Clarence (American TV series)
Slice of life
|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||130 (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|
|Original release||February 17, 2014 –|
June 24, 2018
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.
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 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, 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 37–130)) - 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 is the kind of person who listens to and follows his heart, reacting toward life with unfailing excitement and enthusiasm. A "nice guy" and proud of it, Clarence enjoys helping people and doing good deeds without rewards, often by using unorthodox methods to do so. He can sometimes let his imagination get the better of him, can get a bit too friendly, 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 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. It is revealed In "Hurricane Dilliss" she has a overbearing mother (now deceased) which makes her very annoyed by her taking over her life.
- 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.
- 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 rather unpopular 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. 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 students).
- 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".
- Breehn (voiced by Joshua Rush) – 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.
- 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 Dahmer (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) – A short, wimpy boy who speaks in a weak voice and is friends with Clarence and Belson.
- Nathan (voiced by Skyler Page and Damien Haas) – 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 Kyle Arem) – Another one of Clarence's classmates and Belson's friends. He later becomes friends with Clarence.
- Mel Sumouski (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 (possibly his birth mother) and has a masculine dress taste, while Sue is free spirited and always shows a patient personality with her son.
- Jim Reese (voiced by Skyler Page and Donovan Patton) – The gruff yet dim-witted vice-principal of the school. He is a former police officer with a voracious appetite.
- Guyler - 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".
- 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.
- Mavis (voiced by Spencer Rothbell) – A squat, red-haired girl who speaks in unintelligible grunts and has a fear of fire hydrants.
- 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.
- Kimby (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.
- Courtlin (voiced by Tayler Buck) – Another of Kimby's friends. She has a confident personality and isn't afraid to speak her mind.
- Branda Shoop (voiced by Katie Crown) – The inattentive, irresponsible guidance counsellor 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".
- 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 is taller than most of her classmates. She has a crush on Jeff.
- Blaide (voiced by Skyler Page, Spencer Rothbell, and Grace Kaufman) — An exchange student.
- 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 Mena Suvari) — 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.
- 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.
- Rosie Randell (voiced by June Squibb) — EJ's mother and Jeff's grandmother.
- Mr. and Mrs. Dahmer (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) — Percy's parents.
- Walt and Tiffany (voiced by Dave Wittenberg and Abigail Revasch) — Breehn's parents.
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 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.
In July 2014, Skyler Page was fired from Cartoon Network Studios due to cases of sexual harassment. A Cartoon Network spokesperson confirmed that the series would 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, 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 show, took over as showrunner for the second season and onward after Boles left the series early in the second season.
On April 4, 2017, Spencer Rothbell confirmed that the show's third season would be its last as Cartoon Network did not renew the series for a fourth season, which ended on June 24, 2018.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilot||May 21, 2013 (Online)|
February 17, 2014 (TV)
|1||51||April 14, 2014||October 27, 2015|
|2||39||January 18, 2016||February 3, 2017|
|3||40||February 10, 2017||June 24, 2018|
|Shorts||14||July 6, 2015||June 24, 2018|
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. The last 13 episodes of the show aired first in Germany before airing in the United States.
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|
|Title||Season(s)||Episode count||Running time
( United States)
|Cartoon Network Holiday Collection||1||1||11||October 7, 2014||3|
|Mystery Piñata||12||132||February 10, 2015||Pilot, 1–2, 4–5, 7, 11–12, 15–16, 18, 21, 23|
|Dust Buddies||September 15, 2015||3, 6, 8, 10, 14, 17, 19–20, 25–26, 29, 36|
- 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.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-01-23. Retrieved 2018-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Julia Vickerman (@juliavickerman) • Instagram photos and videos". www.instagram.com.
- 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 October 23, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Milligan, Mercedes (December 13, 2012). "Cartoon Network Greenlights Clarence". Animation Magazine. ISSN 1041-617X. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Amidi, Amid (December 15, 2012). "Cartoon Network Orders Clarence". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on July 7, 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 July 15, 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 18, 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 July 24, 2014.
- Serrao, Nivea (April 14, 2014). "Cartoon Network's Clarence Finds Joy in the Ordinary". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 26, 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 May 21, 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 4, 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 6, 2014.
- 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.
- Wolfe, Jennifer (July 22, 2013). "CN Sneak Peeks Rebecca Sugar's Steven Universe". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Clarence". Television Academy. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. September 15, 2013. Archived from the original on October 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 28, 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. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "Cartoon Network launches new show 'Clarence'". The Times of India. May 27, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "Clarence Staffel 3 Episodenguide". Fernsehserien (in German). Retrieved April 24, 2019.
- Ashby, Emily. "Clarence". Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Basile, Nancy (May 6, 2014). "Clarence". About.com. IAC. Archived from the original on July 11, 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 April 20, 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 April 27, 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, 2015.
- [dead link]
- "Cartoon Network: Clarence - Dust Buddies V2". 15 September 2015 – via Amazon.