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Spud Janney

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Spud

Spud

Profile

Name: Donald Janney
Nickname: Spud
Played By: Donald Janney
Born: Unrevealed
Relatives: Unnamed mother, Wheezer (possible stepbrother), Sherwood (possible brother), Mary Ann (possible stepsister)
Clubs: None
First Short: Bear Shooters
Last Short: Bear Shooters

Character

Stressed, whiny and over-punished, Spud Janney is a brother in some form to Wheezer and Mary Ann. When he makes plans to go camping and hunting for bears out in the woods with Jackie and Farina, he gets stuck against his will in watching Wheezer so his mother doesn't have to stay home with him. To add insult to injury, Wheezer is more than happy and willing to see Spud's plans ruined to serve his needs. Jackie and Farina, however, try sneaking off with Spud's mule, Dinah to pull their wagon, but Spud stops them. His reasoning is that if he can't go, Dinah can't go.
While there is a decent reason behind his complaining, Spud is nothing but resourceful and he enlists Mary Ann to take care of Wheezer in his stead so he can focus on spending time with his friends, but apparently the guys don't know what a bear looks like one, attacking and trapping a bootlegger in a gorilla costume.
Just where Spud fits in Wheezer's complicated family tree is a bit of a mystery. Wheezer is first the son of a prize fighter in The Old Wallop (an inventor in The Spanking Age) with Mary Ann, his sister as his only constant relative. Three shorts, The Spanking Age, Small Talk and Dogs Is Dogs, tell the story of how Wheezer and Mary Ann are rescued from their stepmother by their aunt and taken to live with their father where they are soon to meet another sibling, none other than Jackie. Spud's mother would appear to be the horrible stepmother until the short, Dogs Is Dogs, where Spud is replaced by Sherwood and Mary Ann is replaced by Wheezer's friend, Echo DeBorba, previous seen in several shorts as the younger sister of Chubby Chaney. Considering his tenuous connection to Wheezer, Mary Ann and the Rascals in general, it would make more sense if Spud was Sherwood's older brother; Sherwood's mother being briefly married to Wheezer's father before marrying Jackie's mother in this rough estimation of the tangled continuity.
Quotes:

  • "I gotta stay home and grease Wheezer." - Spud in Bear Shooters
  • "You guys watch 'im, while I run for help!" - Spud in Bear Shooters

Notes/Trivia

  • In the short, Spud explicitly refers to Wheezer and Mary Ann as his brother and sister. Through the film other gang members when talking to him refer to "your brother" or "your sister." No where is the modifier "step" used, as it is in other shorts. The relationships puts forth the possibility that the three are true siblings, and Spud had just previously been conspicuous absent in their other appearances, choosing not to affiliate with his younger siblings as older kids are known to do. Identifying Spud as a step-sibling to Wheezer is perfectly logical given his one appearance, but doesn't work overall if one assumes he's friends with Farina Hoskins and Chubby Chaney as he is in the short. The theories here are that they just don't refer to each other as step-siblings and the gang copies this behavior, or they are related and Spud alienates his friends for his disappearance.

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