group and often takes drastic and crude measures when trying to solve problems. Though he is unpredictable, Sumo is loyal to Jeff and Clarence and available when they need support. Jeff and Sumo constantly butt heads and are not as popular as Clarence is among the other children, but Clarence mends the gap between them.
- 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.
- Charles "Chad" Caswell lll (voiced by Eric Edelstein) – Mary's boyfriend who works at various odd-jobs and acts as Clarence's father figure.
- Belson Noles (voiced by Jason Marsden in a pilot episode and Roger Craig Smith in the TV series) is the school bully and main antagonist of the series who more often than not hurls insults rather than fists. He is spoiled and seems to have no friends, even his own posse seems to dislike him. Clarence is the only one that likes him, though the same can't be said for Belson.
- Ms. Melanie Baker (voiced by Katie Crown) – the children's teacher who is shown to be kind and caring.
- 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) is one of Belson's friends. He's a big guy who is considered dim-witted.
- Dustin (voiced by Kyle Arem) – another one of Clarence's classmates and Belson's friends. He is an avid fan of martial arts and sports.
- Jim Reese (voiced by Skyler Page and Donovan Patton) is the gruff yet dim-witted school secretary with a voracious appetite.
- Branda Shoop (voiced by Katie Crown) – is an inattentive and irresponsible teacher who cares less about the students and more about the rules.
- Chelsea Keezheekoni (voiced by Grace Kaufman) is a plucky and forthright 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 tree house.
- Breehn (voiced by Joshua Rush) – is more of Jeff's friend than Clarence's. He's one of the intelligent kids in class and keeps himself well grounded at all times.
- Emilio (voiced by Alberto Gonzales and Enrique Contreras) – is more of Sumo's friend than Clarence's. He often assists Sumo with his crazy pranks.
- Brady (voiced by Daniel DiMaggio) – is a friend of Clarence's. He is a parody of Charlie Brown.
- Gilben – is a silent and motionless boy, aged 10-11, 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.
- Kimby (voiced by Isabella Niems) is another one of Clarence's classmates, a shy girly girl who speaks with a valley girl accent. She constantly plays with her hair.
- Malessica (voiced by Ivy Bishop) is one of Kimby's friends. She used to have a crush on Jeff, but not anymore.
- Courtlin (voiced by Tayler Buck) is another of Kimby's friends. She has a confident personality and isn't afraid to speak her mind.
- Joshua "Josh" Maverick (voiced by Brent Popolizio) is an angry and hapless teenager who doesn't like children, especially Sumo. He is shown to be really accident prone and constantly gets severe injuries during every one of his appearances.
- Mavis (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) is a squat, red-haired girl who speaks in unintelligible grunts and has a fear of fire hydrants.
- Camden (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) is a red-headed boy with droopy cheeks and has a deep, nasally voice.
- Guyler – is a silent boy with a big round nose and a long neck with a green turtle neck covering it and his mouth. He is 10 years old.
- Mel Sumouski (voiced by John DiMaggio) - Sumo's dad who has a stern voice but is really quite wild.
- EJ Randell (voiced by Lea Delaria) - One of Jeff's moms. She has a very similar appearance to Jeff.
- Sue Randell (voiced by Tig Notaro) - One of Jeff's moms, She is very spiritual with nature.
At their 2011 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 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 and creative director Nelson Boles became supervising producer and showrunner for the remainder of the first season. Storyboard artist Stephen P. Neary became showrunner for the second season.
The show has released a numerous amount of online games that is mostly found on the Cartoon Network website, while as for mobile games, the first is Clarence's Amazing Day, which was released in late 2014, mostly on Apple Devices.
in mid-2015, a point-and-click game, Blamburger, which was released for Android and Apple, developed by Heavy Boat Games, however another game, which was made the same year as the other one, Thirty Days & Seven Seas was a tactical card playing game, developed by Sleepy Ninja.
The Clarence characters appear on a crossover racing mobile game, Formula Cartoon All-Stars, along with other CN shows. And also the main character, alongside with other Cartoon Network Shows, will be introduced in a 2016 upcoming side-scrolling beat-em up crossover action adventure game, Battle Crashers developed by GameMill Entertainment.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilot||July 27, 2013 (Online)|
February 17, 2014 (TV)
|1||51||April 14, 2014||October 27, 2015|
|2||39||January 18, 2016||January 2017|
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. 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 episode "Neighborhood Grill", with coverage in various tabloid and entertainment news sites, and in LGBT-oriented sites as well. 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.
- Cartoon Network Asia (February 16, 2015). "NEW EPISODES of Clarence on Laughternoons Starts February 16, Weekdays @ 5.30pm". Facebook. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
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- "See the world through the eyes of Clarence, a boy excited by life". Eckfactor. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
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- "Cartoon Network launches new show 'Clarence'". The Times of India. May 27, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
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- 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.