Ian Abercrombie's last major credit was as the Headmaster in Wizards of Waverly Place, which just wrapped up a few weeks ago. This is the second time in recent memory that Disney's wrapped up one of their shows, only for one of the big stars to pass away a few weeks later. The first case was with The Emperor's New School, where the show wrapped up and Eartha Kitt passed on weeks later. It's a very odd coincidence.
As JST alluded to, he also currently leaves Star Wars: The Clone Wars without a Palpatine. He was awesome in that role.
Man, this episode bored me. Couldn't get into it at all, even when the combination of Cleveland, a Santa suit, and alcohol should have led to laughs. It didn't. The only funny stuff seemed to come from Cleveland Jr.