Like Father, Like Wooton
Wooton Bassett delivers some damaged mail to Whit's End to discover Connie Kendall reading Rusty Gordon's book. Though Wooton tries to encourage Connie to put down a book that obviously upsets her as much as Rusty's does, Connie begins reading from the Odyssey Times to prove that Odyssey is not as boring as Rusty made it out to be. The articles give her little to back up her claim and Connie worries that the lack of drama in their small town will keep her book from selling outside their immediate area. She decides to look for a good human interest story and Wooton suggests that she write about the traveling circus troupe that's in town. He insists that clowns are deeply secretive and exciting and worthy of her investigation.
Meanwhile, Max Hampton, bragging to Grady McKay about his successful dad, asks if Grady's father will be coming by for Career Day as well. Grady makes up stories about his father and says that he's much too busy to come to school for Career Day, though he's spending the whole weekend with Grady. Too late, Grady remembers that he is working the cotton candy booth at the carnival on Saturday, and Max says he can't wait to meet Grady's dad there. Grady makes phone calls to try to contact his dad, but the last number he has will no longer reach him. Wooton comes by to ask Grady to be his partner for the father-son laser tag tournament at the carnival, promising that the tournament accepts father-son substitutes. Grady, immediately seeing a way out of his dilemma, asks Wooton to hang out with him all day Saturday. Wooton agrees and Grady gloats to himself that he has found a dad to show Max.
At the carnival, Wooton convinces the funnel cake lady to reveal information "about the clowns here" in an attempt to help Connie with her investigative journalism. She accidentally reveals that a clown is missing, but refuses to say any more. Energized, Connie tries to wheedle the truth out of a clown, who only honks at her. Connie then decides to go undercover to try to get her story. On her way back to Whit's End, she stops by Grady's cotton candy stand. Unfortunately for Grady, Max comes by while Connie is there and Grady is forced to lie in front of Connie, saying that his dad is coming.
Grady takes Max out front to meet Wooton. Max begins questioning Wooton amiably about the things Grady made up about his father. Wooton, seemingly oblivious to Grady's lies, spends time with the boys. When Max leaves, Wooton gently tells Grady that he's realized what is going on and that they need to tell Max the truth. A distraught Grady tells Wooton that he doesn't want to tell Max the truth because he will be made fun of and runs away when Wooton tells him that one of them must come clean.
While Wooton searches for Grady, he runs into Undercover Clown Connie. Rationalizing that it is "practically [her] civic duty" to investigate the missing clowns. When Wooton asks if she has seen Grady, she says no, but tells him that she heard Grady's dad was coming and encourages Wooton to try to meet him as she feels his dad could learn a lot from Wooton. She tells Wooton that right now he's the closest thing to a dad that Grady has then runs off into a clown tent.
Masquerading as "Lonnie the Clown" she makes her way into a circus tent where she is mistaken for the replacement clown for the missing Elise. Horace, the head clown, admits that Elise (the missing clown) probably left in anger over the publishing of a book that rocked the clown world, revealing their secrets and tricks of the trade. He hauls Connie off to rehearse for the next performance and discovers that she is an abysmal clown. Not only that, the clown she is replacing had a dangerous cannon act that Connie is not prepared to perform. Before she is forced to admit her deception the funnel cake lady enters the tent to speak to Horace. She admits that she is the missing Elise in disguise and that she wrote the offending book of secrets to try to put her daughter through medical school. Though upset with her, Elise's fellow clowns forgive her, and admit that they might have done the same. In fact, Horace offers her her job back! Connie, inspired by Elise's confession, admits to her own deception.
At the laser tag tournament, Max notices that Wooton is not with Wooton. He presses Grady for the truth about Wooton, becoming suspicious after realizing their last names are different. After Grady confesses, Wooton arrives. He tells Max that even though Grady is not his son, if he had a son he would want one just like Grady, and that he is proud of his pseudo-son. Their team wins the laser tag tournament.
Connie, barred by clown secrecy from publishing any account of her discovery, laments the lack of drama in Odyssey. Wooton relates briefly the story of his and Grady's relationship, which Connie dismisses as being fictional. Still searching for drama, she leaves to visit Eugene, suffering from kidney stones, in the hospital.
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Heard in episode
|Arnold Schwarzenbanger||Jess Harnell|
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Grady McKay||Jordan Orr|
|Max Hampton||Axel Alba|
|Wooton Bassett||Jess Harnell|
|Walter (Clown)||John Crist|
Mentioned in episode
|Rusty Gordon (Malone)||Connie Kendall|
|Margaret Faye||Connie Kendall|
|Carson McKay||Max Hampton|
|Eugene Meltsner||Connie Kendall|
|John Whittaker||Connie Kendall|
- This is the second AIO episode that begins with the phrase "Like Father,...", the first being #216: “Like Father, Like Son”.
- Wooton's quote from this episode about riding in a rodeo sounds extremely similar to what happened to Eugene in #171: “The Cross of Cortes, Part 1”.
- Wooton makes a tounge-in-cheek reference in this episode to Novacom: “That company [that] tried to control the minds of everyone in Odyssey and later take over the world.”
- The non-talking clown in this episode may have been inspired by Harpo Marx - a mime artist who communicated largely with horn honks and whistles.
- The previews for this episode only include scenes from Connie's storyline — none from Grady's.
- Listen carefully: Jess Harnell reprises his role as Arnold Schwarzenbanger in the form of the laser tag announcer.
Max Hampton: Grady told me lots of stuff about you. Like that you ride in rodeos!
Wooton Bassett: Oh, yeah, that was an accident. I was looking for the men's room.
Max Hampton: Ha ha. You're pretty funny.
Wooton Bassett: Oh, well, thanks Max. But the cowboy didn't think so.
Wooton Bassett: Well didn't you decide to write this book to show what Odyssey really is? A small town with pleasant people, nice shops, and an unbelievable postal service?
Connie Kendall: Well, about that, I sent a letter across town last month and it took two weeks to get there!
Wooton Bassett: Like I said... unbelievable!!