The Cleveland Show Season 4 Review “The Fist & the Furious”

On the latest episode of “The Cleveland Show,” it was time for Cleveland to pay a visit to the doctor for a check-up in “The Fist & the Furious.” Naturally, the show wasted no time in laying on the rectal exam jokes, leading to the following exchanges.

Cleveland: “He’s gonna poke my booty hole!”
Donna: “You don’t know that. He might not.”
Cleveland: “Oh, you’re right. Not in these frumpy dad pants. Boo.”
Doctor: “Oh, don’t worry, Cleveland. You’re not scheduled for an ass jam for another two months.”
Cleveland: “You’re still gonna do the cup ‘n’ cough, right? Cause this one should be free… (Pulls out punch card) Wait a minute…this is from the yogurt place! Ugh! They should not be doing that.”

Subtlety, thy name is not “The Cleveland Show.” On the plus side, the voice of the doctor was none other than Bryan Cranston, of “Breaking Bad” and “Malcolm in the Middle” fame. Naturally, his name was Dr. Fist, because, you know, once again, this is “The Cleveland Show” we’re talking about.

Also on the plus side, this was a bona fide full-on appearance, as opposed to the typical Seth MacFarlane guest shot, where the celebrity voice is in the show for maybe a joke or two, then that’s that. This was more like “The Simpsons,” where the celebrity voice is featured prominently throughout the show. (Okay, so they do quickie cameos sometimes, too, but you know what I mean.) Given how serious his role on “Bad” is, it’s nice to hear Cranston make with the funny again, and he had some pretty solid moments.

My favorite was the bit with the stethoscope, which he used as a phone, but I suppose that was more of a visual pun, so my favorite line was when he showed off his bachelor pad, and one particularly unique feature.

Cleveland: “Is that a life-sized ‘Operation’ game?”
Dr. Fist: “You bet! If there’s another way to learn medicine, I don’t know it!” (Bonus points for the call-back joke, when Cleveland had to remove a bullet from Dr. Fist’s chest: “May Milton-Bradley guide my hand.”)

I also liked the bit where Dr. Fist invited Cleveland to bring his friends over.

Cleveland: “Ed, Calvin and Rick the Moose?”
Dr. Fist: “I was thinking of Holt, Lester and Tim the Bear.”
Cleveland: “Oh. The second tier.” (Was I alone in wishing the first group- or should I say tier? – made an appearance somewhere in the show? Alas, it was not to be.)

Speaking of second tier, the secondary subplot was relatively amusing, if not quite up to the standards of the main storyline. It revolved around Cleveland Jr. and Rallo’s attempt to start a successful gourmet food cart at the school, only to have some of their thunder stolen by a rival cart, wo-manned by a Mexican played by another guest star, the unmistakable less-than-dulcet tones of Ms. Rosie Perez. Rallo was not pleased by these developments.

Rallo: “Get the truck out of here. And by that, I mean, get the f*** out of here.”

Ah, kids. They grow up so fast, don’t they? I also got a kick by Rallo’s amusing under-the-breath mumblings throughout the episode, and Cleveland Jr.’s bemused observation: “I’ve never been so happy to see other people eat my food.”

So, some decent moments here and there, a lot of it completely random stuff, like the dancing dog, Cleveland flying into the air for no apparent reason, the bits with Cleveland as the “director” of the episode, calling for another take; and the self-aware acknowledgment that the show’s days may be numbered: “I’m dying! Or we’re cancelled!” And let’s not forget this bizarre exchange after Cleveland’s showdown with the Chinese.

Cleveland: “By the way, when I was at the bottom of the pile of Chineses, I bit one of ‘em, right in the water chestnuts.”
Donna: “I’m telling you, there’s no reason for biting Orienticles!”

I don’t why, but that made me laugh. I think it was Cleveland calling them “Chineses” and Donna coining the term “Orienticles.” I’d have to say that was my favorite line, as out-there as it was, though for some reason, I also giggled when Cleveland said “I am a ma-mammal!”

Close runner-up, from the emo kid at Rallo’s school: “Fierce looking lunch, girl! I’d pay fat cash to wrap my lips around those nuggets!” I also liked the cast-off, blink-and-you-missed-it joke when the kids were running to the food cart: “I’m five. I just like running.”

So, some good stuff overall, if maybe not one of the better episodes this season. I’d gauge it right around the middle, but a high middle, at least, if only for the strength of the guest appearances.

What did you think of “The Cleveland Show”? Did you get a kick out of Cranston’s role? How about Perez? Would you like to get a gander at Ed, Calvin and Rick the Moose? Let me know in the comments!