By Any Other Name

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#106: “By Any Other Name”
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[[:Category:{{{genre}}} Episodes| {{{genre}}}]]

Proverbs 11:3

3The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

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By Any Other Name

“By Any Other Name” is episode #106 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on March 3, 1990.


Curt Stevens runs for student council, but lies a lot in his speeches, while Phil Phillips attempts to cash in on Odyssey businesses. Including Whit's End.


Bernard Walton has changed the name of his company. Instead of "Walton's Janitorial Service," he tells Whit to make out his weekly check to "Walton's Hygienic Maintenance and Engineering Company." The company's new title has come courtesy of a fast-talking, big shot, Chicago marketing consultant named Phil Phillips. Phil is advising the town's businesses to change their names to something more fast-paced and upbeat, even though those names may have nothing to do with the business.

Meanwhile, Curt Stevens is up to a scheme of his own, trying to run for Odyssey Middle School's student council because - why else? - he thinks it's an easy grade. He enlists Lucy Cunningham-Schultz's aid as his campaign manager. Curt makes impossible promises to the students if they'll vote for him. Lucy tells Curt he can't lie like that, but Curt says no one expects him to really follow through on those promises.

Lucy resigns her post, much to Curt's dismay. He complains to Whit about it, and Whit tries to explain that Lucy is right. Words are meaningful, and giving something a flashy name doesn't change what it really is. As a real life example, Whit, in front of Curt, exposes Phil Phillips as a con man wanted by the Chicago police. Phil tries to skip out of town, but is caught by the local authorities, and Curt learns a valuable lesson - at least until the election...

Discussion Questions

  1. Is exaggerating the same as lying?
    • Why or why not?
  2. Why is it so important to follow through on your promises?
    • What promises has Jesus given us?
  3. Describe something that sounds fancy but is actually ordinary.


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Eugene Meltsner John Whittaker


  • The episode has the normal "Hi, this is Chris, and welcome to Odyssey." Then the theme begins to play but is interrupted by a group of people who mistake the show for "Adventures in Oncology," which is actually recorded in the studio next door. They then replace the theme and everything else, including Chris (replacing her with the measly-mouthed Cal). At the ending of the show during the wrap up, the producer states they made a mistake and returns everything (and everyone) to normal.
    • Oddly, Cal does the intro and the wrap-up for the program but Chris still gives the commercial break announcement.
  • The Phil Phillips from Chicago in this episode sounds exactly like the Frank Phillips from Chicago in #155: “Waylaid in the Windy City, Part 1” — probably because he is.
  • This episode marks the debut of Bernard Walton, the beloved, though grumpy, window-washer.
  • In this episode Curt Stevens talks about Lucy's litter campaign. This is a reference to Lucy's project first mentioned in #103: “Front Page News”.



John Whittaker: It’s not what you call something, but what it is. The name, the label on the outside doesn't change what it is on the inside — the same with how you look on those posters. Uh, you got that?
Curt Stevens: That's great, Mr. Whittaker. You should be a politician.
John Whittaker: Why?
Curt Stevens: I didn’t understand a word you said, but it sounded like it made perfect sense.

Bernard Walton: Well, it is serious. I couldn't do my job without my squeegee.

Bernard Walton: Well, the job's done, Whit. The window's all clean. At least as clean as they'll ever be with all these kids running around.
John Whittaker: I'm sure you did the best you could.
Bernard Walton: Well, I don't know why I bother, when I know they'll be dirty again tomorrow.

Bernard Walton: Hold on, Whit. Make that out to Walton's Hygienic Maintenance and Engineering Company, please.

John Whittaker: Here's your check, Bernard.
Bernard Walton: Transaction note.
John Whittaker: What?
Bernard Walton: The bank's gonna start calling them transaction notes.

Bernard Walton: Gotta keep up with the times, Whit. It's the only way to survive.

Bernard Walton: See you tomorrow, Whit, if we don't both die in our sleep.

Curt Stevens: <about Whit’s exposing Phil Phillips for what he really was> Boy! How did you know he was a fake?
John Whittaker: Because a good marketing person has more respect for people’s intelligence — the same with good politicians. And that’s what I was trying to tell you, Curt. Just because you change the name of something, doesn’t mean you change what it really is. You see, my train set is the same train set, whether I called it the Iron Bucket, or something like The Fireball 5000. Fireball 5000 sounds more exciting, but it doesn't really make it a faster train set. It’s all just a name game.
Curt Stevens: Gotcha, Mr. Whittaker.
John Whittaker: A lot of people like to play the name game with other things, too — like doing things that are wrong. They think that by changing the name, it’s not wrong anymore. But a lie is still a lie, even if you try to call it ‘rhetoric’ or ‘campaign promises’. You get my meaning, Curt?
Curt Stevens: Yeah, Mr. Whittaker. I think I’m getting the idea.

Curt Stevens: It’s like.. like salt on a potato chip. It gives the speech flavor to... taste good.
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: You're making this up!
Curt Stevens: I’m not! Ask any politician. Potato chips always taste better with salt on them.