For most of the week I was planning to do a post on Tom Riley, but I changed my mind yesterday because I realized I didn't have much to say about him. I also don't have that much to say about Bernard, but I think he'll be a bit more interesting than Tom would have been. I do think this will be quite a bit shorter of a post than other one's though because Bernard hasn't had all that many twists to his life since we've met him.
Well, we first met this window washer in By Any Other Name, but unfortunately I don't own that episode, and I haven't heard it in a long, long time, so I won't be able to say much about it. I do know that he wasn't the star of the episode, and he wasn't introduced with fanfares or an episode with his name. And that really suits him because that's exactly how he is. Whenever he's washed windows he's always behind the scenes, and he doesn't like to seek recognition. He's a good example of how we Christians should be in all of our good works.
One thing that I always remember Bernard for is his Bernard and... episodes. He's the best storyteller. He tells stories to kids with all kinds of problems, even though they often come and ask for help while he's working on windows. He tells the biblical stories of Joseph, Esther, Job, Saul, and Jeremiah, and so many others when he gets on BTV. He always keeps the stories very close to the Bible, adding a little humor here and there, and then always applies it directly to the life of the kid(s) who asked him for help. Some have said that he's even better at giving advice than Whit!
Throughout the first few years of Odyssey, Bernard isn't involved very much. He usually makes appearances washing windows in the background of Whit's End, throwing his two cents into whoever's having a conversation's conversation. He had a few episodes centered around him, but I think the first big event that I can remember with Bernard was his trip with Eugene to California. They've recently learned that they're cousins, so Bernard's pride still hurts, and he doesn't want to bring Eugene. But after Eugene gives up his bus ticket, Bernard reluctantly gives him a ride, and they spend the rest of the trip together. They go on five different adventures, each of them with a differently numbered title--First-Hand Experience, Second Thoughts, Third Degree, It Happened at Four Corners, and Fifth House on the Left. Over these few episodes, Bernard gets thrown in jail, handcuffed to a rock miles into a cave, and goes through an earthquake while being a babysitter for the daughter of a Hollywood movie producer! Finally, he gets his new truck and drives back to Odyssey (Ohio).
But he and Eugene meet a big surprise when they return home. Whit has left Odyssey for the Middle East, and no one knows when he'll be back! Bernard sticks around for the next episode or two when Jack Allen is introduced, and Jason Whittaker comes back to town, but then he disappears. From then on he again isn't that involved, and then during the Darkness Before Dawn saga, he seems to disappear, and we only see him two or three times.
And then comes BTV, a TV show named after him that was created to fill up a spot on Mr. Feldstein's channel. It became wildly popular, and the Odyssey writers seem to use the idea whenever they're an episode short on an album. Bernard is always the host, and he always has a great old story that ties into the theme of the episode. He's done episodes on compassion, grace, thanks, envy, Christmas, and temptation, and all of them are very entertaining. But other than these shows, sometimes it seems like Bernard doesn't exist anymore. For a long time, these were the only episodes he was in. And even during the Novacom saga, Bernard is only in one episode when he hands BTV over to Novacom Broadcasting, but then, after much encouragement from Whit, takes it back.
So for a long time, Bernard appeared to have gone off the show. But then came Wooton. And he and Bernard became as good of friends as Eugene and Bernard were at one time. From Do or Diet to Basset Hounds to The Other Side of the Glass, Wooton and Bernard go on many adventures together, and those episodes are always very funny. They either work together to lose weight, go on a trip to Alaska for a family reunion, or solve a big mystery.
The last time we see him, Bernard is giving romantic advice to Kurt Stevens. You'll have to hear the episode to see how that goes. ;) And then he disappears. It makes you wonder who washes the windows at Whit's End now. With all the new families in Odyssey, you'd think that they'd be getting a lot more dirty. Oh, but that's right, we have Red Hollard now, who seems to be doing maintanence work at Whit's End as a replacement for Bernard. Or at least that's how it seems in The Jubilee Singers.
I think most people are sad to have seen Bernard go. At least I am. He was a great, unique addition to the show, and Dave Madden did a phenominal job as his voice over the years. It'd be great if he was the old character who's going to return in Album 53. I'd be so happy you'd have to "stuff me with feathers and call me a pillow!" : D
Well, that's it for this week's review. Come back next week for the review of...hmmm.... I don't really know whom I'm going to review next week, so you'll just have to come back!
P.S. Since news is slow, I decided to start a new page called Special Videos to put mostly Odyssey fan videos on. I've gotten most of them from the Odyssey Scoop, but at least one of them so far is one you won't find on any other Odyssey sites.