The Joke's on You
On a Sunday morning in Odyssey, Jason Whittaker encourages his Sunday School class to look for ways to encourage people. Julie decides to that someone who really needs to be encouraged is Dwayne Oswald, who always seems to fail. She tries taking him roller skating, but he repeatedly falls down, incredibly embarrassed. Desperate for ways to encourage him, she tells him he has a nice sense of humor.
Jared DeWhite and Sarah Prachett later criticize her for this compliment because Dwayne has now unsuccessfully attempted to position himself as the local comedian. Afraid to tell him the truth, Julie laughs at his jokes even though they aren't funny. Jason challenges (and practically begs) her to be honest. When she learns that he has signed up for the school talent show, she wants to talk him out of it, but instead relies on the hope that he'll fail the audition.
To her disappointment, the show is desperate for acts, and Dwayne passes without even telling a joke. Admonished a second time by Jason that encouragement does not mean lying to someone, Julie promises to confront Dwayne. But when she learns he is going out of town and will miss the show anyway, she again fails to confront him. When Jared informs Julie that Dwayne's plans changed and he is, in fact, in the show, she rushes off to the school to prevent him from going on stage.
When she arrives, Dwayne is just beginning his act. To her surprise, however, he is performing a very successful magic show instead of his comedy routine. He later explains to Julie that his Dad told him the truth about the comedy and taught him the magic tricks to perform instead. Julie apologizes for not being honest with him and tells him that she still believes he is funny. He pulls a silver dollar from her ear, and they go to Whit's End to celebrate his success.
- Why was it wrong for Julie to tell Dwayne that he was funny to encourage him?
- Would it have been easier to tell Dwayne the truth at the beginning instead of waiting so long?
- Can you think of any ways that you can "bear one another's burdens"?
Heard in episode
- Although Dwayne claims not to be good at anything in this episode, he would later seen to be academically gifted in #403: “Faster Than a Speeding Ticket”. Perhaps Julie's encouragement efforts here pay off.
- This episode contains amusing background dialogue which can be read here.
Dwayne Oswald: Waddaya do when your nose goes on strike? Picket!
Dwayne Oswald: That reminds me of a story. There were three prisoners who were gonna be executed by a firing squad. They put the first prisoner up against the wall and were about to shoot him when he yelled, "Earthquake!" And everybody ran for cover and the prisoner got away. Well, they finally realized there was no earthquake, so they brought out the second prisoner and put him against the wall. They were just about to shoot him when he yelled, "Tornado!" And everybody ran for cover. And again the second prisoner got away. When they realized there was no tornado, they put the third prisoner against the wall — a real dufus. The commander said, "Ready, aim-" and the dufus yelled, "Fire!" Badunch! <beat> Get it? Earthquake, tornado, fire? Firing squad? Get it?
Dwayne Oswald: How will it look when everyone is rolling over me?